“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” was a great book! I liked the premise a lot; it’s a story within a story. Evelyn Hugo is a famous aging star whose personal life was even more interesting than the roles she played. For decades, the public has been left wondering about each of her seven husbands: why she married each one, why she divorced him, and the biggest question of all: who was the love of Evelyn’s life? Now in her 70s, Evelyn is ready to share her life story, but it has to be on her terms. She seeks out a relatively unknown writer, a young biracial woman named Monique, and insists that only she can write her story. So begins the relationship between Monique and Evelyn. Evelyn begins by taking Monique back to 1950s L.A., where young Evelyn Herrera is encouraged/forced to change her surname to Hugo to hide her Hispanic roots. It follows Evelyn’s life through the 1960s, 1970s, and into the 1980s, when she chose to retire. With each decade, Evelyn faced new challenges both professionally and especially personally. But throughout this storyline of Evelyn’s past, we come back to the present, where Monique is facing challenges of her own. So each chapter switches: one is about Evelyn’s past (with clever titles using one adjective to describe each husband), and the next brings the readers back to the present and the mystery of why Evelyn had to have Monique (and only Monique) write her story. It’s a fascinating book, telling the story of the past but with very current themes: sexuality vs. sex, love vs. convenience, ruthless vs. ambition, fame vs. privacy…ultimately, the reader realizes it’s not a story of who the greatest love of Evelyn’s life was, but more about what was she willing to do and sacrifice to get the life she wanted? I really recommend this book and it’s alluring plot.
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