Books With That Jaw Dropping Title

Seven…I can barely keep up with one!

Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, book for the ages

And am the only one who has Monica {from Friends} pop in my head in the “seven-seven-SEVEN” episode?

Yes?

Okay, never mind, this book isn’t about that anyway. Just curious.

It’s about the book, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo book cover snapped my eyes to attention in military green style. It screamed style so how was I not going to swoop it up and read the synopsis.

Never underestimate the power of a photo {my inner-photographer whispers}!

Turns out it had little to do with style, oh well, and all the mixing of Hollywood dreams, the grit of a woman putting herself first, {a secret life lived to keep her actress dream alive} and on-par with 2022 culture.

Admittedly the cover drew me in, but this book was a WOW! Chapter after chapter, up until the very last moment, you’re wondering what choice Evelyn will make next. The biggest plot twist comes in the last few chapters {of course}, when Evelyn reveals why she asked the unknown Vivant magazine writer, Monique Grant, to write her biography…WOW and TRIPLE-WOW!!!

20 to 50:: 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Spans the Age Gap

We’re in our 50’s, so we’ve witnessed — and possibly experienced ourselves — the life of a woman in the 1960’s through the 70’s and into the 90’s. Reading this book is relatable for us. But The 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo also draws in the 20-somethings. (It’s one of the most popular reads on BookTok!)

Bridging that gap is no easy feat. I’d bet you a whole quarter that you’re shaking your head in agreement if you have a teen to young adult human living with you.

Emma, my 20-something book connoisseur, read this one too, and also loved it!

This book rec spans from the 20’s to the 50’s and gets a rave review from both, but for different reasons.

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s book was published in 2017, but has recently sprung up the book-lover charts thanks to the BookTok craze, alongside some of her other titles like Daisy Jones & The Six, Malibu Rising, One True Loves, and her newest release, Carrie Soto Is Back. With a Netflix movie in the works, people are wondering what all the excitement is about.

Emma and I differ on whether you should read the book before watching the movie, but this time, I’m 100% in her corner of the room::

READ THE BOOK before watching whatever the Netflix people conjure up.

how I read it — 50+ Take-aways

I’m a former history teacher, so when I pick up a historical-fiction book, I’m headed straight to Google, searching like a toddler on an Easter egg hunt for what the author used for inspiration. Reid put out that she based Evelyn Hugo around Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, and Ava Gardner.

I can remember all three of those actresses, but I’m doubtful the average 20-year-old will know without typing into IMDb for a look-see (except maybe Emma. Her brain is like an encyclopedia for all things entertainment).

Reid takes us through Evelyn’s life and, most importantly, how she came to have 7 husbands in her 79 years. Along the way, you’ll admire, demonize, and gain a modicum of respect for a woman growing up in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s {having her first husband at 14, she grew up IN IT}.

There were shockers and parts you saw coming in this book, but the best takeaway for me was how Evelyn Hugo did disagreeable things in her life, and admitted remorse {a little}, but stood by her decisions {right or wrong} because it got her where she wanted to go. Or so she thought it did.

But that’s the thing about aging right?

We have our dreams and goals in our 20’s and know what we want, and then we get there in our 50’s or 70’s, look back, and see how we would have chosen things differently had we known the future.

We can’t know the future, but as we age, we try to impart what we learned into the next generation’s and give them the wisdom as we experienced it, hoping they choose the right dreams for themselves and don’t end up looking back with regret.

I don’t think Evelyn Hugo had many regrets with her 7 husbands. She made decisions and charged forward by summoning her future 2022-self, but also mastered compartmentalizing her life into professional, personal, and taboo.

How Emma Read It — 20-something viewpoints

I’m the 20-year-old book connoisseur (according to my mom) here! I’m fairly involved in the BookTok community, so that’s where I first came across this book.

Thanks to BookTok, a lot of older releases are seeing a resurgence, and lots of them are getting movie/series deals! BookTok’s favorite craze right now is boosting books by/about marginalized communities, like the LGBTQ+ community and people of color. Though Jenkins Reid is both white and straight, Evelyn Hugo is biracial and bisexual, and her race and sexuality is one of the biggest obstacles she faces throughout the novel.

Since I was raised in a climate that brings much more attention to these issues than my mom would have seen in her teenage years (pride month, the Black Lives Matter movement, and more), I connected more to that aspect of her character and why that would be so important to her and the people around her.

Not to spoil anything major, but Evelyn struggles to land roles in the beginning because she’s Cuban and looks it. She dyes her hair blonde and styles herself to fit more in the white majority, and this leads to audiences adoring her as an “exotic white”, which is definitely not language you could get away with using today.

Even though she becomes a prominent actress, she tells Monique about her struggles with her sexuality later in her career — though she never made it public, several characters around her, including the love of her life, diminish her to the biggest struggle bisexuals face: “pick a side, man or woman?”.

Her girlfriend and even one of her husbands insists she’s just a lesbian who has internalized heteronormativity, while others insist that because she’s only married men, she must be straight. If you want to see how she ends up thinking about her identity, you’ll have to read the book (Mom can attest to this — I HATE spoilers).

But especially in today’s political and social climate, where complete strangers on the internet feel they are entitled to your whole identity, Evelyn’s struggles with herself seems more relevant than ever.

Related book posts to the 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo::

Are you reading a page-turner of a book? Will you share?

Andrea ~ Next Chapter Blogger for 50
A Glimpse of Good

World Traveler • Over 50 Styler • Lifestyle Blogger • Books&Wine
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Andrea | A Glimpse of Good

Andrea | A Glimpse of Good

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Writing for the next chapter in travel, 50-n-fabulous style, vacation rental re-do +forever searching for good coffee, great wine, & the next captivating book.