Published in 2018 by Washington Square Press | Originally published in 2017 | 3.5 feathers
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is about a journalist called Monique who is slightly under-the-radar. She has an okay job at a magazine, but she hasn’t gotten her big scoop yet. That’s when Hollywood superstar Evelyn Hugo contacts the magazine Monique works for to give a unique interview – and she specifically asks for Monique.
Here’s another member of the group of books that surprised me this year. I thought Evelyn Hugo was going to be slightly dense literary fiction, but turns out it wasn’t. The writing style was a lot lighter than I expected, so I flew through it. That was a very pleasant surprise.
My favourite parts were the beginning (because it surprised me by being different from what I expected) and the end (because of the *big reveal*). I actually thought that it was going to be one of my favourite reads of the year when I first started reading, but then the middle stooped a bit for me. I think that was mostly because we didn’t get to know Monique very well – Evelyn’s parts were very fleshed out, but Monique was essentially just a vessel to tell Evelyn’s story. She came across as a very unimportant character, even though she was supposed to be one of the main ones. That is probably my main complaint, that present-day parts of the story could have been developed a lot more. Part of that is also that Monique didn’t feel real to me, so her feelings or decisions always seemed to come from slightly out of the blue, because I as a reader didn’t know enough about her backstory or motivations in life to fully believe it or feel with her.
Evelyn, on the other hand, was a complex character and another favourite part of the book for me. I know some people dislike her after the twist in the end (like Monique does), but I can’t bring myself to. That is partly due to me not feeling connected to Monique, but it’s also because Evelyn could motivate her actions and in some way I can understand that she only did it to protect the people she loves.
Overall, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was an enjoyable read that surprised me, although the middle came across as slightly unbalanced and Monique felt a little underdeveloped.