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Publisher's Summary

2018 Audie Award Finalist for Multi-Voiced Performance

From Taylor Jenkins Reid, "a genius when it comes to stories about life and love" (Redbook), comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress' relentless rise to the top - the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? 

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jump-start her career. 

Summoned to Evelyn's Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late '80s and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn's life unfolds - revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love - Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn's story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique's own in tragic and irreversible ways. 

Written with Reid's signature talent for "creating complex, likable characters" (Real Simple), this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means - and what it takes - to face the truth. 

©2017 Rabbit Reid, Inc. All rights reserved. (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Average Customer Ratings
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Loved it

Loved this story and couldn't put it down or stop listening. Brilliant narrator, really can't fault this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved this book

I really enjoyed The 7 Husband's of Evelyn Hugo, great storyline and well done, excellent narrators

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entertaining read

a very entertaining read although I saw the twist coming it was still very entertaining getting to that point and felt like you were actually hearing a story from a real actress

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Impossible to put down

This is the kind of story that sticks with you long after the final words. In Evelyn's own words "this is something that could change people's lives" Evelyn Hugo's character is so life-like that, on more than one occasion, I found myself thinking, "I really need to go watch her movies". My only issue is that Monique, in comparison to Evelyn, feels very 2D. And maybe that's the point - Evelyn is so enchanting and scandalous that everyone in her shadow feels "less-than" - but the story's end would have felt more meaningful if Monique had been afforded the same space for complexity that was afforded to Evelyn. All that being said, the story is still incredible. I cried like a baby at the end and I would listen to it all over again in heartbeat.

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Riveting!

Loved everything about this novel! As a movie buff from way back, I can’t help but wonder if there is a real Evelyn Hugo? And who she may be? I want to go back and watch all the old Hollywood movies now just to see if I can guess which siren she is. One of the best novels of this year! I didn’t want it to end!

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Loved every bit of it

There was nothing I didn’t like about this story. I was captivated from the beginning, the glamor, humour and plot were in fantastic harmony. In parts I ached to be apart of Evelyn’s life and in other parts I was glad I could take a pause. It felt real and I thought it was a delicious listen. Loved the narrator too.

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wonderful storytelling

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was such an amazing audio to listen to, it was so addictive and the narrators performed all of the characters so well. I had both the ebook and the audio, but once I started listening there was no way I could go back to reading - I went to the start of the story and listened all the way through. Evelyn herself was such a wonderfully fascinating and complex character. I loved how the storyline unfolded, and the connection that Evelyn had with Monique was really brilliant story telling. Loved!! - I enjoyed this so much that I was disappointed when I found myself at the end.

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Magic

Loved this book so much. Didn’t want it to end. Absolutely spell binding. Have just downloaded another book by this author.

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Wonderful and surprising

I loved this book, went on a journey with one woman while the other discovered her own self worth!

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Fab Story

Absolutely the best writer, have read 3 books by Taylor Jenkins Reid and have loved all of them. A different way of writing and great narrator's .

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Profile Image for Dubi
  • Dubi
  • 31-12-2017

Five Out of Seven Ain't Bad

Evelyn Hugo was a bombshell movie star in the 1950s and 60s whose career as a celebrity carried on past her prime as an actress. An amalgam of real-life stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, and bits of pieces of others, Evelyn Hugo used her physical attributes and street smarts to get to the top, stay on top (mostly), and get back on top when she fell into decline.

A master manipulator who made no bones about it, she knew how to use everyone around her to get her way -- producers, directors, fellow actors, Hollywood media, even neighbors, and most especially her husbands. And to keep her secrets. Even in her last days, in the present day, when she has recused herself from the limelight, Evelyn manipulates the media to reveal her most closely held secrets.

This is without question a fun book. If you like movies, especially the glamorous era in which Evelyn Hugo rose to stardom, this is manna from heaven. You'll be guessing throughout the proceedings as to who Evelyn represents in real life, who the people around her might have been in real life. And you'll even get some thematic depth on a couple of currently relevant topics in addition to the potboiler of a plot.

For me personally, the story faltered slightly in two ways. After a flawless first two-thirds, the last third grew repetitive, as Evelyn started making the same mistakes again. The first four or five husbands were (collectively) a great story, the last couple-three husbands were kind of a shrug. The final reveal perks things up again, but by then the book is just about over.

The other problem is the very thematic depth that makes the book more than just a mindless beach read. In the two main areas of interest (not going to give them away), I was nagged by how Evelyn dealt with them -- one by hiding her her in the sand to protect her career, the other by taking advantage of a situation that many would find heinous to further her fortunes. In addition, there were prominent issues of the era, within the film business and in the world at large, that are virtually ignored.

But that's probably just me -- if you like this kind of thing, you'll love this.

68 people found this helpful

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  • bridget
  • 16-07-2018

I’m not crying, you’re crying

Completely unexpected but also touchingly beautiful. Manages to touch on a number of very difficult subjects while still staying a light read. Bravo.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Linda Skowronski
  • 29-07-2017

Wonderful Read!!

Very complicated character with many faults & bad traits yet you can't help but love & feel sorry for her at the same time.
Shed a few tears during the course of the story.....
First time I've read this author but not the last!

29 people found this helpful

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  • Armchair critic
  • 10-07-2017

Supreme storyline

The only thing about this book that didn't ring true was the fact it was fiction. It was very interesting from beginning to end. It has a real kicker at the end. You'll never see it coming. It's worth more than one listen.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Mia
  • 29-07-2017

Taken to Hollywood and never wanted to return!

There aren't words enough to describe how much I loved this audiobook. It hasn't been this difficult for me to put one down in forever, and even as I wasn't listening, I was still thinking of the story and its characters, wondering where it was all leading and what would come next. Alma Cuervo's voice fit perfectly as Evelyn, and as she told the tales of her life, I was enthralled. This book has been the highlight of my reading summer, and I would recommend it to anyone fascinated by Old Hollywood.

27 people found this helpful

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  • W Perry Hall
  • 17-03-2018

Glucose Gluttony

Paraphrasing a quote attributed to Abe Lincoln: 'For those who like this kind of a book, it is just about the kind of a book they would like.' This was a significant failure in my vetting process, plain and simple. While reading this novel, over and over I winced or rolled my eyes at the soppy prose that brought to mind the picture of one being force-fed a huge jar of crystallized honey (left in the pantry for the past year plus). I love honey, but crystallized...no, no way. E.g., 'I loved you so much, that I thought you were the meaning of my life... I thought that people were put on Earth to find other people, and I was put on Earth to find you. To find you, and touch your skin, and smell your breath, and hear all your thoughts....' The book is also a sugary trove of cliched gems, such as: 'Sometimes reality comes crashing down on you.' 'When you’re given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. ' 'It felt like water in the desert.' And schmaltzy advice like, 'You have to find a job that makes your heart feel big instead of one that makes it feel small.' You shouldn't need any advice if you read the quotes above.

68 people found this helpful

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  • Georgina
  • 22-07-2017

Captured once again

I have to admit that I'm once captured by a Taylor Jenkins Reid books...the story was captivated and real and strong...i wanna to cry for Evelyn, her life and the ones she loves...Is beautifully written and addictive...
The narrative and the narrators are just perfect..

26 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-04-2020

Not what I expected

After finishing Daisy Jones and the Six, which I really enjoyed, I wanted to hear more by this author. This book was so disappointing! First of all, the publisher was not forthcoming regarding the primary subject matter. Had I known it centered around a lesbian relationship it would not have been my next choice. I struggled with the narration and almost quit listening several times. The plot is predictable with only a slight twist. Just glad I’m finally done with it and can move on to something more interesting!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Moabchick
  • 08-08-2017

struggled to finish.

it got better as it went along. ended better than I thought it would. a bit predictable / cliche at times.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Dorothy
  • 13-07-2017

Representative of Trendy Writing

I understand that many have been enthralled by this book. I was not one of those people. I found the reading formulaic and in the Gone Girl genre, a sort of 21st century laziness that troubles me. It was very "up to date" in its subject matter. It follows the almost required plot line that new television and movies are gravitating to. The author has wisely gone with this flow for ease of publication. All I can say is this: I recently listened to The Age of Innocence, Rebecca, The Sympathizer, The French Lieutenant's Woman and Atonement, so this probably accounts for my low rating. The lowest I have ever given. I do not recommend this book to those who seek more craft from their authors.

79 people found this helpful

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  • Sigrin
  • 13-03-2020

Great story and superb narration

I was unsure about this book as the title and cover just did not inspire. However this is where audibles members ratings and reviews come into play and I took a chance. I am so pleased I went ahead and made the purchased, this is an outstanding book. No spoilers.... Monique a not well known journalist working on a popular US magazine is requested to write a piece about a charity dress auction of the fictious Hollywood legend Evelyn Hugo. What happens during the meetings of the two is Evelyns untold story is gently revealed, like the peeling of an onion. The layers are carefully unfolded to show the true Evelyn Hugo, who is the character her adoring fans know, but also so much mor than they imagined. There are many touching moments in the book of Moniques and Evelyns life that will fill you with emotion. I highly recommend this marvelous book.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Louise loves books
  • 12-06-2018

OMG

This book is incredible and made me cry. A million stars. I will be buying the paperback of this book just so I can read the gorgeous words that Taylor Jenkins Reid wrote. Thank you for creating this book Taylor.

5 people found this helpful

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  • beci
  • 15-04-2020

very emotional

I really enjoyed this - the reading was excellent and the story engaging. I can't say much more without spoliers, but a great listen overall.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stella G
  • 22-01-2019

I was so hooked, I had my earphones at all times

Although 2019 has only started, I can safely pronounce this book will be one of my favourites of the year - because it is already one of the best books I've read in years. It is incredibly engrossing and beautifully written (and narrated). I've gone into this book expecting a lot, having seen it absolutely everywhere since it came out and followed only by great reviews. And I was not let down. Evelyn Hugo is an Old Hollywood movie icon, she's gorgeous, she's a sex symbol (and she knows how to use it), she's ambitious, manipulative, so much smarter than she'll ever let you know, ruthless and unappologetic, and she will do everything to get what she wants. And now, at the end of her life she is telling the story of her scandalous life, all dirty detail included. Apart from Evelyn's point of view, the story is also told through the eyes of Monique Grant, a journalist Evelyn picked to write her biography. Monique herself is a biracial woman, recently separated and in front of an impending divorce, trying to climb her way up in the magazine she's working for. She is supposed to be objective, impersonal, but she finds herself learning from Evelyn, judging her, admiring her and hating her. The story deals with content that is not always easy to deal with, it talks about prostitution (in a form), alcoholism, domestic abuse, cheating, lgbtq+ rights and homophobia, racism, betrayal, but also love, friendship, the glamour of old Hollywood... and so much more. It is one of the most diverse and best minority-represented novels I have ever read. I dont even want to say too much because I dont have the words except READ THIS BOOK.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Maya Connell
  • 27-09-2018

I’m in love

I’m in love with this book... I didn’t realise it was an LGBTQ+ novel before I purchased it, I’m Bisexual myself so identified with a number of points in this book on that topic. I am always in the lookout for more stories which are about more then sex for LGBTQ+ women,so this was a spectacular find. It’s in my top 5 book right now... I really am in love... Thank you, Thank you, to Taylor Jenkins Reid for writing this!!

8 people found this helpful

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  • LWaugh
  • 06-07-2017

Brilliantly written and performed

I loved this from beginning to end. Evelyn and Monique are brilliant, very real characters. The book is extremely entertaining while exploring all the complexities involved with being a woman. Highly recommend!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Katie
  • 29-12-2020

Engrossing story, but some performances distracted

Alma Cuervo does fantastic taking over the narration of Evelyn's story. Unfortunately the chapters where Robin Miles takes the lead are difficult to listen to. This is the second book I've listened to with her narration. Often her voice sounds clipped or rushed, as if it's over edited but that may be her natural cadence. It does not sound natural to listen to. Some may like this but I don't : she hams it up to convey extra emotion. I feel her performance lacks nuance and every affected feeling is dialled up to 11. Love the story, love Alma Cuervo's narration but I'm going to be careful about choosing books including Miles in the future.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sandra K
  • 04-07-2020

Chick Lit

I don't know what I was expecting going into this but it wasn't this. Possibly the most over-hyped and cliched book I've ever read. Lost track (and interest) in husbands after husband 3 or 4. All characters have no redeeming qualities, except from Harry. The meandering timeline means we only get occasional plot-driven insight into Evelyn's relationship with Celia, so they seem to fight a lot. I couldn't root for them. Monique was an extremely unlikeable character, and her surprise link with Evelyn was not much of a surprise. On top of this, the author was keen to include a lot of identity politics in this book, which was detrimental; Evelyn's experience of being biracial was a non-story when it could have been so much more, whilst the mentions of bisexual-erasure were over the top for a story in this setting. I would recommend this book for your mother to read on the beach, or if you like soap operas and chick-lit. I would not recommend this book to anyone who is interested in literary fiction or gay/lesbian fiction.

1 person found this helpful

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  • AliMac67
  • 19-01-2021

An amazing story

This is a story of the stars of the Golden Age of fHollywood. The ruthlessness required to reach the top and stay there at all costs. It also starkly highlights the major differences between true life and what is manufactured for the gossip rags to keep the truth hidden. It is also a tender love story spanning decades despite all the associated obstacles and hurt to maintain it. There are lost of twists and turns along the way to keep you captivated. The performances of the narrators is exceptional and really brings the story to life.

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Profile Image for Tracy CompulsiveReaders
  • Tracy CompulsiveReaders
  • 15-01-2021

The Seven Husbands of Eveylyn Hugo

WOW, just WOW and WOW again. Firstly, I read and loved Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest book Daisy Jones and The Six so when I had an audible credit I chose The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and I can’t begin to put into words what a brilliant decision that was, however because this is my blog and you are expecting a review I will try and compose myself. Reading a book and listening to a book are two entirely different experiences to a reader/listener as in the first you create the voices and accents and read at your own pace and style, but when you listen to a book, the narrator becomes the character(s) and their voice tells you the story the way the author wanted you to hear it. Before I begin my review about the book and the storyline and the characters I need to tell you that I listen to at least 12 audible books a year and this is without doubt, my favourite audible of 2019 and the narrators Alma Cuervo and Julia Whelan didn’t just bring the characters to life they made them 100% real in my mind and already I miss them and feel bereft that I won’t hear Evelyn speak again. If you like glamour, epic love stories, tales of Hollywood in the 50’s and 60’s, fame, fortune and having everything money can buy, then you will LOVE this book. Evelyn Hugo was THE Hollywood star of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s – with undeniable beauty, Oscar nominations, wealth beyond even her wildest dreams and a stage presence that makes every woman want to be her and every man fall in love with her and now in she is coming out of her self imposed exile to grant one final interview. Monique Grant is a journalist, currently going through some personal family problems and an unimpressive career slump so when Evelyn insists that only Monique interview her she is intrigued and excited as this could be the opportunity to relaunch her flagging career. However, everything is not how it seems when Evelyn tells Monique that she wants her to write her biography, warts and all and publish it after her death. The story is then told through alternating characters; Monique’s view of Evelyn now and dealing with her own family issues and Evelyn who is retelling her life story starting at the age of 14 and slowing bringing the reader (listener) up to date through her various film roles, husbands, relationships. This book oozes glamour and Evelyn is the most incredible female character and I wish she were real. Honestly, I don’t want to keep harping on, but I absolutely LOVED this book, and I’m so upset I finished it. This would make the most incredible film. Read it / Listen to it and thank me later.

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