Greetings, readers! My name is Sareeta Domingo, and I’m an author and fiction editor. It’s my great pleasure to be bringing you a Book of the Week, each week here on Morning Mari.
Last weekend, I was lucky enough to be invited onto a TV show to talk about books, which was a total delight. But as a lovely make-up artist came over to powder us during each break, making sure we were looking our best, I was reminded of a truly enthralling novel I read earlier this year. So, I’ve decided to make it my Book of the Week selection this week. It’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
The book is a deliciously glamorous story set mainly in the world of Old Hollywood. However, it starts in the present day, with struggling journalist Monique Grant, who is on the verge of giving up her dead end career and in the midst of breaking up with her husband. Out of the blue, she’s given the story of a lifetime when 79-year-old former movie star Evelyn Hugo agrees to an interview with the magazine where she works—and insists that Monique is the one to profile her.
Evelyn Hugo reveals that she actually wants Monique to document her entire life story, and so the novel dips back into the past, with the movie star recounting her story to Monique—and therefore to us as readers—from her humble beginnings as teenage bride, to shedding her true, Latina heritage to become an actress, and on through her rise to iconic movie-star status through the 1950s and 60s in the classic Hollywood era. And, of course, documenting each of the seven husbands she weds along the way.
The book is wonderfully constructed, and although the story is entirely fictional, Reid pulls on the biographies of classic stars such as Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor to create Evelyn Hugo’s rollercoaster of a story, which touches beautifully on issues of feminism and sexuality alongside the glamour of the era, and with a present-day twist that keeps the reader dying to know where the novel will end up. It sparkles with razzle dazzle and heartbreak, and it’s a perfect book to snuggle up with as the nights draw in. That is why The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is my Book of the Week this week.