Taylor Jenkins Reid: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Hardcover, 2017, Atria Books) 4 stars

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth …

Review of 'The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

This is a (kind of) good book but it's not great. There is no depth of character even though you are given Evelyn Hugo's whole life story within the pages. Evelyn was a cardboard cutout (and unlikable) and all you really know about her can be summed up in a few sentences. Just somewhat above ok-ish truthfully.

I liked the old Hollywood setting though. I liked the period of time it brought back to life-when America worshipped movie stars, bought magazines to catch up on the latest gossip, went to theaters to watch their favorite stars perform. It really was a big deal back in the 40s to about the mid 70s. Movie studios controlled the artists' lives back in the earlier days and would manipulate and curate the artists' persona, love life, artistic choices, fashion. Cover up messes and hide scandals, too. I grew up at the tail end of that era and can somewhat remember what it was like to go see a movie like The Way We Were with Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford. Or Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal in Love Story. I recently watched Love Story again on tv after not even thinking about it for at least 45 years or so and thought "Oh, how hokey 'Love means never having to say you're sorry', yeah right, give me a break." And then crying at the melodramatic ending anyway, lol.

The great love affair of Evelyn with fellow actress Celia St. James was not belivable in the slightest and so bland and passionless and blah. And as the whole of the story pivots around that "great love" and it's not even interesting... it makes the rest of the story lackluster as well.

Easy enough reading if you want a sort of mindless book to read at the beach or beside the pool where you don't have to concentrate too hard to keep the plot straight but still be entertained enough until something better and more entertaining happens to pull your attention away. It'll be easy enough to pick up where you left off... blah blah blah Evelyn gets married AGAIN...

The reveal at the end was WEAK SAUCE and kind of ruined the book in my opinion. It was NOT needed.