The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a historical fiction novel by American author Taylor Jenkins Reid and published by Atria Books in 2017. The novel tells the story of the fictional Old Hollywood star Evelyn Hugo, who at the age of 79 decides to give a final interview to an unknown journalist, Monique Grant. According to Reid, Evelyn Hugo was loosely based in part on actresses Elizabeth Taylor, who was married eight times to seven different men, and Ava Gardner, who revealed the secrets of her life to a journalist which was eventually published as Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations. Reid also discusses how Rita Hayworth was a big influence on the character Evelyn Hugo. Hayworth, a Spanish woman, had a very similar start to Hugo which can be seen in the beginning of the novel.[1][2]

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.jpg
First edition
AuthorTaylor Jenkins Reid
CountryUnited States
GenreHistorical fiction
PublisherAtria Books
Publication date
June 13, 2017
Media typePrint (hardcover & paperback), audiobook, e-book

The novel was nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction of 2017.[3][4][5] In 2019, Freeform and Fox 21 Television Studios picked up the rights for development. Jennifer Beals and Ilene Chaiken, who worked on The L Word, will be producing the show.[6] Reid will work on the show as a screenwriter.


Monique Grant is a 35 year old struggling writer living in New York City. Dealing with her professional career going nowhere and her husband leaving her, Monique is at an all time low. Having worked for the prestigious Vivant for less than a year, she had not yet been given many opportunities, thus stalling her writing career. One day, she learns some life-changing news from her editor: actress Evelyn Hugo, a famous actress from the 1960s, has agreed to an interview with Vivant under the condition that Monique is the one to do the interview. Though she is stunned by the request, Monique realizes the opportunity could make her career, that is if she doesn't allow herself to be star struck by one of the most famous actresses in the world. Evelyn Hugo takes Monique on a tempestuous ride as she uncovers the truth of her glamorous life and career. These truths form a connection between Monique and Evelyn until too many truths lead their lives to intersect in a tragic way.


Reid released the book cover and an excerpt of the book with Entertainment Weekly on December 6, 2016.[7]

In an interview with PopSugar,[8] Reid mentions how Elizabeth Taylor; the books Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations about Ava Gardner's multiple relationships throughout her career, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star an autobiography of Tab Hunter talking about what life was like for the LGBTQ+ community in Hollywood at the time and Scandals of Classic Hollywood by Anne Helen Petersen were inspirations for the novel.


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was released in hardcover on June 1, 2017 by Atria Publishing Group. By June 13, 2017 the novel had been released as a paperback, Audible audio, and Kindle edition. In addition to being printed in English, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was also translated for print in many other languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Lithuanian, Swedish, Croatian, French, Slovak, Hungarian, and Dutch. [9]


The novel received positive reviews. The Globe and Mail called it "a cinematic tale with hardscrabble roots, staggering highs and sickening lows."[10] The novel was nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction of 2017,[3][4][5] and a finalist for Book of the Month's Book of the Year award in 2017. [11]


  1. ^ Granett, Brandi Megan Granett (2017-05-22). "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Q & A with Taylor Jenkins Reid". Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  2. ^ Block, Tara. "Taylor Jenkins Reid on the Scandalous True Stories That Inspired Her Latest Novel". Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b "BEST HISTORICAL FICTION". Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b Petski, Denise (September 19, 2019). "'The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo' Adaptation In Works At Freeform; Ilene Chaiken & Jennifer Beals To EP".
  5. ^ a b "Jennifer Beals, Ilene Chaiken Adapting 'Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo' for Freeform". The Hollywood Reporter.
  6. ^ "'The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo' is Coming to Freeform | Bookstr". 2019-09-26. Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  7. ^ Biedenharn, I., & Biedenharn, I. (n.d.). See the Cover for Taylor Jenkins Reid's 'The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo'. Retrieved April 18, 2020, from
  8. ^ Block, Tara (2017-06-13). "Taylor Jenkins Reid on the Scandalous True Stories That Inspired Her Latest Novel". POPSUGAR Love & Sex. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  9. ^ Editions of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2020, from
  10. ^ Stapley, Melissa. "Review: Roz Nay's Our Little Secret, Julia Fierro's The Gypsy Moth Summer and Taylor Jenkins Reid's The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo". Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  11. ^ "The Best Books of the Year | Book of the Month". Retrieved 2020-02-12.