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The student news site of Fenton High School

Fenton InPrint Online

The student news site of Fenton High School

Fenton InPrint Online

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Bookmarked: Hollywood and secrets

PHOTO Sylvia Kline

Editor’s note: the following story contains spoilers for “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. 

The “Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” follows the life of pop culture icon Evelyn Hugo, who rose to fame using promiscuity and manipulation to secure fame, success and status in an era when women were not favored in these positions. Hugo tells the story of her life, on her own terms, to writer Monique Grant in the hopes that Grant will publish a biography that reveals the truth of her complex life and relationships. 

Though they are not the central aspect of the story, or even her life, Hugo’s seven husbands do play an integral role in the narrative. Through seven marriages, all ranging in length and circumstances, only a few stand out and only a few contained true love and companionship. For example, her relationship—though ultimately platonic— with Harry Cameron was undeniably loving and supportive, eventually evolving into having a daughter together, Connor Cameron. 

Despite all of these numerous, complex relationships, Evelyn’s true love was not a husband after all, but rather actress Celia St. James. During an era of intolerance, Evelyn makes the conscious decision to keep her sexuality a secret, forcing them to remain in the shadows of Evelyn and Celia’s subsequent marriages to men. 

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The climax of the book occurs when, in her prolonged series of meetings and interviews with Monique, Evelyn reveals that she had framed Moniques father for Harry’s death and his own. Monqiue had spent her entire life believing that her father died in a car accident because he was drunk driving. However, Evelyn reveals that Harry and Monqiue’s father were in love, and that Harry was the one intoxicated behind the wheel. In order to protect Harry’s legacy, she switched the bodies in the car after the accident to make it appear as if Monique’s father was the one responsible for the accident and its consequential deaths.

Monique experiences immense anger, confusion and resentment following Eveyln’s confession, but she still decided to tell Evelyn’s story truthfully and faithfully.

Though this narrative was insanely busy and filled with drama, I truly enjoyed this novel. I think that the amount of content, details and dedication to character development is truly a testament to Jenkin’s storytelling, and her ability to have complete control over a complex narrative. 

Additionally, her portrayal of women working for success and security in an era of male dominance is authentic and raw. Jenkins effectively conveys the struggles of womanhood that transcend any given historical period, in such a way that inspires empathy and compassion within her female audience. 

I personally love reading historical fiction, and am excited to further explore this genre and I would recommend this book to anyone interested in historical and psychological fiction. 

“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” was Fenton High’s book club pick for February. For more information, follow the Instagram

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