Publisher: Atria Books
Published: June 13th, 2017
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, LGBTQ
My Rating: 5 stars
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 is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, 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 mesmerizing 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 costs—to face the truth.
This book lived up to the hype.
I was skeptical, because I don’t really read a lot of books targeted to adults, but this was absolutely fantastic. This book was published right around when I was first started blogging so I was seeing it everywhere and y’all were giving it high praise, and I’m happy to say y’all were right and I should have read this book two years ago.
I recently started listening to a podcast called Trashy Divorces, I’m planning on writing a “podcasts I listen” post in the future, but I really, really, love this podcast and this book had a similar storytelling style as that podcast which I enjoyed. This book covers sixty years of life and fame through Evelyn’s marriages and divorces. It’s brilliant, you get to see all the glamor of a documentary about Elizabeth Taylor or Debbie Reynolds through this very tight lense. I think it’s a smart way to tell a story. It touches on the movies and different studios without digging into the nitty-gritty of that world, which is a story that’s honestly been told to death.
This book also has a second story, the story of the woman interviewing Evelyn– the book is about Evelyn, but Monique’s story is woven in a fun way that I enjoyed. We get to see these two very different women learn from each other, and learn how people’s actions affect people they may never meet. The end of this book is great. Just read it, you’ll like it.
I love this idea of a story where we look at someone as famous and culturally important as someone like Elizabeth Taylor and seeing that she’s so much more than the sting of marriages. Celebrity is such an interesting thing to me, and even now where we can follow our favorites on Twitter and Instagram and feel like we know about them, we never really do. We only see what they want us to, and most of what we know about famous people is carefully planned and run through a PR firm before we see it.
I loved this book, I’m so happy so many bloggers talked about it until I gave in. If you haven’t read it, I highly, highly recommend it. It has a little bit of everything.
Have you read this one? What did you think? I would love to talk about it some more!
Until next time Internet,