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.
First off to the publisher or writer: CHOOSE A BIGGER FONT!!! The writing was so small you would need a magnifying glass so just have it in normal font size I do not see why not. The smaller font is not pleasing to the eye just saying.
I loved this novel. I cannot believe the author made this entire story, this world and everything about it.
We meet Monique – a nobody journalist who is chosen to write about this goddess celebrity that had her time of it in Hollywood – little does she know that she will be writing her biography with a catch – it is only to be published when shes dead but more on that later.
Unlike the author’s other book. I loved this one’s plot so much! I found it very captivating and elegant in terms of the idea of the plot.
We learn how Evelyn Hugo became exactly her. From basically changing her entire looks, how she got her first major roles, from husband to husband and how Hollywood is not quite all what it may seem. Evelyn had to learn the hard way.
Alongside this, we learn about Monique and her upbringing as a mixed person during a bad time in the world where it had not quite evolved just yet.
It tells the story of Evelyn, who wants to be famous, who learns early on in life that to get what she wants she has to play the part in every sense of the word. Now in her seventies Evelyn wants to share her life story with journalist Monique who has been personally picked by Evelyn. A tell all memoir about her life and her rise to fame. The glitz and glam of old Hollywood, the manipulation, the scandal, Hollywood cover ups, having to conform to society norms of the time and what it meant to be gay/bisexual during that time period.
It felt like non fiction. Like I was reading about Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor. Everything was so detailed. All the characters felt so real. Evelyn is flawed, ambitious and strong. A completely unapologetic character, manipulative and selfish who I loved! There are times she will frustrate you as a reader, but she is compelling and unforgettable! And with each husband she captivated me more with her spell.
The real reason for Evelyn picking Monique is intriguing and kept me hooked in the present day story telling. Evelyn’s rollercoaster life flows chronologically over the years and covers topics such as LGBTQ+ rights, diversity, female empowerment, sexuality, found family, motherhood and love. It is as much a story about Evelyn as it is about Harry and Celia’s life too. These two characters completely had my heart. I went on as much of an emotional journey with them as I did with Evelyn.
Taylor Jenkins Reid is without a doubt, a fantastic story teller. The way she writes her characters and their lives is addictive and very special.
Enough of my gushing. Remember. Life is short. Life is precious. Live life without regret. Hold loved ones tightly. Love who you love. Make memories to last a life time. Laugh. But most of all be unapologetically you! Always!