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
For a book I went into not really knowing much about and honestly only reading because I wanted to know what all of the hype and fuss was about, it blew me away. If someone was to describe this book to me, I would’ve probably of shrugged and then have had no intention of actually reading it. So going into it blind was the best thing for me.
I’ve had either a good or bad experience when it comes to the style of these kinds of books and it all boils down to whether the story is there and if it’s written well. This has a kind of documentary style, where Evelyn is discussing her life to a relatively unknown journalist, in order for her to write a biography of her life. I recently read Daisy Jones, which is also kind of similar but I had two different reactions to it. I didn’t enjoy DJ, maybe because it was trying to squeeze too much all into one book, a vast amount of characters, or just the story itself, but whatever it was I just didn’t enjoy it. However, this was just shy of perfection for me, quite possibly because it did just focus on Evelyn’s life and not a vast number, and boy did she have a fascinating life. I didn’t realise until writing up my review that these two books are written by the same author, so it goes to show how even though one book may not be for you, don’t give up on that author.
It had something, or she had a secret, that kept me hooked for the entirety of the book as I wanted to know why she hated herself and what could be so wrong. I wanted to know more about her character and the life she had lead that brought her to this time in her life. Her character was done well, where most strong female characters are these days in books and it was nice to read that. She wasn’t perfect and she had her flaws, but she admitted to them. It had strong writing and I found any spare time I had to finish this book because of how hooked I was. I can see why it’s so loved.
The only reason I’m not rating it a full five stars is because I’m unsure whether I’d read it again. Not because it’s not good, but because I know everything now and I don’t know if I’d have that same hunger for it a second or third time around.