“I’m not suggesting that charming girls should take pity on the pretty ones. I’m just saying it’s not so great being loved for something you didn’t do.”
Fiction – Historical
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.
“When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘You’re safe with me’—that’s intimacy.”
After getting approximately 5,682 recommendations for this book, I finally read it! I think I may be one of the last few people to do so. This was actually my book club’s pick for this month. And by that I mean I chose it! J
What a completely fascinating story Evelyn Hugo told in this enthralling read that is classified as historical fiction but falls more into the category of contemporary and romance.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (TJR) set the bar so high with this book! Her writing is completely captivating. By the time I finished this book—two days because it was just that good—I could hardly wrap my head around the fact that Evelyn Hugo wasn’t a real person. I felt entirely absorbed in her life story.
Evelyn was such a unique character in that I both loved her and despised her. She did some horrible things in her life, yet I could empathize with her failures and shortcomings. She had such self-awareness and never claimed to be a perfect person. She was clearly flawed but always looking to overcome her demons.
After already reading two of Reid’s books—Forever, Interrupted and One True Loves—and loving them, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo sealed the deal that I will now read anything TJR writes. This book has gotten me even more excited to read Daisy Jones & the Six!
If you haven’t read anything by TJR yet, do yourself a favor and pick up one of her books ASAP! You can thank me later.