From Taylor Jenkins Reid comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.
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 in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating 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 takes—to face the truth.
I’m currently very emotional after finishing this book (mind you, I had to pace myself) and I’ll give you two words as to why:
First, I want to start off by saying that every Taylor Jenkins Reid book packs a powerful as hell message but this one takes all of the cake and sprinkles. And I promise you, you won’t even see half of what happens coming.
Evelyn’s complex character is way more than what the reader bargains for. But this reader was hooked. I felt like I was getting to know her just like Monique was and I was falling in love with her every step of the way. From a readers perspective, that’s how relationships are formed with characters. We as readers NEED that feeling of bonding.
I do want to bring light to the secondary characters that are involved in this book. Harry. Celia. Connor. They all bring something so magical to the story itself. They bring something magical to Evelyn and it shows. You can literally feel it radiating off of the pages. Every time Evelyn speaks of these characters speak, you feel it.
I’ve never read a book that goes in-depth of the early Hollywood times but I’m so glad that I did. TJR did a spectacular job making the tone of the book reflect the time frame of the story. And that wrapped me up in a warm bundle of love with Evelyn and her story all the more quicker.
This book is more than just husbands. Seven of them to be exact. It’s about so much more than that. It’s beautiful, heartbreaking, and moving. I’m completely ready to accept the fact that Taylor Jenkins Reid does not write a bad book.
This is Evelyn Hugo. And she’s magnificent and beautiful and open for the world to finally see her. And personally, she couldn’t have done a better job if she tried.