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 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—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.
Gripping and intriguing from the beginning to the end.
I like the layout of the novel, the interview taking you back in time and tell Evelyn’s story from her perspective – that was good.
The best part for me was the setting: The golden age of film. Old Hollywood. It was glamorous, interesting and cool to read about/ kinda experience.
For some reason, there isn’t much to fault in this novel, yet I don’t think it’s worthy of 5 stars? It’s an odd one for me. I found it interesting and I was hooked but I wasn’t blown away. I wouldn’t consider this a favourite and I’m not sure I’d ever reread it.
I will say: the writing isn’t all that special. It’s pretty bland/plain writing.
What I actually HATED: Celia. I could not warm to her character at all. I thought she was very toxic and immature and problematic. I honestly could not ship them or want them to be together in the slightest.
Monique: We don’t see a ton of Monique because as the title would suggest, it’s all about Evelyn. I did like the glimpses of Monique we got but I wish there was a bit more of her. I felt her side of the story was lost because of Evelyn’s story and therefore, didn’t really add anything to the story.
Evelyn Hugo: I wouldn’t say I loved Evelyn as a character but she was very interesting. I was instantly invested in her story. The author did a good job of making her story interesting but I didn’t like her as much as the author tries to force you to do.
Evelyn had great character development and growth, which you can see as the novel goes on, that was done really well. She was realistic and flawed character – which made her a lot more relatable.
Overall: It’s not a bad read. If you love Chick-Lit and the 50s/Old Hollywood this would be perfect for you. Do I think it’s overhyped? Definitely. Unpopular opinion in the book community but it’s not *quite* as good as everyone makes out.
Rating: 3/3.5 Stars
(I originally gave this 4 stars but the more I think about it the less I think it is, so I’ve knocked 0.5 off)