Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
Here’s my conundrum: I don’t have the words to express how insanely gutted I was by this book, but I have to find a way to explain to make sure you to read it. Because holy hell, this book is amazing! Taylor Jenkins Reid has written one of the best, most intensely emotional love stories that I have ever read, but it’s also filled with some of the most selfish behavior you could imagine. And it works. Perfectly. (Also? I’m convinced that I now have an explanation for every failed relationship in Hollywood. Ha! But that’s besides the point.)
Evelyn was one of the most selfish characters I’ve read about in quite some time, but I was never mad at her for it. And that surprised me. Normally selfish, overconfident characters can get tiresome, but everything about Evelyn just really worked for me. I admired her tenacity and gumption instead of loathing it. And the story of her greatest love. . . Oh my heart!
This was, by far, one of the best character-driven stories I’ve read this year. I already know it’ll be in my top 5 of 2017. TJR has created some of the most exciting, vibrant, and realistic characters you can imagine, and I can’t say it enough: you want to read this book!
Thank you to Booksparks for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.