I am lost for words. In a good way. In an extremely good way.
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.
This is one of those few books which entrap and enrapture you so much that it’s hard to come out of them easily. That book which makes you think and feel so much that you feel like you need a break for grieving the end of such an amazing piece. For readers, trust me, this is a book you NEED to read at least once.
When I first read the title, I thought I was in for a gossipy romcom-y hollywood-y life novel. Something set in the glamour of the screens because why else would anyone have seven husbands? I was wrong. And I have never been happier of being wrong.
At this book’s heart is a stunning description of love in its truest forms and the sacrifices we make for love and how it is the foremost need in someone’s life instead of the popular belief being that all you is success. There is no joy in being successful if you don’t have someone to come back to each day and share your happiness and grief with.
I love how the book deals with a plethora of social issues and just common life problems and does justice in addressing them.
After reading the end of the book, I was reeling and my emotions were all over the place. One of those things where when you first read them, you go, “Wait wait, maybe I read wrong. If I read it again, it’ll be different” and it isn’t different and you can’t seem to handle the overflow of senses. I don’t think I have still made amends with the end. Honestly, I don’t think I ever will.
The heart, soul, mind and body of this book is Evelyn Hugo. Glamorous, unabashed, awful, inspiring and ruthless Evelyn. Trust me, it’s taking all in me to not squeal over text right now.
Its so rare that you get to meet a character so real and so complex. She’s neither black nor white but different shades of gray. She is unapologetic about her decisions and quite aptly says that even though some of her decisions were controversial, she doesn’t regret them. The idea of self is so imbibed in her and yet it isn’t narcissism. I am in love with her character.
Another character who shines, is Harry, in my opinion. A producer and yet compassionate and at his very core a true friend. He was always respectful and supportive and even more importantly, he accepted Evelyn exactly the way she was. Even when he grieved or faced an issue, he tried to solve it without hurting others in the process. Now, that is an admirable quality.
I couldn’t even dream of complaining about this. Taylor Jenkins has her writing down to a T. The charm practically oozes out of the pages. So much so that you’re enchanted and you flip the pages as if caught in a fever dream where nothing except that storyline actually matters. While serious issues are being discussed, the writing is breezy and witty. So instead of dumping knowledge and acceptance of those issues, you end up feeling them to your very core, just like you would if you were facing them. I am very sure Taylor, as an author will have her name etched in the pages of history.
“Don’t ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box. Don’t do that.”
“You do not know how fast you have been running, how hard you have been working, how truly exhausted you are, until somewhat stands behind you and says, “It’s OK, you can fall down now. I’ll catch you.”
“It’s always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly.”
“When you’re given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn’t give things, you take things.”
“No one is just a victim or a victor. Everyone is somewhere in between. People who go around casting themselves as one or the other are not only kidding themselves, but they’re also painfully unoriginal.”
– 4.5 stars: WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? GO READ IT RIGHT NOW!!
I’m sorry, I’m soooo late in posting this. 😅
Have you read this? Do you plan to? Tell me in the comments!
Have a good day!