Published by Atria Books on June 13, 2017
Genres: contemporary, fiction, historical fiction, romance
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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.
Here is my glamorous Spotify playlist with some classic hits by the starlets of the time and some modern songs mixed in there as well!
Catfairy’s Starlet Thoughts
If I had to sum up my feelings after reading Evelyn Hugo, I would say that it completely destroyed me! I never thought I would have so much sympathy for a fictional character and after I finished reading about Evelyn Hugo’s life I just wanted to reach out and hug her. Although I know if I tried to hug her she would probably reach out and slap me for even showing an ounce of sympathy towards her!
Before Evelyn Hugo, she was born Evelyn Elena Herrera in 1938 and she is the daughter of Cuban immigrants. From a young age, Evelyn learned to fend for herself. She learned to fight and manipulate others through her bombshell looks to achieve ultimate stardom.
“And I didn’t say I was confessing any sins. To say that what I have to tell is a sin is misleading and hurtful. I don’t feel regret for the things I’ve done—at least not the things you might expect—despite how hard they may have been or how repugnant they may seem in the cold light of day.”
Evelyn Herrera became Mrs. Diaz and she began to climb her way up the ladder. She married a man involved in the movie industry named Ernie Diaz. Evelyn lived a mediocre existence as a waitress but had greater aspirations than anyone thought possible…
Once the Hollywood lights shined down on Evelyn she dropped her last name, divorced Ernie, and quickly became the iconic Evelyn Hugo. More than anything, Evelyn Hugo wanted to be the brightest star in Hollywood and she was going to claw her way to the top no matter what. She made no apologies for herself and always did what she had to do even if it meant hurting the people she loved.
Not only is her life chronicled through her rise to fame as a classic Hollywood actress, the gossip magazines also obsessively chronicled her love life. (Obvi the title speaks for itself.) Evelyn did, in fact, marry approximately seven times although some of these marriages take an unlikely turn. There is also a bi-sexual romance in the story that has a significant effect on Evelyn Hugo. Evelyn Hugo is a woman that really lived her life with reckless and wild abandon.
Now in 2017, Evelyn Hugo is a woman that has lived her life and she is ready to reveal a tell-all to a woman that is in the low totem pole when it comes to the journalism world. Monique is a bi-racial woman who is in the process of a divorce and is struggling with getting good stories. Evelyn Hugo gives her the opportunity of a lifetime and she pushes Monique to see her inner strength and talent she didn’t know she had. Although Evelyn has hired Monique to write her tell-all story there may be more to the story for Monique than she ever thought imaginable…
Meet Evelyn Hugo (Played by Eva Mendez)
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has to be a movie right now because Eva Mendez is perfect for this role! She is a talented Cuban-American actress who has done her fair share of major motion pictures! I couldn’t have picked a better actress for this role!
Meet Celia St. James (Played by Emma Stone)
Celia St. James is described as America’s Sweetheart who is described as a gifted actress. She is sweet, accessible, unassuming, and Emma Stone could play into this role perfectly!
Meet Harry (Played by Kevin Connolly)
I was so touched by the friendship between Evelyn and Harry! Kevin just has that old Hollywood Andy Rooney kind of appeal. I think that Kevin Connolly would capture the sentimentality between Harry and Evelyn’s relationship perfectly.
Meet Monique (Played by Princess Meghan)
Yes, guys, I went there! I mean I am all about Princess Megan these days and she fits the bill perfectly for Monique even thought summoning her out of Buckingham Palace to do movies probably wouldn’t happen! Oh well…a girl can dream…
Pop Culture Reference
I grew up watching Elizabeth Taylor and since this book is partly inspired by Elizabeth Taylor (And mostly Rita Hayworth) I couldn’t help but mention her. I was completely mesmerized by Elizabeth Taylor’s acting and her striking violet eye color! I remember watching Elizabeth Taylor movies every morning as a little girl and being captivated by her otherworldly beauty!
Which Dawson’s Creek character would read this book?
Andie McPhee would totally read this book! Even though, she is a type A student who is all about the books Andie has a fun side to her and seems like the type to completely fangirl all over this book!
Catfairy’s Final Thoughts…
I loved this book so much and it indulged all my guilty pleasures! Anything that has to do with celebrities, fame, glamour, love, and absolute drama is like crack for me! I couldn’t help but indulge in other guilty pleasure while reading this book like many glasses of wine and bags of chips! (My butt didn’t thank me for this.) It was just such a fun book to read but at the same time so gut wrenching and emotional! Frankly, this book just messed me up and gave me a huge book hangover when it was all over!
Being a Cuban-American, I love that the book has a MC with a Cuban background although I would have liked to have read more about her background. There were some hints of her heritage peppered throughout the book but she hid her background due to the fact that Hollywood was kind of racist at the time.
This is the kind of book that I will never forget about. I have to say this book left a profound effect on me. Mrs. Reid’s book made me realize the fragility of life and that we must live our lives now. This book taught me to hold the people that I love close and to never take them for granted because even though we all want to be successful in life it shouldn’t be in the expense of others.
Evelyn Hugo taught me that we must take chances in our lives and that we don’t get many chances to make a mark in this world.
Evelyn Hugo is more than Evelyn Hugo the starlet and the one that America worships in cinematic history. She is Evelyn Herrera. This is about a woman that literally grabbed life by the balls and made incredibly hard decisions. She hardly apologized for the choices that she made in her life and she has ne regrette…(No regrets)…