About this book…
2018 Audie Award Finalist for Multi-Voiced Performance
From Taylor Jenkins Reid, “a genius when it comes to stories about life and love” (Redbook), comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’ relentless rise to the top – the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.
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 jump-start 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.
Written with Reid’s signature talent for “creating complex, likable characters” (Real Simple), 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.
This has to be up there with the best audiobooks that I have EVER listened to and one of the best storylines I have ever had the pleasure of immersing myself in. It was a sumptuous journey that has left me in a kind of post-book stupor wondering how on earth anything is ever going to live up to the experience I have just lived in alongside a character that I will never forget. Evelyn Hugo became such a presence in my life as I listened to this that I came away wanting to watch all her old films-yes, she felt that real to me. The narrators also took this book to another level for me as it’s one of the most well read and acted audiobooks I’ve listened to in a long time-they BECAME their characters in true Hollywood style, slipping on their personas like a vintage gown and wearing them with a confident and timeless glamour to bring them alive again. I won’t go into the details of the plot as I think going into this one blind (like I did after reading a brilliant recommendation by Tracy Fenton) is a fantastic way to keep yourself from second guessing throughout the narrative. There were some surprising twists and a few shockers towards the end that I hadn’t seen coming but it was the life of this flawed, iconic movie star that kept me gripped throughout. Taylor Jenkins Reid created a legend who will remain in my head for sometime to come and I miss her terribly already.
This is my favourite audiobook of the year-I loved it!
Meet the author…
Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and her dog, Rabbit. You can follow her on Twitter @TJenkinsReid.