Ahoy there mateys! For those new to me crew, this be a category for those novels whose stories of acquisition be strange and unusual – like the time someone commandeered me 12 pages! There be a tale to tell on how I got me grubby mitts on this one . . .
Ye see I finally settled in to read what I believed to be a fantasy book. I didn’t remember the cover and didn’t want to spoil things by rereading the blurb so I picked it up because of the title. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to the seven husbands. But after a little bit of readin’ I was waiting for the time-travel. Where was it? Turns out I was reading the wrong book!
Instead of a murder mystery with fantasy-type time travel, I got a wonderful historical fiction about the golden age of Hollywood with a LGBT twist! Apparently, what I meant to read was a book called the seven deaths of evelyn hardcastle. Similar titles, hence the confusion. While for a brief time I was confused by the lack of fantasy, I quickly mentally shrugged and became completely enthralled by the story I was reading.
Turns out the book I did read was the story of Evelyn Hugo, a movie star, who spent most of her life in the glare of the spotlight where every portion of her life was fodder for the press and fans. However in mid-life, Evelyn abruptly gives up Hollywood. Everyone wants to know why. In the present, a writer named Monique, is working her way up the ladder in journalism. So when Evelyn Hugo requests this little-known writer to write her tell-all biography about what really occurred in those relationships with the seven husbands and why she departed from fame, everyone is surprised. Especially Monique. Why did Evelyn pick her and what are the secrets she has been hiding?
I found Evelyn’s story to be fascinating. I loved the take on old Hollywood and the studio system. I loved Evelyn’s mix of audacity and cunning. I felt like I was reading about a combination of some of the Hollywood greats like Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and Rita Hayworth mixed together with someone like Meryl Streep. I loved the difference between the “truth” of the papers and what actually happened. It wasn’t a murder mystery but I was desperately turning pages to find out what happened next in both Evelyn’s past and Monique’s future.
The only major flaw for me was the twist involving why Evelyn picked Monique. I thought it was lame and it weirdly made me angry (for the wrong reasons). I could have done without. While I will still read about Evelyn Hardcastle in the future, I am so very very glad I made the mistake of picking up this book. I recommend that me crew picks this one up too. Savvy?
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
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.
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Me Previous Curiosities of the Deep:
Patrick, Den – the boy with the porcelain blade – Post One (Fantasy)
Patrick, Den – the boy with the porcelain blade – Post Two (Fantasy)
Parr, M.J.R. – kings of the wilderness – the 700th arc book one (Sci-Fi)
Auxier, Jonathan – the night gardener (Young Adult Fantasy)
Boroson, M.H. – ride a mule (Young Adult Fantasy)