Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places
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The year is 2017 and Evelyn Hugo is a reclusive 79-year-old film legend in Hollywood. Her publicist contacts people at Vivant magazine claiming she wants to give them an exclusive interview on the condition that they send one specific journalist to write the piece: Monique Grant. From the get go there are two questions, why is Evelyn requesting a feature story and more specifically why Monique?
When Monique reports for duty to write the feature story, Evelyn tells her that that was all pretense. She has no interest in doing any work with Vivant. Instead, Evelyn is ready to do a tell-all biography to include her life in Hollywood from the 50s through her retirement in the 80s with full disclosure on the ins and outs of all seven of her marriages. She tells Monique that she has heard her biography is worth twelve million dollars and all proceeds from the sale of the book-to-be would be Monique’s. Additionally, she promises that when her story ends, it will be easy to understand why now and why Monique.
And with that the reader is taken on a merry chase of Hollywood through the decades. Frankly, the story is oh-so-frivolous up until Monique asks Evelyn a key question: Who was the love of your life? The answer – fleshed out across decades – takes us to a more serious, even deadly side of that era in Hollywood.
A month before reading this book, I read another book by Taylor Jenkins Reid called Daisy Jones & The Six. That one was about a fictitious rock band in the 1970s that had a meteoric rise and then dramatic demise. After reading both books, I chuckled to myself and wondered if Taylor Jenkins Reid spent her teen years reading fan magazines and if her mother spent those years berating her about it and asking the question, “Where will it get you to read all this gossip?” If indeed that was the case, what it got her was the exact right tone to write such tales herself.
Both books are wonderful. But if you have time just for one, I’d go with Daisy.
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