Book review | Devanshi Nigotiya

Insta: @ambivert_reader


Originally Published ~ 13th June 2017

Page Count ~ 400

Publisher ~ Atria Publishing Group

Genre ~ Historical Fiction, LGBT Literature.

Nominations ~ The Globe and Mail called it "a cinematic tale with hardscrabble roots,

staggering highs and sickening lows."

Goodreads Choice Awards Best Historical Fiction

Audie Award for Multi-voiced Performance

Finalist for Book of the Month's Book of the Year award in 2017.

BLURB: (According to Goodreads) Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life.

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—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.


I wanted to mourn over the book and the characters, well, not all of them but few which include: Monique Grant, Evelyn Hugo, and Celia St. James and Harry Connor.

Especially over Evelyn Hugo for whatever she went through, for all those things she did for her loved ones and yes she did know that she is not a good person (for me she was an amazing person) but she was still ready to do anything for them.


This book was not at all how I expected it to be!

It seems like yesterday when my friend and I were making a little fun about having seven husbands and how life of Evelyn might me.

There were times when I thought the book is little long, slow paced and it’s taking time but well, I loved it anyways. The book only got interesting as I was going on. I didn’t feel like stopping at all.

This is the book which broke me, broke my heart, touched me in a way no book has, bought me to near tears and should I say taught me so much as well.

I never thought the book would be about a heroine who would suffer so much, who would go to such extent just for those whom she loves without caring about hurting others because that’s the only thing that could help them live.

From getting married to someone for fame, to being in an abusive marriage, and also getting married to a gay being bisexual herself so that people don’t get suspicious. Evelyn has set an example for so many of us that what does matter is doing the right thing for our loved ones even if others consider it wrong. The reason for the same is that you can live your life without other things probably but not without your loved ones. You’ll always regret the time you wasted instead of actually spending time with them.

I liked Evelyn’s relationship with Celia and Harry the most. Celia the love of her life and Harry their best friend. What she would have not done to spend time with them. But life isn’t always fair now, is it?

The references about all the movies and the description of the characters made me feel as if it was so real. It was as if I was living that life.

Monique was the one who had the opportunity to write Evelyn Hugo’s biography/memoir.

I had so many questions regarding this, why was it Monique? What was Evelyn’s relation with Monique? And so many more, but at the end of the book it all made sense, and when it did, it broke me again.

The ending of the book was so abrupt for me, I didn’t want it to end, but it had to end and I took 1 day to mourn over this. This book has a special place in my heart and will be with me forever.


Charisma is “charm that inspires devotion.”

“You can be sorry about something and not regret it.”

“Life doesn’t get easier simply because it gets more glamorous.”

“So how can I condemn the fourteen year old girl who did whatever she could to get herself out of town? And how can I judge the eighteen year old who got herself out of the marriage once it was safe to do so?”

“Be wary of men with something to prove.”

“Praise is just like an addiction. The more you get it, the more of it you need just to stay even.”

“Intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is, ”your safe with me” – that’s intimacy.”

“You are my muse. And I am your conductor. I am the person who brings out your greatest work.”

Heartbreak is loss. Divorce is a piece of paper.”

“I wasn’t heartbroken when Don left me. I simply felt like my marriage had failed. And those are very different things.”