This book was a fun behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood during its heyday but it didn’t wow me. I compared the aging star Evelyn Hugo to Marilyn Monroe (leaving her family behind and the first marriage) and Elizabeth Taylor (some of the subsequent marriages).

The twist that Hugo’s true love was a fellow female star, was supposed to be shocking, but really wasn’t. I was glad to see some LGBTQ+ representation in the novel, but her relationship with fellow actress and lover Celia St. James never rang true, and the pettiness they each exhibited took the bloom off the rose for me. Plus, the entire premise of why Hugo choose the young journalist to tell her memoirs to was ridiculous and far-fetched. That Hugo was an unreliable narrator and outlived anyone in her recollections to discredit what she said about them, makes her story suspicious. In addition, she was unlikable although I admired her moxie. I heard a Netflix movie will be made based on this book, and I will definitely watch it!

This was the beginning of a quartet of books by the author that would each feature a strong woman and that would all interconnect with one another as the decades passed, and I will post the remaining ones in the weeks ahead.