Are all marriages for love?
Monique Grant is on cloud 9 when she is assigned to interview Evelyn Hugo, one of the most-sought Hollywood actress and philanthropist, who is now reclusive. An interview for Vivant magazine is scheduled as to cover the most-talked about auction for Evelyn’s legendary dresses. On meeting the glamourous superstar, Monique is rather asked to pen down her autobiographical book. After much ado, she finally succumbs to the request. The interview opens portals to unchartered roads down Evelyn’s memory lane.
Evelyn makes unabashed confessions – all her career decisions which led to controversies. She uses her body and her wits as an asset ; sometimes she takes advantage; at times, she is the victim. She builds her career on industry’s sexism – knows the exact tipping point which will hold audience’s attention. Her seven marriages are all results of her decisions – few are her own decisions, few, she chooses to capitalize on situation best suited for her interests. The string of husbands are all different characters. I personally felt sorry for Ernie. She used him to get to Hollywood and her eventual first break. Most adorable relationship is of course, with Harry. Its him that she truly loves her partner and friend. The last marriage with Robert is more of a financial deal than a marriage.
The story transcends to highlight that there is no shame in finding happiness for one own self. The pivotal flaw in human nature is to out oneself before other’s happiness is well depicted in the story. The bane of being beautiful is often clubbed with terms like “attention-seeker”, “gold-digger” and “dumb princess”. Evelyn tries her best to convey to Monique in absolute candor – the reasons for her actions. She has committed mistakes and she owes up to it unflinchingly. She unveils her true self by unmasking the “celebrity” glamour face. She conceals her true feelings for sake of her career as well as her true but forbidden love, Celia.
Taylor Jenkins Reid ends her book on poignant notes on self-reminiscence of Evelyn Hugo and Monique Grant. The book leaves you wanting for introspection of self-worth, owning up flaws as part of imperfection. It questions the dual life most of us live – One which tries to please society, one which is our true self. It emanates a glow which warms up the heart of the readers. If I could, probably I would make everyone read this book. Its a heavy read and once you pick it up, be ready for journey of Evelyn Hugo’s life.
Cheers to Reading!