This is the second book that I read from Taylor Jenkins Reid, after Daisy Jones and the Six.
What strikes me once more, is how REAL this story felt.
Like Daisy Jones I could imagine Evelyne Hugo, famous actress, having lived and confiding her life story to Monique. I could believe all the lies and choices Evelyne had to make in order to hide her true self and her true love, for the name of fame but also because that secret, at that time, could have been life threatening.
I could see Monique, with her recorder, going in Evelyne’s apartment in New York day after day for two weeks, till late sometimes to record that life story.
I could feel their battle of will at the beginning to have Monique get something from Evelyne, inspired by the very same Evelyne and the path she forged herself.
What I could not be was to be overwhelmed by emotions.
Taylor Jenkins Reid has an extremely precise and efficient writing but so far, she’s never swept me off my feet nor threw me into an emotional turmoil.
She’s impressed the hell of me yes, but she’s never made me FEEL.
That’s why this book won’t be a five or six stars for me. Because these are saved for books that drown me into emotions. But I don’t think either that Taylor will ever be less than 4,5 stars because her writing is just impressive and deadly.
What can I tell you more about this is not that I didn’t love it but that I’ve been amazed by it?
What can I add to everything that has been written on this book to avoid any redundancy?
Maybe that listening to this book made me realize how far we’ve come in accepting people that are different from us. We still have a very long way to go but our time, in Western countries, would have been so much better for Evelyne and her beloved ones.
Also, that Evelyne might have attained stardom, her goal as a young woman, by the end of her life she realized that she would give it all in a heartbeat. Family and love were far more important than social status and adulation. That’s a personal journey and one that many realize late in their life, when the illusion of the youth has disappeared, when life has given many beatings and you realize that the ones sticking with you are not your fans or your colleagues but they are your family.
This book asks many important questions.
What would you do to protect your family? What lies and deceit would you be ready to tell?
What are you ready to sacrifice for your career? Are you ready to sleep to get promoted or get that movie you want to passionately?
What excuses are you ready to invent to stay into a comfortable life, even if that life is only an illusion and that under the glamour, the truth is ugly?
And when you’ve been shunned by everyone, touched rock bottom, what would you do to bounce back? Where is the limit?
All these questions and more are addressed in this story in Taylor Jenkins no nonsense prose.
Is the hype deserved for that book? Yes. Because if I didn’t love it, if it did not speak to my feelings it did impress me. I can recognize genius when I see it.
Taylor Jenkins Reid is a force to be reckoned with, a formidable and outstanding writer. I have no doubt that one day her books will be classics.
Have you read that book? What did you think of it?
Thanks for reading.