I'm not usually one for this kind of book - anything that gets too real or hits me in the 'feels' is generally not my jam, but this was a fantastic story of one woman's life in Hollywood from the 50s to the 80s and her life and loves.
First of all, I loved the format. The flashback type narrative with the magazine/news articles thrown in for exposition was great.
Evelyn's character was fantastically complex - you both loved her and felt disgusted by her, sometimes at the very same time, for some of her choices and general personality. She was unapologetic and her no BS attitude was inspiring despite the fact that she's a purely fictional character. The varying reasons for her relationships, her struggles to pinpoint her faults within the ones that mattered, painted her as a very real, flawed human being. I found myself desperately hoping that she would end up with Celia in the end, hoping it wouldn't be a completely devastating ending. Her's and Celia's relationship was so well portrayed, from them being together in the 50s and 60s and the struggles that presented because of their sexuality, and the personal issues they had when it came to Celia accepting Evelyn's bisexuality and her inability to believe Evelyn's actions to be truthful and protective. The societal changes were well portrayed and I really felt for them in their struggles.
I loved Harry as a secondary character. He was beautiful character despite his devastating circumstances, and I had to try real hard not to straight up ball my eyes out in public when he died. I would've loved to have seen him be able to be out and find love after John, but alas, his unfortunate demise was so representative of the turbulence that is so many people's lives, especially those in the spotlight.
I did see the whole twist of Monique's father having been Harry's lover that had died, and I figured out Evelyn was going to take her own life based on the foreshadowing of Monique's right to die piece back at the start, but neither of those really made much of a dent in my perception of this book.
All in all, this felt like it could have been real, and it possibly is - a mish-mash of stories from celebrities past and present - and I loved it. You rooted for Evelyn - she was a well-written morally grey character who, at the heart of her, just wanted to try and do something right when it mattered.
Urgh, all right. Time to go listen to something a little less heavy. That said, 10/10, all the stars, highly recommended.
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