Is there anything more fun than books about Hollywood? We don’t think so. The lights, the cameras, the broken dreams – it’s all just so juicy and scandalous. Which is why we’re currently obsessed with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, the latest buzzed-about novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Juggling several different time periods (and husbands), it’s a novel that Buzzfeed called “full of old Hollywood glamour.”
Sign. Us. Up.
Seven Husbands is about Evelyn Hugo, an aging actress who’s looking for a writer to help her finally tell her life’s story. To everyone’s surprise, she chooses Monique Grant to help her, a relatively unknown writer who’s trying to deal with a failed marriage and a dead-end career. Soon, she’s in Evelyn’s apartment and listening as the actress shares her stories, her scandals, and the men involved in all of them. The novel moves between Evelyn’s experiences and Monique’s narrative, weaving together the two women’s lives in ways that might shock you by the end. But the best part of the book is definitely the story of Evelyn’s life, her many husbands, and the stars, gossip and scandals that made up her Hollywood world. By the end you’ll be wondering if fame is ever worth the price – though it’s certainly an entertaining ride along the way.
After reading Seven Husbands, we started clamoring for even more books about old Hollywood. Luckily, we found some truly awesome ones. Inspired by Seven Husbands, here are four more stories that will transport you back into the Golden Age of Hollywood.
The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Amanda Quick (Berkley, May 9, 2017)
Quick is a historical romance powerhouse, and The Girl Who Knows Too Much is no exception. Set in the 1930s at the glamorous and star-studded Burning Cove Hotel, it tells the story of Irene Glasson, a plucky reporter who’s following a lead – one that leads her straight to a dead body. It turns out the dead body had a lot of secrets, especially about leading man Nick Tremayne. Now, along with Oliver Ward, hotel owner and former magician, Irene must uncover the root of those secrets before she meets a similar fate.
Woman: Enters Left, Jessica Brockmole (Ballantine Books, August 8, 2017)
Told in two different storylines, Woman: Enters Left, is a novel about ambition, dreams and what it means to truly succeed. In the 1950s, Louise Wilde is a successful actress who’s looking for more out of life. In the 1920s, Florrie Daniels and her friend Ethel set out on a road trip toward Hollywood that will change their lives forever. When Louise unexpectedly inherits Florrie’s possessions 30 years later, she’s shocked to find photos of her mother, Ethel, among them. Now she’s on a journey of her own, trying to figure out how Florrie and her mother were connected, as well as trying to discover her true place in the world.
Bette & Joan: The Divine Feud, Shaun Considine (Graymalkin Media, March 27, 2017)
This classically salacious tale was originally published in 1989, but it was reprinted this March for a younger audience – which coincided with the FX show based on the story, FEUD: Bette and Joan. Let’s just say there’s a reason that people are so obsessed with the bitter fighting between What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? stars Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. In this tell-all book, Considine dives deep into each actresses’ history, their lives in Hollywood, and their off-screen feud that became almost as famous as their on-screen work. After interviewing both Crawford and Davis firsthand, Considine certainly did his homework. Juicy and exciting, this book will make you feel like a fly-on-the-wall of a classic old Hollywood rivalry.
Cast the First Stone, James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street Books, June 6, 2017)
Set in the 1960s, Cast the First Stone is the fifth novel in the Ellie Stone mystery series. This time, reporter Ellie is headed for Hollywood in order to profile Tony Eberle, a newbie actor who’s about to make it big. But when Tony goes missing – and his producer’s dead body is discovered – Ellie is on the case. Soon she’s wrapped up in the world of ’60s Hollywood, navigating movie stars, groupies, and anyone who might want to murder a famous producer. It’s going to take every tool in her wheelhouse in order to find the missing Tony and crack the case for good.