Favourite Quotes: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Welcome to my post, today I’m bringing back the favourite quotes series, this time for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo! I loved so much about this book and I wanted to share a few moments and explain why they stuck with me. Warning for spoilers!

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People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is “You’re safe with me”—that’s intimacy. And by those standards, that moment with Celia was the most intimate one I’d ever had with anyone.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo gave a lot of nuanced discussion about relationships, including friendships, and I just really liked this distinction between physical and emotional intimacy. I think this idea of the truth encapsulates a lot of the book too, because the whole story is about Evelyn sharing her ‘true self’ and being determined to show the good and the ugly sides of her life and relationships.

“Haven’t you been listening to a single thing I’ve told you? I loved Celia, but I also, before her, loved Don. In fact, I’m positive that if Don hadn’t turned out to be a spectacular asshole, I probably never would have been capable of falling in love with someone else at all. I’m bisexual. Don’t ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box, Monique. Don’t do that.”

Tell her Evelyn! The idea that bisexuals are suddenly straight in an opposite sex relationship and gay in a same sex relationship is a major misconception and I loved that we had a moment dismantling it. I haven’t seen much bisexual rep in books so this book means a lot to me for that reason.

You imagine a world where the two of you can go out to dinner together on a Saturday night and no one thinks twice about it. It makes you want to cry, the simplicity of it, the smallness of it. You have worked so hard for a life so grand. And now all you want are the smallest freedoms. The daily peace of loving plainly.

This contrast between Evelyn’s ruthless determination for fame and Hollywood only, to suddenly realising what she can no longer have because of it is so sad. The only thing I wanted was happiness for Evelyn and Celia, and although we do get moments of it, their constant struggle against society and the media was heart-breaking. Of course I expected it from the time period but reading about it in a book adds a human element to it that you can’t get from studying history by itself, and that’s what I love about historical fiction!

It’s always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly.

If you’re looking for morally grey characters, then The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is the way to go because no character is depicted as wholly good or bad, and the same goes for all of Evelyn’s relationships.

I nodded. “I think being yourself—your true, entire self—is always going to feel like you’re swimming upstream.” “Yeah,” she said. “But if the last few years with you have been any indication, I think it also feels like taking your bra off at the end of the day.” I laughed. “I love you,” I said. “Don’t ever leave me.” But when she said, “I love you, too. I never will,” we both knew she was making a promise she couldn’t keep.

Again, we have the theme of truth and what it means to be your true self. It was soon after this moment that I began to start bawling my eyes out over Evelyn’s story because it felt so intimate and real. I was utterly invested in the characters and only wanted the best for them but when does that ever happen?!

Thanks for reading! What did you think about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and did you like any of these quotes in particular?


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