80+ Evelyn Hugo Quotes That Will Inspire You (+ page numbers)

by Theja Pk
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Last updated on May 25th, 2024

If you’re here, you’ve either highlighted the heck out of this novel and want a one-stop shop for all the best Evelyn Hugo quotes, or you want to see what all the fuss is about. Either way, I’ve got you covered.

If you haven’t read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by TJR, it’s an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look into the glitz and glamour of Old Hollywood and the unapologetic grit it takes to climb to the top.

Loosely based on several iconic actresses such as Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, it’s a phenomenal story about the price of fame and the flaws of the human condition.

This book is an absolute masterpiece filled with so much wisdom and inspiration that celebrates Taylor Jenkins Reid’s sensational writing and Evelyn Hugo’s raw, unapologetic honesty.

Enjoy and comment below on which ones are your favorite!

Quotes about Love & Relationships

  • There are people who see a beautiful flower and rush over to pick it. They want to hold it in their hands, they want to own it. They want the flower’s beauty to be theirs, to be within their possession, their control. Don wasn’t like that. At least, not at first. Don was happy to be near the flower, to look at the flower, to appreciate the flower simply being. Here’s the thing about marrying a guy like that—a guy like Don Adler back then. You’re saying to him, “This beautiful thing you’ve been happy to simply appreciate, well, now it’s yours to own.” (page 62)
  • “Why are we friends?” I asked her. “Honestly? I don’t even remember,” she said. “Because our whole is greater than the sum of our parts.” (page 115)
  • I love you too much to let you live only for me. (page 171)

Be wary of men with something to prove. (page 76)

  • Intimacy is impossible without trust. (page 65)
  • Don may have taught me that I was capable of loving someone and desiring him. But he also taught me that you could desire someone even when you don’t like him, that you can desire someone especially when you don’t like him. I believe today they call it hate-fucking. But it’s a crude name for something that is a very human, sensual experience. (page 111)

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. (page 111)

  • Women who collected rare jewels seemed exactly the same as men who were desperate to have just one night with me. The world was about objects to them; all they wanted to do was possess. (page 119)
  • Heartbreak is loss. Divorce is a piece of paper. (page 140)
  • If you are intolerable, let me be the one to tolerate you. (page 152)
  • My Dearest CeCe, Please never forget that the sun rises and sets with your smile. At least to me it does. You’re the only thing on this planet worth worshipping. (page 157)

You do not know how fast you have been running, how hard you have been working, how truly exhausted you are, until someone stands behind you and says, “It’s OK, you can fall down now. I’ll catch you.” (page 190)

  • 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. (page 176)
  • “I loved you so much that I thought you were the meaning of my life,” Celia said, crying. “I thought that people were put on earth to find other people, and I was put here to find you. To find you and touch your skin and smell your breath and hear all your thoughts. But I don’t think that’s true anymore.” She wiped her eyes. “Because I don’t want to be meant for someone like you.” (page 188)

You do not know how fast you have been running, how hard you have been working, how truly exhausted you are, until someone stands behind you and says, “It’s OK, you can fall down now. I’ll catch you.” (page 190)

  • I regret every second I didn’t spend with her. I regret every stupid thing I did that caused her an ounce of pain. I should have chased her down the street the day she left me. I should have begged her to stay. I should have apologized and sent roses and stood on top of the Hollywood sign and shouted, ‘I’m in love with Celia St. James!’ and let them crucify me for it. That’s what I should have done. And now that I don’t have her, and I have more money than I could ever use in this lifetime, and my name is cemented in Hollywood history, and I know how hollow it is, I am kicking myself for every single second I chose it over loving her proudly. But that’s a luxury. You can do that when you’re rich and famous. You can decide that wealth and renown are worthless when you have them. (page 191)
  • There was always something intoxicating about the way Celia looked at me. I felt like a rare steak in front of a tiger. (page 228)

You do not know how fast you have been running, how hard you have been working, how truly exhausted you are, until someone stands behind you and says, “It’s OK, you can fall down now. I’ll catch you.” (page 190)

  • She was always jealous of the men, worried she couldn’t compete. I was jealous of the women, worried I wouldn’t compare. (page 229)
  • “You love me so much you can’t see straight?” “I love you so much that when I sometimes get a look at all the crazy fan mail you get, I think, Well, sure, that makes sense. I want to collect her eyelashes, too.” (page 244)
  • 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. (page 251)

It was a death by a thousand cuts. I hurt her with these tiny scratches, day after day. And then I got surprised when it left a wound too big to heal. (page 270)

  • “Relationships are complex,” Evelyn says. “People are messy, and love can be ugly. I’m inclined to always err on the side of compassion.” (page 253)
  • I can’t speak for all people who have been hit by someone they love, but what I can tell you is that forgiveness is different from absolution. (page 253)
  • “All I’ve ever wanted was for you to be truly mine. But you’ve never been mine. Not really. I’ve always had to settle for one piece of you. While the world gets the other half. I don’t blame you. It doesn’t make me stop loving you. But I can’t do it. I can’t do it, Evelyn. I can’t live with my heart half-broken all the time.” (page 267)
  • “Evelyn, you are not capable of giving it up. And you never will be. And it will be the tragedy of my life that I cannot love you enough to make you mine. That you cannot be loved enough to be anyone’s.” (page 268)

“She always made sure the bad was outweighed by so much good. I… well, I didn’t do that for her. I made it fifty-fifty. Which is about the cruelest thing you can do to someone you love, give them just enough good to make them stick through a hell of a lot of bad. (page 271)

  • When Celia said she couldn’t have all of me, it was because I was selfish and because I was scared of losing everything I had. Not because I had two sides of me that one person could never fulfill. (page 271)
  • Some marriages aren’t really that great. Some loves aren’t all-encompassing. Sometimes you separate because you weren’t that good together to begin with. Sometimes divorce isn’t an earth-shattering loss. Sometimes it’s just two people waking up out of a fog. (page 285)
  • The way he said it, I realized he had slept with people outside our marriage, and I wondered if any woman was ever really safe from men like Max and Don. I thought of how many women out there thought they could prevent their husbands from cheating if only they were as gorgeous as Evelyn Hugo. But it never stopped any man I loved. (page 305)

When you dig just the tiniest bit beneath the surface, everyone’s love life is original and interesting and nuanced and defies any easy definition. (page 380)

  • “Why should my low tolerance be your problem?” “I want everything about you to be my problem,” I said. (page 310)
  • Maybe Robert merely stumbled into something that worked for him, unsure what he wanted until he had it. Some people are lucky like that. Me, I’ve always gone after what I wanted with everything in me. Others fall into happiness. Sometimes I wish I was like them. I’m sure sometimes they wish they were like me. (page 334)

Quotes about Sex & Sexual Identity

  • If the definition of enjoying sex means that it is pleasurable, then I’ve had a lot of sex that I didn’t enjoy. But if we’re defining it as being happy to have made the trade, then, well, I haven’t had much I hated. (page 49)
  • “There’s a difference between sexuality and sex. I used sex to get what I wanted. Sex is just an act. Sexuality is a sincere expression of desire and pleasure. That I always kept for Celia.” (page 271)
  • “Being bisexual didn’t make me disloyal,” Evelyn says. “One has nothing to do with the other. Nor did it mean that Celia could only fulfill half my needs.” (page 272)

Quotes about Life

  • The world respects people who think they should be running it. (page 8)
  • You can be sorry about something and not regret it. (page 26)
  • So do yourself a favor and learn how to grab life by the balls, dear. Don’t be so tied up trying to do the right thing when the smart thing is so painfully clear. (page 29)

Charisma is charm that inspires devotion. (page 20)

  • You have to do that, too, Monique. When you’re older. You have to find a job that makes your heart feel big instead of one that makes it feel small. (page 88)
  • Sometimes reality comes crashing down on you. Other times reality simply waits, patiently, for you to run out of the energy it takes to deny it. (page 133)

When you’re given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn’t give things, you take things. (page 35)

  • You know the key to impulsivity is believing you are invincible. No one goes around throwing caution to the wind unless the wind is blowing their way. (page 175)
  • And of course, that’s the easiest lie to tell, one you know the other person desperately wants to be true. (page 184)
  • You can’t tell a single thing about a person’s true character if you both want the same thing. That’s like a dog and a cat getting along because they both want to kill the mouse. (page 209)

Never let anyone make you feel ordinary. (page 207)

  • But accepting that something is true isn’t the same as thinking that it is just. (page 237)
  • It was a problem. But it was a solvable problem, and solvable problems aren’t really problems, are they? (page 251)
  • Guilt is a feeling I’ve never made much peace with. I find that when it rears its head, it brings an army. When I feel guilty for one thing, I start to see all the other things I should feel guilty for. (page 264)

I’d rather survive it than never feel it. (page 315)

  • You have to throw yourself at the mercy of the things you truly want. (page 267)
  • You don’t have to make yourself OK for a good mother; a good mother makes herself OK for you. (page 378)
  • No one is just a victim or a victor. Everyone is somewhere in between. People who go around casting themselves as one or the other are not only kidding themselves, but they’re also painfully unoriginal. (page 366)

“Nobody deserves anything,” Evelyn says. “It’s simply a matter of who’s willing to go and take it for themselves. (page 366)

  • No one is all good or all bad. (page 366)
  • Everyone sort of assumes that when faced with life-and-death situations, you will panic. But almost everyone who’s actually experienced something like that will tell you that panic is a luxury you cannot afford. In the moment, you act without thinking, doing all you can with the information you have. It’s when it’s over that you scream. And cry. And wonder how you got through it. Because most likely, in the case of real trauma, your brain isn’t great at making memories. It’s almost as if the camera is on but no one’s recording. So afterward, you go to review the tape, and it’s all but blank. (page 326)

Quotes about Self-Worth & Confidence

  • If I want things to change, I have to change how I do things. (page 7)
  • I have compassion for myself. I trust myself. Take, for instance, when I snapped at you earlier, back at the apartment, when you said what you did about my confessing sins. It wasn’t a nice thing to do, and I’m not sure you deserved it. But I don’t regret it. Because I know I had my reasons, and I did the best I could with every thought and feeling that led up to it. (page 25)

Don’t ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box. (page 123)

  • Harry was one of the only men on the lot who didn’t stare directly at my chest. It actually bothered me, as if I’d been doing something wrong to not get his attention. It just goes to show that if you tell a woman her only skill is to be desirable, she will believe you. (page 47)
  • I was being designed to be two opposing things, a complicated image that was hard to dissect but easy to grab onto. I was supposed to be both naive and erotic. It was as if I was too wholesome to understand the unwholesome thoughts you were having about me. (page 50)

I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and could see, in no uncertain terms, that I was beautiful. But it didn’t mean anyone loved me. (page 205)

  • And taking pride in your beauty is a damning act. Because you allow yourself to believe that the only thing notable about yourself is something with a very short shelf life. (page 239)
  • You have to be willing to deny your heritage, to commodify your body, to lie to good people, to sacrifice who you love in the name of what people would think, and to choose the false version of yourself time and time again, until your forget who you started out as or why you started doing it to begin with. (page 326)

I think being yourself—your true, entire self—is always going to feel like you’re swimming upstream. (page 345)

  • Men were almost never with me for my personality. I’m not suggesting that charming girls should take pity on the pretty ones. I’m just saying it’s not so great being loved for something you didn’t do. (page 116)
  • Why, until this moment, did I not realize that the issue is my own confidence? That the root of most of my problems is that I need to be secure enough in who I am to tell anyone who doesn’t like it to go fuck themselves? Why have I spent so long settling for less when I know damn well the world expects more? (page 284)

Quotes about Fame & Power

  • Isn’t that the very definition of power? Watching people kill themselves over something that means nothing to you? (page 28)
  • “I’m Evelyn.” She reaches out and takes my hand, shaking it. It strikes me as a unique form of power to say your own name when you know that everyone in the room, everyone in the world, already knows it. (page 20)
  • Here’s the thing about Hollywood. It’s both a place and a feeling. If you run there, you can run toward Southern California, where the sun always shines and the grimy buildings and dirty sidewalks are replaced by palm trees and orange groves. But you also run toward the way life is portrayed in the movies. You run toward a world that is moral and just, where the good guys win and the bad guys lose, where the pain you face is only in an effort to make you stronger, so that you can win that much bigger in the end. (page 44)

Life doesn’t get easier simply because it gets more glamorous. (page 44)

  • Sometimes I think the difference between an actress and a star is that the star feels comfortable being the very thing the world wants her to be. (page 50)
  • This is something that everyone should know about stars. We like to be told we are adored, and we want you to repeat yourself. Later in my life, people would always come up to me and say, “I’m sure you don’t want to hear me blabbering on about how great you are,” and I always say, as if I’m joking, “Oh, one more time won’t hurt.” But the truth is, praise is just like an addiction. The more you get it, the more of it you need just to stay even. (page 82)

You wonder what it must be like to be a man, to be so confident that the final say is yours. (page 180)

  • “Do you know the difference between the two of us?” “There are a lot of differences between the two of us.” “Do you know the one in particular I’m talking about?” I said. “What is it?” “That I know I use people. I’m fine with the idea of using people. And all of that energy that you spend trying to convince yourself that you’re not using people I spend getting better at it.” (page 94)
  • “Isn’t it awfully convenient,” Harry added, “that when men make the rules, the one thing that’s looked down on the most is the one thing that would bear them the greatest threat? Imagine if every single woman on the planet wanted something in exchange when she gave up her body. You’d all be ruling the place. An armed populace.” (page 189)

You wonder what it must be like to be a man, to be so confident that the final say is yours. (page 180)

  • You should know this about the rich: they always want to get richer. It is never boring, getting your hands on more money. (page 204)
  • You’re not really famous if anybody still likes you. (page 217)
  • I look back on it now, and I wonder where I got off, throwing money around so casually, as if the fact that it came easily to me meant I had no responsibility to value it. (page 241)
  • “Remember, honey, I’m new money.” Celia laughed as she poured our drinks. “I’ve either not been able to afford it or have been so rich someone would do it for me. Never anywhere in between.” (page 105)
  • There, in the trees, were two paparazzi taking my photo. I was neither angry nor flattered. I simply didn’t care. It cost so much, caring. I didn’t have any currency to spend on it. (page 353)

Quotes about Evelyn Hugo

  • Film historian Charles Redding once said that Evelyn’s face felt “inevitable. So exquisite, so nearly perfect, that when looking at her, you get the sense that her features, in that combination, in that ratio, were bound to happen sooner or later.” (page 15)
  • We turn toward the restaurant, walking the two steps down to the door. Evelyn sits at a table in the back. No host guided her here. She just knows where to go and assumes everyone else will catch up. (page 24)

Evelyn always leaves you hoping you’ll get just a little bit more. And she always denies you. (page 15)

  • You know damn well what you are. How you affect the people around you. I’d kill for a chest like that and full lips like yours. You make people think of undressing you just by showing up in a room fully clothed. (page 108)
  • I hate Evelyn, but I think I like her very much. I wish she had never existed, and yet I can’t help but admire her a great deal. (page 375)

If you enjoyed this quote collection, check out the top quotes from Taylor Jenkins Reid’s other bestsellers, Daisy Jones & the Six and Malibu Rising.

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