10. Evelyn offers some firm words of wisdom throughout her recounting of her life, such as “Be wary of men with something to prove” (p. 77), “Never let anyone make you feel ordinary” (p. 208), and “It is OK to grovel for something you really want” (p.192). What is your favorite piece of advice from Evelyn? Were there any assertions you strongly disagreed with?
11. Several times, Evelyn mentions having cosmetic surgery. What was your reaction to this? How do these decisions jibe with the value system and ethical code that she seems to live by? Why do you think Evelyn continues to dye her hair at the end of her life?
12. Review the scenes on pages 199 and 348, in which Evelyn relays memories of conversing in Spanish after years without speaking it. Discuss the role language plays in her understanding of who she is. In what ways does her relationship to her Cuban identity parallel her experiences with her sexuality, and in what ways does it differ?
13. If you could meet and interview one celebrity at the end of their life, who would it be? What would you ask them?
Enhance Your Book Club
1. In the book, Evelyn Hugo starred in her first movie in 1956. Consider hosting a classic Hollywood movie night for your group, watching films from that year with similarly iconic stars, such as Grace Kelly in High Society or Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop. For added fun, have everyone dress up in their best Evelyn Hugo–emerald green outfits.
2. Monique Grant impresses both her boss and Evelyn with her article on the right-to-die movement. For an in-depth look at this controversial topic, consider reading Wild and Precious Life by Deborah Ziegler with your book club. This memoir chronicles a mother’s last year with her child, Brittany Maynard, who captured national attention with her vlog about deciding to end her life after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
3. Taylor Jenkins Reid is the author of four other novels: One True Loves, Maybe in Another Life, After I Do, and Forever, Interrupted. Pick one to read as a group and compare it with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. What are the messages about love in this other book, and how do they align or contrast with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo?