Chapter 13 

When Evelyn’s maid Paula comes to clean the bedroom, Evelyn asks her to leave and tells her she’s in a hurry to get ready. But in truth, Evelyn doesn’t want Paula to see the bruises she has on her ribs from Don pushing her down the stairs. Paula leaves but bursts back in as Evelyn is changing and sees her bruises. Evelyn wonders why Paula doesn’t tell the press that Don abuses her.  

On the set of Little Women, Evelyn and Ruby are still jealous of Celia, who seems to have no idea she is disliked. Celia says she’s scared of filming and feels like she has no idea what she’s doing. Evelyn accuses her of being fake, and this hurts Celia’s feelings. After their conversation, Evelyn decides she likes Celia. 

Chapter 14 

Monique and Evelyn end their interview for the day, and Monique reveals that she still hasn’t told Frankie that they aren’t doing the interview for Vivant. At home, Monique receives a package of photographs that her late father took when he worked in Hollywood as a still photographer on movie sets. As she looks through the photographs, Monique remembers her father giving her advice before he died and making her promise to find work that she truly loved. Monique describes how, after a process of trial and error, she discovered journalism, a profession she loves the way her father loved photography. She finds a photograph of her parents and her when she was little. She remembers feeling like an outsider most of her life, not fully Black like her father nor white like her mother. But looking at the photo, she feels like she belonged to them.  

Chapter 15 

Evelyn and Celia hang out together for the first time. Celia suggests that they go to a restaurant where they’ll be photographed together, and Evelyn takes offense. She says she feels used. Celia denies it and insists she just wants to get to know Evelyn. Evelyn directs Celia to another restaurant where they won’t encounter any paparazzi. The waiter recognizes Evelyn, and she jokingly pretends she is not the famous Evelyn Hugo. Evelyn says that she is fine with the fact that she uses people and tells Celia that if she’s going to use people, she should be good at it. Celia says that she thinks Evelyn is awful, but she likes Evelyn’s honesty and how forthright she is about what she wants. Celia suggests that instead of competing they should help each other out. Celia will help Evelyn be a better actor, and Evelyn will share her star power by being seen in public with Celia. They agree to be friends. 

Cold, Cold Evelyn 

This 1959 article in Sub Rosa says that Evelyn refuses to have children with Don and that Don is crestfallen about it. It criticizes Evelyn for choosing her career over starting a family. The article also mentions that Evelyn is messy and mean to the help. 

Chapter 16 

Evelyn, Celia, and Harry discuss the Sub Rosa article and how bad it is for Evelyn’s career. Evelyn realizes that her maid Paula is the one who leaked the story to the press. Evelyn comes up with a plan to fake a series of miscarriages in order to shift the public’s sympathy back toward her. She has her doctor call the house, play acts a conversation with him, and weeps loudly so that Paula overhears. Don fires Paula after she overhears the phone call, thus ensuring that she goes to the press with the gossip.  

Meanwhile, Celia and Evelyn have been spending more time together. They are becoming closer and closer. Celia’s been helping Evelyn improve her acting, and they are both said to be shoo-ins for Oscars after their performances in Little Women

Bless Don and Evelyn! They Need It! 

It’s clear Evelyn’s plan worked, as this 1959 article in Sub Rosa says that Evelyn has suffered from three miscarriages and asks for the public’s support in such a hard time. 

Chapter 17 

Evelyn and Celia celebrate the new article by drinking wine alone at Evelyn’s house. They talk about their families and their real names. Celia compliments Evelyn repeatedly, telling Evelyn she admires her strength and drive and that she thinks she’s the most beautiful women who has ever existed. They start a fire and burn the Sub Rosa article that called Evelyn cold. Celia asks Evelyn if she loves Don, and Evelyn says it’s complicated, saying that she both loves and hates him. Evelyn spills wine on Celia’s shirt, and they go to the bedroom to change. Celia promises she’ll keep Evelyn’s secrets, and Evelyn realizes she’s never loved anyone like she loves Celia. Don walks in on them as Celia is changing her shirt. He asks what is going on, and Evelyn says that it’s nothing. 

Life of the Party Girl 

This 1959 PhotoMoment article says that Evelyn and Celia are spending a lot of time together and that Don and Evelyn are going on double dates with Celia and Don’s friend Robert Logan. 


Evelyn’s and Celia’s roles in Little Women spotlight fundamental aspects of each actress and foreshadow the main conflict to come in their relationship. Evelyn plays the role of Jo March, a character who eschews love in order to pursue her dream to be a novelist. In Little Women, Jo is headstrong and rebellious, bucking the conventions of her time to live life on her own terms. Like Jo, Evelyn chooses her career over love throughout the novel, opting for staged marriages to unkind men and even prioritizing her career over her relationship with Celia, whom Evelyn calls the love of her life. This again and again drives the two women apart. In contrast, Celia plays the role of Beth March, Jo’s loving sister. One of Beth’s primary characteristics is her devotion to the people she loves. Like Beth, Celia believes love is the most important thing in life. Like Beth, Celia goes through a period of illness and dies too soon. Evelyn, like Jo, is left in mourning. She therefore must with the decisions she made that impacted the person she loved most. 

The theme of the incompatibility of ambition and morality dominates Celia and Evelyn’s relationship. Evelyn is very upfront throughout the novel about her belief that you should go after what you want even if it hurts other people. While most of the people around Evelyn aid and abet her bad behavior, Celia is the first person in the novel to call Evelyn out. Celia tells Evelyn she’s awful for her schemes and for using people, but at the same time she praises her for being honest about who she is, what she wants, and the lengths she’ll go to get it. At the same time, Celia, as Evelyn points out, is not above duplicity in her pursuit of stardom. Celia illustrates this when she attempts to use Evelyn to get a photo op in order to draw more attention to herself. This tension between doing what is right and doing what it takes to be successful dominates Celia and Evelyn’s relationship from the very beginning. 

Evelyn often uses the expectations of traditional femininity and heterosexuality to pursue the unconventional life that she wants. Though Evelyn doesn’t want to have a baby with Don, his expectation, and therefore also the public’s expectation, is that the couple will have children. The press vilifies Evelyn for eschewing this expectation. To get the public back on her side and to protect her career, Evelyn creates a false story of three miscarriages. This story casts Evelyn as the good wife the world wants to see. She fabricates the persona of a heartbroken wife dutifully trying to give her husband a child and failing. Furthermore, Evelyn performs the role of the heartbroken mother for her maid in order to ensure that the story leaks to the press. This illustrates that even in her private life, Evelyn is required to perform the roles of traditional femininity in order to protect the unconventional life and the career she loves.