Chapter 31 

Evelyn and Rex’s marriage is a business arrangement designed to improve ticket sales for Anna Karenina. Evelyn appreciates that the deal is honest, as both Rex and Evelyn know that the relationship is for show. They both wonder whether they might sleep together anyway. They agree that they can both see other people as long as they’re discrete. Evelyn trusts Rex not to humiliate her in the press.  

After Celia leaves, Evelyn hires a Salvadoran maid named Luisa. Luisa speaks Spanish in front of Evelyn and calls her crazy, though she does not realize that Evelyn speaks Spanish. Evelyn feels ashamed for hiding her Cuban heritage. She comes to cherish Luisa.  

Evelyn Hugo and Rex North Hitched 

This 1962 article in PhotoMoment announces Evelyn and Rex’s wedding. The article also notes that Evelyn’s ex-husband Don has divorced Ruby.  

Celia St. James Engaged to Quarterback John Braverman 

This 1962 article in PhotoMoment announces Celia’s engagement to football star John Braverman. It also mentions Celia’s recent film successes.  

Anna Karenina Wins Big at The Box Office 

This 1962 article in Hollywood Digest notes that the chemistry between Rex and Evelyn, both on- and off-screen, has driven people to see Anna Karenina in the theaters. It also notes that, as a producer of the film, Evelyn will make a lot of money from ticket sales. 

Chapter 32 

Both Rex and Evelyn are snubbed by the Academy Awards, and they go home together. Both of them are very drunk and retire to their separate rooms. As Evelyn struggles to unzip her dress, she starts to feel lonely. Rex comes into her room and tries to seduce her. Evelyn is tempted but rebuffs his advances, telling him that it will never happen. 

She wakes up the next day to a phone call from Harry telling her that Fox Studios has offered Rex and her a three-picture deal and is willing to pay any price for it. Evelyn is thrilled that they are giving her creative control to choose whatever movies she wants. Harry tells Evelyn she’s about to be the highest-paid actress in Hollywood. 

Chapter 33 

Evelyn and Rex are married for two and a half years before Rex falls for Joy Nathan, an actress he’s been seeing on and off again for years. Rex and Evelyn agree to separate and plant the story in the press that they both have been having affairs. This story, they wager, will help their latest film at the box office. Harry agrees to pose as the person Evelyn is having an affair with. Evelyn asks Ruby to tip the press off about their affair and catch them in a racy moment. In the conversation with Ruby, Evelyn learns that Don abused Ruby, too. She feels guilty for staying quiet, and she feels complicit in Ruby’s abuse.  

Meanwhile, Harry tells Evelyn that he is seeing John Braverman and that Celia and John’s marriage is a sham. 

Chapter 34 

Harry and Evelyn stage a racy moment in a car. As they wait for the photographer to catch them, Evelyn and Harry decide to marry and start a family. They don’t love each other romantically, but they love each other deeply as friends. As soon as they make the big decision, the photographer arrives. Harry kisses Evelyn and the photographer snaps the perfect shot. Stories of both Rex’s and Evelyn’s infidelities are in the papers, and they successfully boost ticket sales for their film. It sets a record for its stay in the theaters. 

Chapter 35 

Monique heads home after a long day of work. She talks to her mom, who tells her that her father would be proud of her for her success. Monique says that in less than a week she will find out something that will make her hate Evelyn. 


Throughout her life, Evelyn sacrifices parts of herself in order to conceal her true identity from the public. For example, when Evelyn’s maid Luisa assumes that Evelyn is white, Evelyn gets angry because she feels as though Luisa has erased part of who she is. But upon reflection Evelyn realizes that it’s she herself who has erased her Cuban identity. To achieve the fame she so desired, Evelyn dyed her hair blonde, trained her New York accent out of her voice, and stopped speaking Spanish altogether. Having agreed to a more sellable version of her life story, Evelyn erased her parents and her heritage. Though she appreciates the distance this created from her father, she feels she has lost the memory of her mother. Thus, Luisa serves as Evelyn’s foil. Though she is unknown and of a lower socioeconomic class, Luisa is at home in herself, a trait that Evelyn envies. By keeping Luisa on as a maid, Evelyn Hugo keeps a reminder of Evelyn Herrera, the self she left behind. 

Being honest about her lies brings Evelyn closer to her true self. When Evelyn marries Rex, she feels liberated because they are honest with each other. Though their marriage is a sham, Evelyn calls it an “honest deal” because Rex and everyone who truly matters to her know the truth about her marriage. Ironically, it is Rex’s willingness to fake being in love with Evelyn that makes Evelyn, in some way, love him back. Similarly, the staged public scandal between Harry and Evelyn successfully ends the sham marriage. The paparazzi, peering into the car while Harry and Evelyn perform a false romance, evokes the image of a movie set. They perform a sexual act that isn’t true to their relationship. But, when Harry proposes in the car, they begin an unconventional marriage. This one, however, is built on deep, platonic love. These two marriages have elements of both love and illusion in them, and they bring Evelyn back to her true love Celia. 

These chapters explore acting as a motif and illustrate how both Celia and Evelyn see financial gain from performing media-sanitized versions of themselves in public. Anna Karenina succeeds at the box office in part because of the media attention Rex and Evelyn’s marriage has received. According to the media, the audience is rapt for both performances. The on-set passion between Anna and Vronsky matches the off-set chemistry between the two stars. For Evelyn, these two performances are increasingly indistinguishable. They both earn her financial and professional freedom. Meanwhile, Evelyn and Rex negotiate the end of their marriage as they would the end of a business contract. They even take box office sales into account while strategizing the best public story for their divorce. Similarly, Celia’s marriage to John Braverman is false, and the media hints that the marriage brings both John and Celia career luck. For both Celia and Evelyn, acting off-screen is incentivized. It is as if they are paid just as much for their public image as they are for their film performances.