I just finished reading The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. While many of the reviews I saw about the book before I read it describe it as being about time travel, I found it to be a book that touches on the themes of reincarnation, spirit guides and karma. If you love exploring metaphysical topics like I do, it provides a lot of lessons on how the soul grows (or doesn’t grow) and evolves from life to life.
I’m recommending this book to anyone who has an interest in past lives, parallel lives, spirit guides, karma and deja vu, so if this is you, bookmark this page and come back after you’ve read it. If you haven’t read it, this post may still be interesting as it will discuss some of the spiritual lessons the book offers. Don’t worry; I won’t include any major spoilers.
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle explained
First let me give you a summary of the plot. The book is about Aiden Bishop, a man who wakes up and finds himself in the middle of a murder mystery. A woman is murdered at a social event, and Aidan must figure out who killed her. But there’s a catch. Each morning, Aiden wakes up in a different body of someone who attended the event. Also, each morning is the beginning of the same day — the day of the murder. Bottom line: Aiden will relive the same day as a different person until he is able to solve the murder. That means he can’t go back to his regular life (and doesn’t even remember what his regular life even looks like).
The book then tells the story from Aiden’s eyes as he moves from person to person ( or life to life). While the essence of Aiden is the same, he takes on the characteristics and qualities of the bodies that he inhabits. Sometimes he has a hard time distinguishing between his true essence and the body he is inhabiting.
I believe this is something we humans do all the time — we have a tough time distinguishing between our higher self or our soul and our ego or our physical body. Sometimes it is difficult for us to remember that our soul transcends our body, which is just a temporary house for our spirits. Here are some other spiritual truths found in The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.
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Every life gives you a different perspective
Each time Aiden wakes up in a different body, he has a different perspective of everything that is happening around him. When he’s in the body of Sebastian Bell, the world is a scary place. On the other hand, when he is in the body of Cecil Ravencourt, he has a knack for seeing the beyond the surface. Each perspective contributes to his ability to solve the mystery. In fact, he would not be able to solve the mystery without all of the different perspectives.
The same goes with us when it comes to our many lifetimes. Each one gives us a different perspective and by seeing the world from many different perspectives, we evolve spiritually. None of our lives are more important than the others; it is through learning from all of our lives that we become more evolved souls.
Strengths and weaknesses have a purpose in each lifetime
All of the bodies Aiden inhabited came with their set of strengths and their set of weaknesses. In the beginning of the book, whenever Aiden inhabited a new body, he focused more on that body’s weaknesses and how difficult it was for him to work around them. For example, if a body was old, he complained about how painful it was to move around. However, in time, he realized that each body also had its strengths, and the strengths were ideal for helping to solve the mystery.
In our own lives we each have strengths and weaknesses. We came here to learn certain lessons in each lifetime. The strengths and weaknesses we choose to have are the best ones to help us achieve what we want to achieve. When you look at life that way, you realize that your weaknesses have a purpose. So why not lean into those weaknesses and work with them to see what they can teach us? Likewise, our strengths are gifts for this lifetime so when we waste them we are doing ourselves a disservice.
Past life memories can solve current problems
Each time Aiden woke up in a different body as a different person, he had one thing going for him: he could remember what he had learned in all the other bodies he had inhabited. That allowed him to peace things together and see situations more clearly. While most of us can’t remember much, if anything , from our past lives we sometimes have memories or dreams that include fragments of who we were in other lifetimes.
We can also get some of those answers from past life regressions — sessions in which we explore past lives while under hypnosis. When I had a past life regression, I had insights that helped me through a challenging period in my current life. My past life memories shone like a beacon in the darkness of my struggles at the time.
We may have been wicked people in some of our lifetimes
I’ve noticed that a lot of people like to romanticize the concept of past lives, believing themselves to have been royalty, spiritual, a healer, or having some other desired status. Noone wants to find out they were a murderer or someone who is known in history for being an awful person. Noone wants to find out they were Hitler in a past life, right?
In The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, Aiden finds out the person he was before he started inhabiting the different bodies had several flaws. Anna, a character that Aiden befriends on the journey, also had her flaws; in fact, she had committed many ruthless crimes in her former life. That begs the question: Does that make her a bad person today?
I believe we all have lifetimes that we would be ashamed of. We’ve all done things considered ‘bad’ and we’ve all had lifetimes where we did extraordinary good for the world. Neither type of life is more valuable than the other. We learned from both of them. Also, I believe certain challenging things are meant to happen because they spark change in the world. A war may bring about massive collective change for the good if it leads more people to turn away from war and violence after the fact. The leader who instigated the war may be fulfilling their spiritual purpose by bringing those events to pass.
Spirit guides won’t stop you from making the same mistakes
I’m sure there are a lot of theories about the character known as the Plague Doctor and what he represents. I saw him as something of a spirit guide, helping Aiden when he could but not stopping him from making mistakes — and learning in the process. We learned that the Plague Doctor was rooting for Aiden and was doing things to try to make it easier to solve the mystery. But ultimately Aiden had to complete his journey on his own.
That’s my basic vision of spirit guides. I believe they are here to help us and guide us and give us messages if we ask for them. However, they never take away our choice. We don’t have to take a certain path even if that path will lead us to our purpose. Eventually we will get there, even if it’s in another lifetime. Our spirit guides know that and allow us to choose our life path.
What we do in one lifetime can affect all of the others
One of most interesting parts of the book was how actions Aiden took in one body affected everything that was experienced by Aiden in a different body — even things that seemed to have happened in the past. Though Aiden was simply tasked with finding out who the murderer was, he decided he wanted to try to stop the murder. So when he woke up each day in a different life, he attempted to rewrite history by making a change — and those changes did affect the timeline for all of the other bodies he inhabited.
This is a popular concept in reincarnation. Since our lives are all connected to our one soul, lessons we learn in one lifetime can affect what happens to us in all of our other lifetimes. So that means a future life can have ramifications on our choices today. Yes, that’s mind-bending.
Until we get the lesson, we are doomed to repeat it
This theme was pretty clear thoughout: until Aiden solved the mystery he had to keep repeating the day of the murder. It was like Groundhog Day, and there was a torturous element to that.
Think about the mistakes we make over and over again. We all have them. And until we correct the mistake or make a different choice, we keep having similar experiences. These repeat experiences can also go from lifetime to lifetime. If there’s a lesson you are meant to get in this lifetime and you don’t get it, you’ll likely be faced with similar experiences to help you get the lesson in a different lifetime.
This concept could also explain deja vu, or the feeling that we’ve had a certain experience before. When we have these experiences, it could very well be true that we’ve lived it before. We may be repeating a lesson or experience with our higher self’s hope of getting it right this time.
It’s a blessing to be able to start a new life without the memories of past lives
When Aiden and Anna are finally able to move on and free themselves from re-living the fated day, they have the opportunity to forget everything about their past lives. That means they get to walk into the unknown without knowing about their past mistakes or frailties. They have a clean slate and won’t be weighed down by past failure or doubts.
While it can be meaningful to have a past life regression, I’m glad I don’t have past life memories intruding in my mind all the time. I’m glad I can live this current life fully and immerse myself in the lessons I’m faced with in the present. It allows me to move forward without expectations weighing me down and embrace what lies ahead. The 7 1/2 Lives of Evelyn Hardcastle is a reminder to embrace the gifts of the present in order to make the most of the journey.
I’ve always been a lover of fiction — particularly stories with metaphysical and paranormal themes. I’m even working on my own novel. I’m adding a section to this blog that discusses metaphysical, New Age and paranormal fiction, and some of the themes the stories have. If you have any book suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.