Last Saturday, Elena and I enjoyed reading all of your thoughtful answers, and conversing with you about them as well.
We look forward to another lively exchange of ideas this Saturday too…
Discussion Questions- Chapters 21-33
1) In these chapters we see two women helping Julia : Soraya, Julia’s attorney and Nicole, Julia’s therapist. Your thoughts on those two characters.
2) In chapter 21 Nicole has a very interesting exchange with Julia about chivalry and protecting the person we love. At one point she says : “Sometimes the chivalrous man ends up doing more damage through his protection than can be done by the force threatening his partner.” What are your thoughts on this? And do you think protecting a loved one ( not necessarily your partner) can indeed end up being damaging sometimes?
3) In chapter 23 the University conflict continues to grow, and the hearing takes place. Both Gabriel and Julia’s lawyers form separate strategies that neither shares with their clients. What do you think about this behavior? Would the hearing later on have gone differently if Gabriel and Julia had been kept better informed? Do you think they would’ve gone along with the strategies? Why or why not?
4) Love scenes… In chapter 23 something changes in the way Gabriel makes love to Julia. What are your thoughts in general on the sex scenes that are in the novel?
5) In chapter 26 an exchange between Gabriel and Julia takes place in the hallway after they have left the hearing. What were you thinking as you read this? Did Gabriel surprise you with how he handled the situation? What was your reaction when he quoted Hamlet?
6) In chapter 27 Julia returns to Gabriel’s apartment…as she’s leaving she has a conversation with his neighbor who happens to have the initials SIR…discuss
7) In chapter 28 Gabriel thinks about what it feels like to be banished and he thinks about Odysseus. The novel teems with literature references like this one, that often reflect Gabriel and Julia’s feelings. Discuss.
8) In chapter 29 it’s said that the loss of Gabriel means a lot of things to Julia–not only the loss of the man she loved, but also of her virginity, of the ideal of deep and reciprocated love…In previous chapters we saw Gabriel seeing Julia, not only as his beloved, but also as the embodiment of the four loves, as his Muse… What do you think of this kind of attachment between two people? Do you consider it as putting your loved one on a pedestal far too high, or as a way of expressing your unconditional love towards another person?
9) In chapter 29 Julia says “I try not to give in to the anger, but trust me, it’s there”. Your thoughts on this statement and on how Julia handled being abandoned by Gabriel. If you were in Julia’s place would you have handled things any differently?
10) At the end of chapter 33 there is a very disturbing scene involving Gabriel. What were your thoughts and feelings as you read it?
11) Your favorite sentence(s), paragraph and scene in these chapters.
Again, we wish to thank all those who’ve joined in up to this point, and have made this such a wonderful experience. If you haven’t yet participated we hope you will this Saturday.
We look forward to sharing SR’s answers with you as well.
See y’all Saturday morning
Elena and Tamie