The posts will all remain in our archives, so if at anytime you want to add your thoughts, or ask us a question regarding ours, either on a topic that we covered or even one we didn’t …feel free to leave them in the comments.
At the end of this discussion you’ll find the Q and A with SR…
Discussion Questions: Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard
1) In chapter 47 Gabriel and Julia discuss his reasons for not having sex. There is humor, tenderness, and understanding in this chapter. What were your thoughts on Gabriel’s explanation? Julia’s reaction? Do you think that Gabriel is right? Were you surprised by anything in this chapter?
Elena : I love how SR interweaves humor and tenderness in this exchange between Gabriel and Julia. This is a scene where they are reconnecting emotionally, but not physically, even though Gabriel made sure to make Julia’s heart( and also the reader’s one) flutter in other ways. I liked Gabriel’s explanation about not wanting to have sex yet and I think he’s right. If you think the other person doesn’t trust you enough, maybe it’s better to wait and try to regain the parter’s trust before making love. I like this quote from this chapter that says : ” If you don’t trust me with your mind, how can you trust me with your body? ” It’s not an easy choice to make of course, especially when you’ve been apart from your beloved for so long, but making love means trusting and loving your partner with all your heart, so yes, I believe Gabriel made the right decision.
Tamie: This took me by complete surprise, and I think I pretty much had the same reaction as Julia did. A moment of WTF?!? That was quickly followed by…you must be joking right?!? Once Gabriel explained it I understood and respected his reasoning. That isn’t to say that I still wasn’t a little sceptical…this is Gabriel we’re taking about after all. Had I been in Julia’s place I think I might have pouted a little more…ok, a whole lot more. One of the things I loved best where Julia is concerned throughout Gabriel’s Rapture, is her phenomenal growth and maturity. As always, I love how SR incorporates humor into the story…usually at the most unexpected times. As much as I hate to admit it…I think Gabriel is probably right about waiting. I was absolutely delighted when Julia brought up “make up” sex. Yeah…that. AND, I floved when Gabriel showed her that it had nothing to do with not wanting her anymore…MmHmm
2) In chapter 47 Julia realizes the real depth of Gabriel’s love for her for the first time. What is your take on this?
Tamie: If I tell you that I teared up when I read this part are y’all just going to think I’m the biggest baby ever?!? Because I did. That wonderful moment of realization that someone loves you deeply? That your happiness is paramount even if it means letting you go? Well…it’s just an indescribable feeling isn’t it? I think that’s especially true for Julia who has struggled with feelings of inadequacy where Gabriel is concerned. She’s never quite believed that she could be his everything… in love or sex. I think this was an amazing scene…for me as much as for Julia.
Elena : This scene was beautiful and very moving. I believe Julia hadn’t realized the depth of Gabriel’s love for her till that moment because of her insecurities and she didn’t feel quite enough for him. I think we can all relate to her in that aspect. We all doubt ourselves at some point and then there’s the never-ending battle between human frailty and self-worth. It’s difficult to feel worthy of another person’s love because self-doubt always lurks. But when Gabriel told her he would always love her even if she didn’t want him anymore, Julia really felt what it meant to be loved fully and unconditionally. Those Gabriel’s words were the proof of his unconditional love for her. I believe this was a major turning point in their relationship, a moment where we as readers witnessed the real depth of their love, of True Love.
3) In these chapters we see Gabriel wanting to be Julia’s husband and Julia being reluctant about marriage at the beginning. If you were Julia, would you have reacted the same way as her to Gabriel’s intentions?
Elena : This is difficult to answer. I would have needed a bit of time to learn how to be with him again, but I wouldn’t have had any doubt that the relationship was heading for marriage.
Tamie: I’m very conflicted about this. I kinda, sorta understand her reluctance, but at the same time…hasn’t Gabriel proven himself yet? I’m not saying she should want to go get married tomorrow, but still…
4) In these chapters we get to see more of how much Gabriel has changed. Discuss…
Tamie: You’ve certainly come a long way Professor. It’s funny how things that used to mean so much to us can lose their importance when we realize what really matters…when we discover how lucky we are…what gifts we’ve been given…when we’ve found and value our own personal sticky little leaves. Gabriel’s emotional growth just makes him that much more desirable, loveable…Gabrieliffic.
Elena : Gabriel proved to have changed remarkably. I never expected he would have drunk domestic beer or that he wouldn’t have cared about his suit, when little Quinn spilled milk all over it. The old Professor Emerson would have been extremely upset. Even in the little things Gabriel showed great maturity. I loved seeing this emotional growth in him.
5) In chapter 49 Richard says to Julia : ” Sometimes relationships can be conduits of grace.” What do you think of that statement? Do you agree?
Elena : Yes, I agree with Richard. I believe relationships between people can help us find the grace we look for. Love and understanding can bring that about.
Tamie: I absolutely agree with what Richard said. I also agree with what he said a couple of paragraphs later… “Don’t wait too long. Life takes unexpected turns, and we don’t always have the time we think we have.” How many times in our own lives do we regret not having said or done something that would have made a difference to somebody else…let alone ourselves? We get so caught up in our jobs, school, etc., and we end up taking people we care about for granted. It’s hard to think about our mortality, or that of those we love, but we need to slow down our busy lives to enjoy it, and to appreciate it, and those that make it better.
6) Gabriel’s proposal. Tell us what your feelings were when you read it.
Tamie: Well damn…How can a man…albeit a fictional one get any better? You know SR…for those of us who haven’t found our real life Gabriel…you’ve managed to set a rather high standard. I thought it was wonderful and so appropriate that Gabriel proposed in the orchard, and the golden apple was an amazing, and symbolic gesture….not to mention creative as all get out. I don’t know why I should be surprised anymore…Gabriel has proven over and over that he has mad skillz in setting up very romantic moments. O…and I love that he chose a cushion-cut diamond.
Elena: I teared up when I read it, of course they were happy tears The proposal was so, so beautiful and very romantic. The way Gabriel set up their orchard and the words he said to Julia made my heart flutter more than once…For all the guys out there, take lessons from Gabriel One of my favorite moments of this scene is when Gabriel gives Julia the golden apple, stressing the difference with the one he gave her the first time they met. This was very moving to me.
7) Gabriel and Julia’s wedding… Share your thoughts with us on this highly anticipated scene of the book. And what do you think was the blessing they asked for in St.Francis’s crypt?
Elena: The wedding was absolutely perfect! I loved everything about it. When I went to Assisi and visited the Basilica I could envision Julia walking down the aisle and Gabriel waiting for her at the altar It’s a beautifully written scene, sweet, romantic and touching. As far as the blessing goes, maybe they asked for a baby? I’d love to see Gabriel and Julia with a baby of their own!
Tamie: I love weddings, and this one was all that I had hoped it would be. I was so incredibly happy that it was taking place after the very long journey that Gabriel and Julia had to travel to get there. I was content as a reader and I felt lucky that I was able to take the journey with them…thanks to SR.
8) What will you bring with you from this series?
Elena : I feel like there aren’t enough words to express how much this story touched me. I’ll bring forever with me the message of hope and redemption as well as of forgiveness and kindness, of how love can heal the wounds of the soul. This series is truly a treasure. Rarely books stay with me like Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture do. I can’t get them out of my mind and I keep re-reading them and every time I find myself getting out of them something new. Thank you SR for such a wonderful series. Like I said many times before, I feel like I won’t be able to thank you enough for these books. Please, keep writing, SR.
Tamie: Hope, kindness, forgiveness, unmerited grace, love, redemption, friendship. All of these things are important to humanity…I know that they are important to me. Humor can make even the most dire of situations bearable, and SR writes, and incorporates it so brilliantly. I can’t leave out all the art, literature, and music that are a part of this series. They add yet another beautiful layer to both books. I feel incredibly fortunate that I chose to read Gabriel’s Inferno last July. I wish I had someone specific to thank for recommending it to me, but I found it because I saw several different people reading it on Goodreads in May and June. It was then that I actively looked for Sylvain Reynard on twitter, and looked at what peeps were tweeting about the book. I’ve mentioned before that the cover of a book is important…yeah I know…judging a book by its cover and all that…but it’s true. I love both the covers of Gabriel’s Inferno, and Gabriel’s Rapture, so that was never an issue for me.
Personally, and as a book blogger this series has affected me in some very profound ways. I’ve read a lot of very good books in my life, but very few have touched my heart on such a deep level as these books have. As good as some books are, I don’t usually choose to reread them once… let alone over and over again as I continue to do with both GI and GR. I think that speaks to the depth of writing, characters, and story line that belong to SR. I believe that good writing can be taught, but I also believe that exceptional writing is a gift. I will be forever grateful that SR chose to share that gift with us through these books. I am hopeful that he will continue to share it in the future, whether it be with a third book in this series, or something completely new and different.
Lastly, I have SR and these books to thank for connecting me to so many people. The friendships I’ve gained are countless, as well as the exposure of many new- to- me authors, and books that I might not have found if it weren’t for him. That is something I value and treasure every single day. Were it not for SR, I might never have met Elena or Morgan…both of whom are very dear to me personally, and who play an important role on this blog. Clearly, what I take from this series is so much more than what I normally take from a good read. Often, I feel very inadequate with expressing what I want to say, and this is one of those times…but I hope that I have managed to convey at least some measure of the appreciation I feel for these books and this author.
Thank you will never seem quite enough to me, but SR…thank you.
Elena : *hugs you tight* You said it better than I did, Tamie. I feel exactly the same way. Through these books and SR I met so many wonderful people who are now my dear friends. And of course I met you, who is very important to me. Were it not for this series, our paths might never have crossed. So thank you again SR for all this and for so much more.
9) Your favorite sentence(s)?
Tamie: ”My God, Julia, did you make me your first thinking that I merely liked you?”
“I’ll love you forever, Julianne, whether you love me or not. That’s my Heaven. And my Hell.”
“The only thing in the kitchen that would tempt me would be you on top of the kitchen table.”
“I’m going to take my time. The -ah- more vigorous activities will come later, after we’re sufficiently reaquainted.”
Elena : “There was no one else. My arms were full even when I was alone.”
“I’ll love you forever, Julianne, whether you love me or not. That’s my Heaven. And my Hell.”
“That’s what happens when you love someone. You want them to be happy.”
“You brought beauty to my life the instant I met you.”
Elena : ” ‘I want to be your first and your last. I love you, Julianne. I offer you my heart and my life. Marry me. Be my wife, my friend, my lover, and my guide. Be my blessed Beatrice and my adored Julianne.’ His voice wavered slightly. ‘Say you’ll be mine. Forever.’”
Tamie: Gabriel’s rhythm was slow at first, like the patient lapping of waves upon a beach. He wanted this experience to last forever, for in that moment, as he gazed into the wide and loving eyes of his wife, he realized that their previous experiences, exciting as they were, paled in comparison with the sublimity of their current connection.
She was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. She was his soul mate and his wife, and all he wanted was to bring her joy. He was consumed by his adoration of her.
Elena : This final part of the book is full of scenes I love. My favorites are the proposal, the wedding, the make up sex scene and the last chapter.
Tamie: I have to agree with all of Elena’s choices…her favorites are mine as well.
Q and A with SR
Once again thanks for hosting the Book Club and thanks to the readers who have been participating in the discussions and sending in their questions. I appreciate it.
1) The Gabriel’s Inferno Series touched me in a very profound way. When I turned the last page of the book I confess I cried because I didn’t want to let Gabriel and Julia go. You mentioned that you’re considering writing a third book and this makes me extremely happy. But I’d like to ask you, since you thought Gabriel’s Rapture was going to be the last book in the series, how was it like for you to give a closure to Gabriel and Julia’s story? How did you felt as the author of their beautiful love story when you wrote the word “Fin”?
(Hands you a handkerchief) Please don’t cry. And thank you for your kind words. Strangely, when I wrote “Fin” I had in mind the idea that the characters would live their lives and go on without me. It was the end of the story I was telling, but not the end of them, if that makes any sense. But in response to the tremendous outpouring of messages encouraging me to write a third book in the series, I’ve been thinking about it.
2) You write humor into even the most dramatic scenes so seamlessly (thank you for that) Is it easy or difficult for you to do? Do you do it to give relief to us (your readers), yourself, or the characters?
Thank you. The benefit of writing the snarky narrator is that I can poke fun at the characters (gently). Humour lightens what could be a very serious tale and it exposes comic elements in the characters. I think the Professor’s quirks are humorous and using the narrative voice, I can point that out.
3) Loved the way the reunion was written and what followed with Gabriel and Julia reaching a new level of intimacy. The wedding was wonderful, the “make up” sex was fabulous, and there was a happy ending, but I don’t want it to be over. What will be the deciding factor of whether or not you’ll write a third book? And when do you think you’ll let us (your readers) know either way?
When I began writing the story of the Professor, I was writing for myself. Along the way, I began to write for my readers. I’m conscious of what readers want in terms of a novel and insofar as I am able, I attempt to provide them with that. So the answer to your question is that if I can make the readers happy and stay true to the characters, then I wouldn’t object to writing a third book. Once I’ve decided, I’ll announce it. So please stay tuned to my website.
All the best and thanks once again,
Thanks to you SR…for participating in our book club each week, and thanks to all of you who sent in questions. It’s been a terrific enhancement to the book club.
Elena and I have gotten so much enjoyment, reading, thinking of questions, and then discussing them…with each other and with you. We appreciate all of you who have visited each week, and a special thank you to those who participated.
Keep on reading, and keep on recommending this book, as well as any others you love whenever you can. Word of mouth is the biggest reason that people choose the books they do.
Tomorrow we’ll have a couple of announcements for you regarding the book club in the coming months
Now…we’d love to hear from you…
Tamie and Elena Xo