I won’t keep y’all…
In chapter 9 Gabriel takes Julia and Rachel to Lobby. While she’s dancing, Gabriel removes her from the dance floor and returns her to their table. Was he jealous or protective?
Tamie: I think if we asked Gabriel he would say he was just being protective…I don’t think so. He may indeed feel protective of her, but I think it’s more a matter of feeling jealous. He may not be able to admit it to himself yet, but Julia has seriously gotten under his skin.
Elena : He was definitely jealous, in my opinion. He’s very attracted to Julia but he doesn’t want to acknowledge it. Seeing her with another man on the dance floor stirred the jealousy he’s trying to keep at bay. He doesn’t like watching Julia with another man — he had a similar reaction when he saw Julia with Paul in the previous chapters. Why does it bother him so much? Because he feels something for her.
In chapter 9, while he’s dancing with Julia at Lobby, Gabriel seems to have some flashes of recognition–he seems to remember her for the briefest of moments. But then everything vanishes. What was your reaction to this scene and why did Gabriel’s mind choose that particular moment to start remembering, in your opinion?
Elena : I have to say that, while reading this scene, I was really hoping Gabriel would remember everything. He was so close to recognizing her. I could almost see Julia’s hopeful expression and I felt for her when he didn’t. It would have crushed me for sure. I believe he started remembering in that particular moment because it was the first time he’d held Julia so close to him, since the orchard. While dancing he could feel her, gaze into her eyes like he did when he first met her and those feelings probably triggered his mind.
Tamie: I agree Elena. I too was hoping he’d really remember, but I guess for now it’s just buried too deeply.
Julia mentions that she was hungry. Gabriel is horrified and extracts a promise from her…Discuss.
Tamie: Gabriel knows what its like to be hungry even though it was so long ago. I think he can’t bear the thought of someone else feeling that. I also think there’s more to it though. Yes, food is a basic need, but think about it. How many 1st dates involve a meal? How important are traditional meals with loved ones not just on a daily basis, but on holidays, or other get togethers? We equate food with comfort, love, and even sex. I loved that he made her promise.
Elena : I agree Tamie. Gabriel can’t stand seeing someone hungry, especially Julianne.
At the end of chapter 9 Julia says goodbye to Gabriel in a surprising way. What did you think of her goodbye? What did you think about his response?
Tamie: While I understood Julia’s reaction I have to admit I was a little thrown by her goodbye speech. I loved it when she meant to walk away and Gabriel not only blocks her way, but then says “You’ve delivered your speech; I believe courtesy demands that I be given an opportunity to respond to your remarks. So if you please…” HA! Way to go Gabriel. If I hadn’t been holding my Kindle the first time I read the speech he makes I think I might’ve stood up and applauded.
Elena : This is one of the scenes I would have liked to witness first hand. I believe her speech was meant to show Gabriel that Julia can stand her ground and she doesn’t want to be a burden to anyone, especially to him. I too liked his response to her. Another case where his reaction is very strong, almost too strong and proves the point that he cares a lot about her.
In chapter 10 it’s said that Julia doesn’t force Gabriel to remember because she doesn’t want to break him. Do you agree with her stance? Do you think it’s better to make someone remember or to let them remember on their own? And what would you do if that someone was as special to you as Gabriel is to Julia?
Elena: I’m not a psychologist or anything, but I believe it’s very important not force someone to remember. Trying to do the opposite could have devastating effects on someone’s psyche. Memory loss is a very sensitive topic and people cope with it differently but I think Julia made the right decision. It’s painful of course, not going to deny this. I don’t want to imagine how I’d feel if someone who was so special to me didn’t remember me. But forcing him to wouldn’t have any good effect, in my opinion. The better thing to do would probably be giving hints slowly, and Julia sort of does that.
Tamie: Julia must realize instinctually that she shouldn’t push the memories, and OMGosh that has got to be such a challenge…kinda devastating too. If I’d never taken a psych class I wonder if I could have had such insight and control. I would so badly want him to…remember the orchard… remember me.
In chapter 10 Rachel tells Julia some things about his childhood before he was adopted by the Clark’s. Thoughts?
Tamie: This is one of several times that I was moved to tears in this story, and my heart ached at the visual it left in my head. Even with later love and care… after such a painful beginning it must leave scars and damage. We become the whole of who we are as we age, but I believe we make choices, at least to some degree based on what we learn and experience in childhood. We can choose to be victims or survivors. Even though Gabriel is successful as far as what the world sees on the surface…I’m not exactly sure which choice he made…yet.
Elena : I actually had tears in my eyes when Rachel disclosed that part of Gabriel’s past. It’s clear he had a painful childhood and we only got to the surface, for now. Thanks to Rachel’s words I started putting together the pieces of the (beautiful) puzzle that is Gabriel.
In chapter 10 Rachel gives a gift to Julia saying it’s actually from Gabriel. Julia has a strong reaction at first and wants to refuse it. She seems to have an aversion to gifts in general. Why do you think that is?
Elena : I believe this has to do with Julia’s pride. She doesn’t have much money and whenever someone gives her a gift, she feels like she’s being kept. But I believe she has to learn to accept gifts. Gifts are an opportunity for people to show that they care. There’s a beautiful quote in chapter 12 that says :” Never be ashamed to accept a gift when there are no strings attached.” I couldn’t agree more.
Tamie: Usually when someone has an aversion to gifts it’s for one of three reasons 1) They don’t believe they deserve it. 2) They believe there’s a cost associated with it that they aren’t willing to pay. 3) They believe they must somehow reciprocate. I’m not really sure which of these fits Julia best in general, perhaps it’s a little of them all. I love that quote Elena!
In chapter 11 Julia kisses Paul…What was your reaction to this kiss? What is your opinion of Paul at this point of the novel?
Tamie: My reaction?!? NO,NO,NO,NO,NO!!! Hell NO!!!! Yup…my reaction really is that strong. First off, I don’t like that he calls her rabbit…even though it’s meant as an endearment. Don’t get me wrong…I love bunnies, and I love “The Velveteen Rabbit”, but it really sets my teeth on edge whenever I see it in the story. Secondly, I don’t think Julia really has feelings towards him other than friendship. Hmm…Paul…totally nice guy, but he just doesn’t do a thing for me. Whenever Gabriel calls him a “Angelfucker” you can bet I’m agreeing with him
Elena: Firstly, I was surprised that Julia was the one to initiate the kiss, because she’s usually shy and guarded but at that moment she found a boldness that I didn’t expect from her ( at this point of the story) . I may have jumped and yelled ( not too loudly, I promise ) when I read she was kissing Paul. Don’t get me wrong. Paul is a very good guy and I like him. He’s always a gentleman and cares for Julia, but he doesn’t hold a candle to Gabriel Emerson. The Professor is THE man and he’s meant to be with Julia. No one but he.
Tamie: You said it Elena.
In chapter 11 Christa, Paul and Julia are having a conversation which the Professor interrupts. Talk about your reactions to this scene.
Elena: Christa is one of the nastiest characters I’ve read about. The things she said to Julia were awful and I admired Julia for not replying back with retorts just as nasty. Her goodness shines in this scene. She doesn’t lower herself to Christa’s level and that’s truly praiseworthy. When The Professor interrupted? Well, I loved it. He set Christa straight and defended Julianne. Well done, Gabriel
Tamie: Well let’s just say it straight out…Christa is a bitch. If we didn’t know it before we certainly know it now. I can’t imagine saying the things she does to people and getting away with it, but there are peeps in real life that manage it. When the Professor walks up and hears it? Priceless.
In chapter 11 Julia says : “Why not think that sometimes–just sometimes– you can overcome evil with silence? And let people hear their hatefulness in their own ears, without distraction?” What do you think of her words? Do you agree?
Elena: Yes, I agree completely. This is actually one of my favorite passages of the whole series. It’s very tempting to reply to mean words, but I believe we wouldn’t achieve anything good if we did. We’d only feed evil with more evil and what would the result be? Even more evil. So I think that, as difficult as it is, sometimes silence can do wonders and it holds up a mirror to those who are being mean more effectively than any cutting retort would do.
Tamie: I too agree, and more and more I’ve learned to put it into practice. It’s not an easy thing to do. It doesn’t come naturally, especially when it’s directed at someone I care about. Sometimes I still react with words of my own, but I’m trying…really trying.
The library carrel scene. Discuss…
Tamie: When Gabriel first discovers her and his mind starts imagining…it’s very sensual, yes, and seductive. I was actually kind of disappointed once he “came to his senses”. I might even have said…”Well damn” The whole bunny thing is humorous in the extreme.
Elena: Gabriel’s thoughts are extremely sensual. I may have fanned myself several times while reading…I believe it’s clear at this point he can’t deny his feelings for her anymore. He wants her, badly.
In chapter 12 Gabriel again takes Julia to dinner. It’s very different from the first…more personal and intimate. How do you feel about Gabriel at this point? Have your feelings changed at all since you began reading the book?
Elena: I’m absolutely drawn to Gabriel at this point. I said in our last discussion that to me he was a very interesting character from the beginning and I wanted to know more about him. I’m extremely attracted to him and whenever he’s not on the page I just want him to appear.
Tamie: Well, I already stated in our last discussion that I liked him from the start, but as we’ve read further and gotten to know him better?!? My attraction to him only deepens. Gabriel is pure Alpha Male. By this point in the story whenever he acts like an arrogant ass I just smile or laugh.
At the end of chapter 12 Gabriel receives a phone call from a woman called Paulina and he has to leave. He’s anguished and seems almost frightened even. What did you think of this whole scene?
Tamie: Not knowing anything about Paulina at this point leaves me not knowing what to think. I feel anxious, but I’m not sure why. Clearly, it’s something really serious for Gabriel to take off like that.
Elena: My thoughts exactly, Tamie. I don’t know what to thinks of this. There must be something serious going on if Gabriel fled like that. His anguish tore at my heartstrings.
Your favorite sentence(s), paragraph, scene in these chapters.
Tamie :”He smelled of Laphroaig and something distinctively Gabrielian and potentially dangerous.”
“His eyes hardened into two icy blue jewels, and his voice cooled to the temperature of water gliding over a glacier.” (one of my favorite single sentences EVER)
“She’d have me reciting sonnets under your window like a teenage boy.”
“They both inhaled deeply, drinking in one another’s scent.”
“And who knows what kind of shenanigans went down on it.”
Did he just use the word shenanigans in a sentence?
“His whisper was bracing and soft, sexual and seductive, Scotch and peppermint. ‘Come’”
” He would wonder if they were close enough, would their hearts beat synchronously…or was that simply a poet’s fancy?”
Elena : “His whisper was bracing and soft, sexual and seductive, Scotch and peppermint. ‘Come’”
” ‘Facilis descensus Averni,’ he whispered, his ominous and preternatural words striking her very soul. ‘The descent to Hell is easy.’”
“Why not think that sometimes–just sometimes– you can overcome evil with silence?”
“He imagined her voice laving across his name the way a lover’s tongue moves across the skin…”
” He would wonder if they were close enough, would their hearts beat synchronously…or was that simply a poet’s fancy?”
Elena : “She was sorry his lips were not Gabriel’s. And this kiss was not like those. In almost half a heartbeat, a great wave of sadness washed over her as she cursed herself for having tasted of something long ago that she could never have after or again. For in partaking of that first taste, she was absolutely ruined. The tasting of the apple was knowledge itself, and now she knew.”
” He flexed his arm across her lower spine, and she gasped because it did something to her on the inside. He knew it, of course, and had expected a reaction. What he did not know was that he’d touched her there before, that he’d been the first man to ever touch her there. And her skin had never quite recovered from his absence.”
Tamie: “He sounded like sex. Or at least, what Julia imagined sex would sound like if it was sitting on a white banquette with shining blue eyes and an arrogant jaw, trying to press a cold glass up to her mouth.”
“If you think I do things for you out of pity, then you don’t know me very well. I am a selfish and self-absorbed bastard who barely notices the concerns of other human beings. Damn your little speech, damn your low self-esteem, and damn the program.” He huffed in frustration, trying hard not to raise his voice. “Your virginity is not something to be ashamed of, and it’s certainly none of my business. I just wanted to make you smile and…”
“For no man would have touched her like that before. Eventually, she would be eager and responsive to him. Oh, so responsive. They would kiss, and it would be electric-intense-explosive. Their tongues would tangle and tango together desperately, as if they had never kissed before.”
Elena: The Starbucks scene and the library carrel scene.
Tamie: Lobby (including when he takes her home), the library carrel scene.
Whoa! I hope you guys realize how much this book means to us. Sometimes we get pretty wordy, but it’s hard to contain our passion and love of Gabriel’s Inferno.
Tamie and Elena
P.S. Listening to this book on audio is just amazing. AH-MA-ZING.