Book Discussion: Gabriel’s Redemption by Sylvain Reynard (chapters 29-40)

This week’s discussion of Gabriel’s Redemption includes chapters 29-40. We love and encourage you to join in, but please don’t include remarks about future events in the books for those who are just now reading it.

**This discussion may include spoilers through chapter 40**

In these chapters, Gabriel doesn’t share his troubles with Julia. Why do think that is? Were you anxious Gabriel would have coped by doing something unexpected or dangerous?

Elena: I believe Gabriel isn’t sharing with Julia what’s troubling him, because he needs to come to terms with it privately first. I understand. But at the same time he doesn’t seem to realize he’s withdrawing from Julia by doing so. They’re husband and wife, and as such they need to talk. Communication is essential in a relationship. As for his old coping mechanisms, there was never a moment where I thought Gabriel would relapse. He’s changed so much, and I’ve always believed in him and his inner strength. We always say this for Julia, but Gabriel too is stronger than he thinks he is.

Tamie: I think you’re exactly right Elena. Maybe he feels the need to deal with it alone first because that’s what he’s always done. I was just a little anxious to be honest, but I too believe he’s gained so much inner strength.

At some point Julia accuses Gabriel of being cold sometimes. Do you think so too?

Elena: Well, yes I do. Gabriel can be extremely passionate, but he can be very cold as well. He doesn’t realize it, and he doesn’t do it on purpose, but his coldness hurts Julia. I believe coldness can hurt more than anger, and it’s important we don’t give the cold shoulder to those people who love us and care about us. This is something Gabriel needs to work on.

Tamie: Yes, but I think his seeming coldness is really just a mask he uses.

In these chapters, there’s a touching scene at the orphanage. Discuss…

Elena: The scene at the orphanage is a scene I particularly love…I love everything about it and especially the way Gabriel acts around children and Maria. All this scene was very touching to me. And when the children thought Gabriel and Julia were Superman and Lois Lane? So, so cute!! I couldn’t stop awwing while I was reading.

Tamie: This is a great scene, and one that wouldn’t have been possible when we first met Gabriel. Loved the Superman/Lois Lane comparison by the children.

Gabriel and Julia seem to fight often. Did that worry you in some ways?

Elena: No, it didn’t. Couples fight. It’s normal. Who hasn’t ever fought with their partner? I like that Gabriel and Julia always clarify things after a fight. They don’t keep anger or resentment inside. If they did, THAT would worry me.

Tamie: Not really because they’re still learning how to communicate with each other, and better an argument than silence. I too love that they clarify afterwards. Besides…it means more makeup scenes for us.

What did you think of the exhibition at the Uffizi?

Elena: It was beautiful and I loved how Gabriel showed how much generous he became thanks to Julia. And the museum sex they had?? Swoon! Next time I’ll go to the Uffizi, I’ll look for that corner…who knows, perhaps The Professor would like to reenact the scene? *ahem* 😉

Tamie: It was amazing. Before I met Gabriel I had a thing for museums anyway, but now? Well let’s just say my appreciation for them has only grown.

There’s a mysterious character at the exhibition. Did you wonder about him?

Elena: Yes, I did. And I believe he’s THE mysterious character…but we’ll find out only when The Raven will come out 🙂

Tamie: What Elena said. LOL!

What was your reaction when you read the letter that Paulina sent to Gabriel?

Elena: I was very surprised, but very happy at the same time. Paulina deserves to have her happy ending. She never was one of my favorite characters, but I’ve always felt compassion for her. Her actions were never brought about by viciousness (in contrast to Christa’s ones) — she loved Gabriel and they had so much history together. Not to mention that Gabriel was at fault too, because of how he treated her. So I’m very happy that she found someone who loves her unconditionally.

Tamie: I absolutely loved it. I hated Paulina for all of book one and then through a lot of book two, but my feelings toward her did change. I’m happy for her HEA.

There’s a flashback where we see Gabriel asking Paulina for forgiveness. What do you think of this scene?

Elena: That scene was very touching. I loved Gabriel’s decision. Once again, we see how much he’s changed and the whole encounter with Paulina was very moving to me.

Tamie: Floved it!

In chapter 40 there’s an interesting take on risks in life. Discuss…

Elena: I love what Julia says in this chapter. I completely agree with her — life is a mystery, we never know what’s going to happen us. We can’t stop living because of that. There will be happiness and there will be sorrows. But we need to take risks, and do all those things that make us happy, otherwise we’d only be half living.

Tamie: Wise words. It’s not always easy to take risks but sometimes they can pay off in huge ways.

Your favorite quote(s):

Elena:

“I could live with you forever and still you would surprise me.”

“You have my heart. Never doubt that.”

“Surely being a good person didn’t entail the abandonment of one’s dreams.”

“Of all the gifts God gave me, the greatest one is you.”

Tamie:

“I could live with you forever and still you would surprise me.”

“You have my heart. Never doubt that.”

Your favorite paragraph(s):

Elena: “God wants to rescue us, not destroy us. You don’t have to be afraid of being happy, thinking that he wants to take that happiness away from you. That’s not who He is. ”

Tamie: So, so many that I’m still deciding…

Your favorite scene(s):

Elena: The scene at the orphanage and chapter 40.

Tamie: Chapter 40.

****************************************

Now’s your chance to join in the discussion, and don’t forget…

We also have a sweet treat for those who take part thanks to SR and to his publicist Enn. Each week one lucky reader will have the chance to win a bookmark. All you have to do to enter is to join in our discussion in the comments by answering at least two of the questions posed by Elena or myself. Easy peasey folks. But wait…there’s more. Everyone who joins in EACH week will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a set of 4×6 photographs of the covers that SR has signed. SQUEEE! I know, I know…I’d love a set of those too!

We will announce the weekly winner at the end of the next discussion post, and to make things easier all bookmarks and the grand prize will go out after we reach the conclusion of the book.

Last week’s bookmark winner is: Danielle

Tamie and Elena

3 thoughts on “Book Discussion: Gabriel’s Redemption by Sylvain Reynard (chapters 29-40)

  1. Mary Jo Toth says:

    In these chapters, Gabriel doesn’t share his troubles with Julia. Why do think that is? Were you anxious Gabriel would have coped by doing something unexpected or dangerous?
    I was troubled by Gabriel withholding from Julia, he was reverting to old behaviors but not talking instead of embracing the love and friendship they have to discuss what is troubling him. During this time he is pushing Julia away and sadly it took her creating an ultimatum about leaving to really push him to open up to her which helped him. I know they are still learning how to navigate this new world for both of them but I had several anxious moments during this period.

    In these chapters, there’s a touching scene at the orphanage. Discuss…
    Loved the orphanage scene, I think it gave both of them a chance to truly see the other interacting with children. Yes, they want to have a family but there is still doubt for both of them about what type of parents they will be which they have both expressed. Their parents didn’t set the best example but I felt this scene showed a true glimpse of the beautiful people they each really are and the love they have to share with children. The Superman/Lois Lane association from the orphans was so wonderful!

    There’s a flashback where we see Gabriel asking Paulina for forgiveness. What do you think of this scene?
    Loved this moment for Gabriel which showed how far he has come from the man that did drugs, drank and had sex to escape. He was acknowledging his past mistakes and working to find peace as well as trying to help Paulina, they had a relationship but, as he admits, he didn’t treat her well. That to me is significant that he now knows his past behavior was wrong/destructive. From this he can move forward.

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  2. Danielle says:

    In these chapters, Gabriel doesn’t share his troubles with Julia. Why do think that is? Were you anxious Gabriel would have coped by doing something unexpected or dangerous?

    I think Gabriel was hesitant to share his troubles with Julia because he didn’t want to burden her with them. He had already troubled her with the fact that he wanted children in the coming years; so maybe in a way he was trying to save Julia from further pressure and sleepless nights. I can understand Gabriel’s decision in that regard. I can only imagine what must have been going on in his head. He didn’t have a healthy outlet to vent his frustrations, so it was plausible that he could have relapsed. I’m not going to lie, but I was anxious and literally hanging on the edge of my seat thinking that Gabriel might succumb to his old ways. But I’m so glad he didn’t! I was proud of him for that ☺

    At some point Julia accuses Gabriel of being cold sometimes. Do you think so too?

    I also thought of Gabriel as cold in some ways. I kind of felt bad for Julia because she was often times left in the dark. I agree with Tamie on this one. I think Gabriel’s remoteness is just a mask he puts on time and time again to avoid getting hurt.

    In these chapters, there’s a touching scene at the orphanage. Discuss…

    OMG! The orphanage scene was by far my favorite scene of this book. I literally had tears falling down my cheeks and goose bumps (or goose pimples as SR likes to call them) forming on my skin. The interaction between Gabriel and Maria was so special. It made me feel a sense of what Maia would have meant to him, if she had been born. I also loved the Superman/Lois Lane comparison (made me think of Henry Cavil which was a plus.) This scene demonstrated how much Gabriel wanted to be a parent and how much he wanted to help those less fortunate as Julia had once taught him.

    Gabriel and Julia seem to fight often. Did that worry you in some ways?

    That one scene at the end of Chapter 33 where Gabriel was talking to Julia about potentially adopting Maria had me in complete shock. I mean they have fought in the past, but Gabriel seemed pretty heated in this particular scene. →“Fuck!” he shouted, picking up her glass of water and throwing it. The glass shattered against the floor of the terrace. From a distance, Gabriel heard the door to the bathroom slam shut. He placed his hands on the balcony, leaning against the edge, and hung his head. That scene worried me a bit, but I knew Gabriel and Julia’s love would last more than a stupid argument.

    What did you think of the exhibition at the Uffizi?

    I loved it! I really like how Gabriel treats Julia with such admiration and angelic-ness (is that a word?) I wasn’t fond of museums at all before reading this book, but now that I know how sexy they are, I can’t stop dreaming about them 😉 I also liked how Gabriel had a secluded area where Julia could see her photograph displayed in the gallery, which was sweet.
    There’s a mysterious character at the exhibition. Did you wonder about him?
    There’s a mysterious character at the exhibition. Did you wonder about him?

    Yes! I also wonder about him. He seemed to rub Gabriel the wrong way and I trust Gabriel’s judgment (well…. for the most part.) I cannot wait to see who this mysterious character is in SR’s next book.

    What was your reaction when you read the letter that Paulina sent to Gabriel?

    I was surprised but very happy as well. I expected Paulina to be resentful towards Gabriel, but it just goes to show you how much people can grow when cultivated in love and kindness. I believe that Paulina was trying to get some closure from her relationship with Gabriel. I was happy that she finally was able to move on and have the life she always yearned for.

    There’s a flashback where we see Gabriel asking Paulina for forgiveness. What do you think of this scene?

    I loved this scene because it showed how much Gabriel has changed as a person. He’s been schooled in kindness and forgiveness ever since he met Julia. Although he didn’t fully embrace or even comprehend it before, he gets it now. He recognizes that in order to heal he has to learn to forgive.

    In chapter 40 there’s an interesting take on risks in life. Discuss…

    The words spoken from Julia’s mouth were very powerful. It’s true that life itself is a risk. We never know what tomorrow will bring. It’s important to take risks because our life is meaningless if we don’t. Life is all about pushing the boundaries of what confines us.

    Your favorite quote(s):

    “And just for the record, I like my body when it’s with yours, as well.”

    “Don’t cry, my sweet girl. You’re my Beatrice and my sticky little leaf and my beautiful wife. I’m sorry I’ve been such a bastard. I wanted to show you how important you are to me. You are my most precious masterpiece.”

    “You’re my Persephone; the maiden to my monster.”

    “Makeup sex, museum sex, corridor sex. I don’t care what you call it, but now is our chance.”

    “I want a heart-stopping, mind-blowing orgasm against a Florentine wall, Professor. You’ve just told me we have what I never thought we’d have—privacy in a public place. Screw shyness.”

    “Paulina, you have many admirable qualities, not least of which are your intelligence, your generosity, and your sense of humor. Don’t sell yourself short.”

    Your favorite paragraph(s):

    I also agree with Tamie, there’s too many to decide. I love them all.

    Your favorite scene(s):

    The orphanage, the Uffizi, and Chapter 40.

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  3. katiebirdie says:

    Still feeling the effects of these particular chapters. SR really is amazing with his writing. There were times when I wanted to smack Gabriel and hug him at the same time.

    In the beginning, I got what Gabriel was trying to do, because he wasn’t used to sharing his problems with someone else. That aspect of his personality can’t change immediately after getting married.

    “His secrets were hurting her. He knew that. But he couldn’t unburden himself until he’d found a solution. He didn’t want to appear weak and undecided, or worse, to watch her compassion change into pity. He’d rather alienate her temporarily than lose her respect.”

    BUT when he finally does share what he was struggling with, I didn’t like his decision was final. There was no room for discussion. I loved how Julia handled this issue, pushing back. Elena chose a paragraph from that scene. It brought tears to my eyes, and I had to stop reading to take moment to cry and breath. Gabriel wanting to protect himself and Julia from future heartbreak is futile, but admirable at best. This chapter is SR writing at it’s best.

    I loved all of the scenes in Florence. The orphanage was a great one, but it made me sad that our couple ended up fighting over the idea of adoption, because of their time there. It was important that they work through their ideas about family though.

    My favorite scene for sure, is definitely the Uffizi gallery. I could totally picture the paintings and the corridors. God, the sex scene was divine. Loved it!!

    I am probably going to be alone in this feeling, but I was put off by Gabriel hanging a photo of Julia next to the fine works of art. It just didn’t seem appropriate to me, but I got what he was trying to say. Like Julia, I would have wanted the picture taken down immediately.

    I found all of the flashback scenes with Paulina very interesting and enlightening, because of how different Gabriel is now. I always felt sorry for her, because of how Gabriel treated her and her loss. I admired Gabriel for reaching out to her to ask for forgiveness.

    There is also a scene with Simon and Natalie that seems weird to me. I am sure that is placed there for a reason, but I really don’t care about either of them.

    All of the quotes above are wonderful. 🙂

    My favorite scenes were the “Fucking the bad mood away” scene, and the Uffizi museum sex scene.

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