**This discussion may include spoilers through chapter 59**
What do you think about Gabriel wanting to investigate into his family? Do you find his decision appropriate or not?
Tamie: I believe that under the circumstances he has every right to try to get information. He needs to know and I don’t blame him. I’d want to get all the info I could get my hands on.
Elena: Yes, I do. Gabriel has a lot of unanswered questions about his blood family, and he has every right to find the answers he’s looking for.
In these chapters there’s an interesting take on what it means to accept the grace that’s offered to us. Discuss…
Elena: As always, I love these parts in the books, and I agree with Julia. In order to heal, we need to accept the grace and forgiveness that God gives us. Gabriel says that he doesn’t feel worthy, but we’ll never be worthy, because we’re imperfect human beings who keep on sinning, but I believe God doesn’t give forgiveness to the “worthy ones” — he gives it freely to all those who ask for it, as imperfect as they may be. I think this is one of the best gifts God can give us.
Tamie: For me, the existence of grace is a concept which is extremely important and personal. I agree that Gabriel feels unworthy, but if it were based on worthiness very few would actually receive it. Elena says quite eloquently what I believe as well.
Gabriel has his vasectomy reversed. What were your feelings when this anticipated scene happened?
Tamie: I think this is a huge milestone for Gabriel. It represents such a change in attitude from not so long ago in terms of the story. This is just one of many reasons why I’m glad that SR decided to favor us with a third book. I believe when you have such wonderfully complicated characters that there are always new things to discover about them. This series is an amazing journey for Gabriel, and the vasectomy reversal is an important part of it.
Elena: Would I seem weird if I said that I had tears to my eyes? This surgery isn’t just a physical event, but it means so much more. Gabriel had the vasectomy done to him, because he felt unworthy of ever being a father. Now, by having his vasectomy reversed, he shows that he’s changed and he’s beginning to see he’s worthy of love, peace and fatherhood.
What do you think of Simon and April’s relationship?
Elena: I don’t feel like commenting on their relationship yet. Simon has always been a despicable character to me. I don’t know what to think of their relationship yet. It seems Simon loves April, and perhaps something is changing in him? But can we believe him? I need to know more.
Tamie: In a book full of surprises this was certainly a big one for me. I never expected Simon to play a part in it. I’m not sure what to think at this point. Simon was so awful in the past and I don’t know if I ever thought he could actually have a truly loving relationship. We’ll see…
We finally get to know what was written in the card that Gabriel had written to Julia, but that she had torn up. Discuss...
Tamie: HUGE moment for me people…HUGE! I have wanted to know for over 2 years what was in that note and FINALLY we get to know. Huge hugs and thanks to SR for giving us this detail. It’s so Gabriel too. LOVED IT!
Elena: The content of the card was so beautiful!! Gabriel has always a way with words…I wish Julia had kept it 😉 I love Shakespeare’s twenty-ninth sonnet. It’s one of my favorites. Personally, I would have framed the card 😉
Gabriel meets his half sister…What do you think of their meeting and what is your opinion of Kelly?
Elena: Well, that was a surprise, but I’m happy that Gabriel met his half-sister. She seems a lovely woman and she loves her half-brother. It’s evident from her words and actions. Furthermore, she was the one that contacted him, and that speaks volumes. I’m happy she’s helping Gabriel put together the pieces of the puzzle that is his past.
Tamie: I think it was another wonderful gift in a book full of them. I love that Gabriel has another person in his life who’s important, and who is so willing to help him to learn about his past. I understand his initial distrust, but am glad he went with it.
At one point Julia encourages Gabriel to forgive his parents and says “Forgiveness frees you. It’s for you, as much as for them.” Do you agree with her?
Tamie: I think forgiveness can be very difficult, and I do believe it’s a choice. It doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten, but that you’re ready to move past the anger and hurt. I think it can be very freeing.
Elena: Another scene where Julia shines. Yes, I agree. It’s difficult to do this. There’s no denying that. Especially when you’ve been badly hurt by people who should have protected you. In Gabriel’s case, his blood parents weren’t real parents. But forgiveness heals the soul. Holding anger and resentment makes you miserable, while forgiveness frees you in some way, like Julia says. And if we forgive those that have wronged us, we can be forgiven by those people that we’ve wronged. Again it’s very difficult, but giving it a try doesn’t hurt. Quite the opposite, actually.
Your favorite quote(s):
Tamie: If there was one line that stuck out and to me is such a great example of why I love SR’s writing it is this beauty…
“For you, my love, I would endeavor to pluck the stars from the sky, only to shower them at your feet.”
Elena: “For you, my love, I would endeavor to pluck the stars from the sky, only to shower them at your feet.”
“You’re the only woman who ever persuaded me to give my heart. And you still seduce me, Mrs Emerson. Every day.”
“You can’t control all of life’s circumstances, but you can control your reactions to them.”
Your favorite paragraphs:
Elena: I can’t choose this time. There are too many.
Your favorite scenes:
Tamie: Desk sex, and meeting his sister.
Elena: When Gabriel has his vasectomy reversed and his meeting with his half sister.
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 weeks winner is: Mary Jo
Tamie and Elena