Pages read: 191-273
Chapters read: 12-17
Here are the discussion questions and my answers for the read-along. This week's questions are provided by:
Joy and Serena at Edgy Inspirational Romance.
1. In Siena, on her way to the ball at Palazzo Pubblico, Gabi likened her experience to being on the red carpet at the Academy Awards, the goal being "to see and be seen." If you were a peasant, watching from the crowd, what would you be thinking as this procession passed by? I would probably wish I were going to the ball, just like I always wish I was at the Academy Awards. I agree it is totally about "being seen" and being remembered. I may grumble a bit if I were a peasant and wish they were not starving me to wear their beautiful gowns. Of course I would also wish for that handsome knight to notice me in the crowd and rescue me from my meager existence.
2. Though quite nervous about dancing at the ball, Gabi discovers a strange feeling of connection to the time, the people, and the society through the unified beauty of the dance. Have you ever been in a position where you felt out of your element, but, in one, pinpointed moment, became a part of or connected to something bigger than your fear? When I started teaching I was terrified, totally shy and out of my element. I remember feeling, the moment I began speaking on my first day, that this was right where I was supposed to be in my life, in front of the classroom, teaching high school social studies. Teaching makes me happy (some days it raises my blood pressure to unheard of levels). To me teaching is bigger than myself and I feel a part of each student's present, past and future.
3. The kiss. Oh, the kiss. When Marcello finally kisses Gabi, he believes the experience to be proof that they are meant to be together. What did you think about his assumption? Were you surprised at Gabi's reaction to it? Have you ever experienced a kiss that seemed to be prophetic in a similar (or opposite!) way? NO prophetic kisses here. I wish! Marcello is making assumptions because he has no idea that Gabi has other plans for her life besides marriage. He may be a hottie, and her first true love but she has bigger problems and his kiss just created even more problems than she cares to have at that moment. Women tend to think and overthink more than men, men just seem to assume it will all work out to their advantage, no thinking needed.
4. Many go through their teen years with a subdued sense of immortality. Do you think Gabi has a sense of this teen feeling? And did you think Gabi's converse observation, "Sometimes death came hunting and there was no way to cut it off at the pass." was informed more by the experience of losing her father, her self-admitted closet hypochondria, or the forced maturation of being transported to a different time? How does this observation show Gabi's growth as a character? I agree, most teens think they are invincible and will live forever and Gabi sometimes shows this side of her. Yet Gabi has learned her history lessons and understands most of what it has taught her and is applying her knowledge to her current situation in Siena. In some ways Gabi still takes too many risks (I am saying this as her mother) and she needs to start thinking through situations clearly before jumping in but (as a reader) I enjoy her impetuous nature and her sometimes erratic teenager behavior. Going through life changing experiences, like the death of a father or falling into a time warp does tend to make a person grow up faster. Gabi's character has matured because she is no longer completely self-absorbed and she has started to see the affects of her actions.
5. In the span of a few moments, Gabi goes from sword-wielding teen beauty to man-killing warrior. Did you think her realization of the finality of death -- and her justification for its necessity -- was realistic?
I do. Gabi has strong instincts to protect herself and others and like most women, would go to extraordinary lengths to protect those people that she loves. It makes sense that she would try to justify the murder of the two men because otherwise she would not be able to go forward with her life.
Next week will be hosted by Jenny at Supernatural Snark! We will be reading chapters 18-23.