Gabriel’s Promise by Sylvain Reynard. Review of a book I experienced like a blessing and a curse.

Synopsis

Author Sylvain Reynard returns with the fourth installment of the bestselling Gabriel’s Inferno series.When Gabriel and Julia Emerson first lay eyes on their newborn daughter, Clare, they realize life as they know it will never be the same. Gabriel has vowed to be a good father when he suddenly receives an invitation to give a series of lectures in Edinburgh, Scotland–an opportunity of high prestige–but that would mean leaving his wife and newborn child in Boston. Hesitant to bring it up, he keeps the opportunity from Julia as long as he can, not knowing she has a secret of her own.

When a frightening situation arises that threatens to break their new family apart, both parents must make sacrifices. With the family in danger, the looming question remains: Will Gabriel pursue his lectureship in Edinburgh, leaving Julia and Clare unprotected in Boston, or will he abandon the chance of a lifetime in order to ensure his family’s safety?

 

Review

 

4 stars

I have been a big fan of Gabriel’s series by Sylvain Reynard. I read them years back but I recall being enthralled by the story, the torment., the emotions, the love and the beautiful prose.

 

Gabriel’s promise is a different story from the other books, more “mature” as Gabriel and Julianne are now parents. I think seeing them as a married couple was both a blessing as Sylvain Reynard truly did a masterful job at painting parenthood and a curse. A curse as some of the uncertainty in their relationship disappeared, leaving out some of the hottest and angsty moments of the former books.

 

I want to praise Sylvain Reynard for writing so deftly about parenthood. All the emotions, the protectiveness, the wonders at being parents were extremely realistic. I loved how Gabriel was doting on his daughter. I loved how he worshipped Julianne. I loved how devoted he was to his family.

This is a time for reflection, for looking back on your life. With a baby your perspective in life is changing. Your relationship  and the dynamic you have with your parents is changing.

This is the age of maturity. The age of serenity. Professor Emerson is at peace, finally.

“He listened to the gentle tide of his wife’s breathing and the soothing quiet of the household. Then Gabriel slept.”

 

Being a mother, I could totally relate to these first days, weeks, months with your newborn.

It truly was a delight to read.

 

On the other hand, even if Sylvain Reynard took care to show us their passion still intact and even added some dangers and angst in the story, the intensity, the despair that affected me so deeply in the previous books was absent or muted. I must also confess that the intricate discussions about Dante and the other theories …lost me. I love learning more about Italian culture and art but it was just too complicated for me to follow everything.  Add to this  what I believe is an open ending as one of the book’s mystery is still unsolved and you have the reasons why I did not give this book a 5 stars.

 

But it would not be fair for this book if I didn’t mention how Sylvain Reynard stayed true to his characters!  I loved how Gabriel was in love with refined pleasures! His need for luxury gave us some funny moments when Julianne tried to guide her husband on a less privileged path in a need to avoid raising a spoiled brat!

“As soon as I’m better, I’ll introduce you to the magic of Target. We can browse the aisles with a large red cart, sip a Starbucks coffee, and do everything ourselves.” “You and I have different understandings of the term magic,” said Gabriel imperiously.

 

Should you read this book? If you have read the other ones certainly! Sylvain’s prose is still magnificent and reading about Gabriel and Julianne’s “Happy Ever After” warmed by heart.

 

Have you read the other books in this series?

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

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22 Replies to “Gabriel’s Promise by Sylvain Reynard. Review of a book I experienced like a blessing and a curse.”

  1. I still haven’t read this series yet… I know, I know…

  2. I’m seeing this book EVERYWHERE!! I guess that means I’ll have to read it and compare notes with everyone <3

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha yes!

  3. I’ve been wanting to read this series for a long time. Glad you enjoyed this one.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I hope you’ll love it!

  4. Sounds like you have a love/hate relationship with this one. But I do love seeing a epic love get this type of story where they are settled in their lives and raising a family.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Kind of indeed. And yes it’s nice to see the “after” but it damaged the myth somehow….

  5. I remember when the original trilogy came out several years ago. I was interested at the time but never got around to picking it up. I always think it’s exciting when an author revisits a series or characters several years down the road. Even if the same intensity isn’t there, I just love being back in their lives.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Yes! That’s exactly how this one felt Tanya! You nailed it!

  6. I’ve not heard of the series. I did enjoy your review and might check it out:)

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Honestly Laura, the first ones were my fav!

  7. Eeek…I’ve been so distracted, I didn’t even realize this was coming out!!! Great review Sophie but I think I’d need a re-read of the series before I pick this one up..

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Trisy! And if you are in the mood for a re read, why not?

  8. Sadly I gave up on this series after book one. It just wasn’t for me.

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one and were able to identify with so many aspects of the story!

    Great review.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      We can’t love all books Angie! I can understand that 🙂 And thank you!

  9. Sounds like he hits the emotions of parenthood and family very well, although sorry to hear about then open ending. Sometimes those don’t work. Sounds like a good one though! Nice review.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Greg! But yes he had it so right about parenting! Uncanny really!

  10. I haven’t read any of this author’s books. You have me really intrigued by these characters and the writing. I will have to add them to my list.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I hope you’ll love them Lori!!!

  11. I tried to read the original book when it came out….but it wasnt for me unforts…..

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Well it can’t work for everyone Caro!

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