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!