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Discussion Questions for Chapters 7-11
1. Gabi’s search for her sister is made increasingly difficult by the fight for territory between Castello Forelli and Castello Paratore. At this point, do you think the rivalry is warranted? Why or why not?
Land disputes are tough, particularly when they go on for hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of years. It’s hard to yield what you believe is rightfully yours, and when both sides are convinced wholeheartedly that they are right, the conflict seems to never end (see: Israel and Palestine). I absolutely think that this rivalry is warranted and that the fervor over this small bit of land would still keep them in conflict.
2. Gabi aids Fortino by having his sickroom cleaned out and using steam to loosen the phlegm inside his lungs so he could breathe better. Have you ever found yourself in a situation that required you to rely on home remedies to aid yourself or another? What are some of your favorite home remedies?
I would be so hopelessly lost if I had to rely on home remedies. I am in awe of people who know secret herbal tricks to solve complicated medical ailments. Gabi really shocked me here with her maturity and wisdom. Though in retrospect these seem like mostly common sense, I would never have thought of them! So, take note…don’t ever go camping or hiking or time traveling with me. I know no cures.
3. Marcello and his men don’t hide their surprise when they learn that Gabi is skilled with a sword. What did you think of this development? Has your initial impression of Gabi changed? Do you have any secret skills?
I think the difference between fencing and fighting with a broadsword would give her some more trouble than it seemed to here, though it didn’t truly bother me. I just went with it. She’d be better off than me, that’s for sure!
My secret skills? I would say synchronized swimming, but that’s not much of a secret and I’m not sure it’s as beneficial to survival as swordplay.
4. “Our lips were so close, I could feel the heat of his breath on my skin.” Gabi and Marcello’s feelings for one another are beginning to stir. What do you think of Marcello as a romantic interest thus far? What do you think of his intended?
I will admit that I was a bit uncomfortable with the fact that Marcello is taken, even if Lady Rossi is scummy. We loathe our men when they stray, but cheer them when it’s for true love. That said, love is complicated, and it’s hard to deny that they have an intense and real connection here.
5. Marcello and Luca take turns teaching Gabi the dances of Toscana. Would you have liked to attend a ball like the one Gabi was practicing for? Do you like to dance? Do you know any cool dance moves? Extra (not really) points if you YouTube yourself dancing and share the video. Come on, it will be fun! 🙂
I so wish that modern dances had more community to them. It’s sad to me that there aren’t a set of dances that everyone knows – although maybe some would consider line-dancing a form of that. That’s probably why I like line-dancing, even if I only know a few. Dancing is so much fun, and I would love to go to balls. If I was in olden times, I would go to balls like it was my JOB. Because, well, it kinda would be my job. That’s how you hook a man, right?
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