Brianna's staying at Sonya's house, which is a six-bedroom six-bathroom mansion for herself and her three cats, who each get 1.6 bathrooms and bedrooms to themselves. Or maybe she takes up three of each and her cats only get one. Sucks to be them.
Sonya says Brianna will probably own a dozen houses like this all over the world someday, to which Brianna admirably says she'll have better things to do with her money, like help people. Brianna's bedroom the house apparently reminds her of her bedroom in Ethan's house, and she chases Sonya out so she can deal with the ghosts of her past.
That evening, they have dinner together, and Conrad prays for Brianna to find what she's looking for, and also for the troops.
Brianna was overwhelmed with his prayer.Well, he's no Skye, but I guess it was all right.
After dinner, they all retire to... share the intimate secrets of their hearts, I guess, as Conrad reveals that he's still plagued with guilt over not being able to save his brother. Cathy and Jonathan are apparently super conservative Christians because they didn't kiss until their wedding, but then again, they have to be super conservative Christians, since they're good people. I had forgotten that in this book every good person is a Christian and every bad person is not.
Still, Brianna would never comment on certain parts of her life. Sonya wondered if she would ever be able to open up honestly about her past.She needs to chill. It's been like... a month, MAYBE two.
Wait, no. Scratch that. I just checked -- it's been two weeks.
Do any of YOU open up about the most painful details of your past to people you met two weeks ago? Or even ONE day ago, in the case of all her bodyguards? Because I sure don't. Just because Conrad's comfortable sharing his darkest secrets with everyone he just met doesn't mean Brianna should be. Sonya needs to be patient. At least she just silently prays this time instead of asking Brianna in front everyone, "So, tell us about your stepfather."
Conrad muses about how fascinating Brianna is and how beautiful she is, but reminds himself to not get emotionally attached because of professional reasons. And while he doesn't mention this, I think he should also remember that she's also just barely seventeen, so it's a little creepy for him to be ogling her all the time. In fact, he does remember this, and maybe even thinks of her as a child ("Only seventeen, she had experienced much more life than any child should have") which makes the whole thing even creepier. "Well, I shouldn't get involved with a 17-year-old child. It's unprofessional."
Brianna plays the piano, and they all applaud. She then says she can play almost any stringed instrument, but she likes the violin best. That's an impressive amount of music to accomplish in six years (she moved into Ethan's house when she was six and moved out when she was twelve). In those six years, she learned to play the piano perfectly, the guitar perfectly, and apparently almost any stringed instrument, no doubt also perfectly. Did she have time for anything else?
That night, Brianna falls asleep playing her guitar, and Sonya goes into her room and whispers creepy things at her while she sleeps:
“I hope I can help you face your fears, and find what you are searching for. For your sake, I hope it’s worth it.”
“I wonder if that beauty mark holds any secrets.”
“Sleep well, my child. Tomorrow is your big day.”Finally Sonya leaves her alone, and the chapter ends with me worrying once again how Brianna is constantly portrayed in this book as both a lost child and a sex object to be desired. Sonya treats her like a child to her face but markets her physical beauty to help her succeed. Conrad pities her as a child who grew up too fast but simultaneously thinks of her as an adult woman he could be physically attracted to. A good book would explore this dichotomy and have great observations on it. This is not a good book.
I didn't have as much to write about the ending of that chapter as I thought I would, so let's leave it here for now and continue on to chapter nine next week.