Brianna's on her way to Iraq and Afghanistan, supposedly to perform for the troops but she's also going to go find some murderous family members she's going to hold accountable for their murdering, right before they murder her. (Sadly, Brianna does not die. She may have been far less obnoxious than Skye, but her conversion apparently made her stupid.)
She would keep her expectations low, feeling quite certain that her family would not welcome her warmly.Uh... well, that is quite the understatement.
Despite the looming threats of death that Brianna thinks of only as "an unwarm welcome," she's certain this will bring her closure of some kind.
Brianna knew her family was extremely wealthy and powerful, but believed her own money and fame could get anything she wanted in this country.We will see that this is, in fact, true. The message Rothdiener sends in this book is less about forgiveness and more about the power of money. It might not be able to buy happiness, but apparently a pop star's personal money accrued over a mere four or five years can be enough to manipulate whole countries.
Oh, hey, we haven't mentioned how beautiful Brianna is in awhile.
Even dressed in camouflage apparel much of the time, her beauty— both inside and out was dazzling. At the concerts, the troops went crazy when she came out sporting a camouflage dress.Oh, yeah, I'm sure it's her inner beauty they're cheering for.
Incidentally, why is she wearing camouflage? Is it just because she supports the troops More Than Anyone Else Because She's the Best Person? Because I'm looking at pictures of other people who have entertained soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they appear to be dressed like normal people. She's also not one to let personal danger get in the way of doing what she wants to do.
Her concerts finished, she decides to get on to the more important thing: visiting the family members who want her dead. She starts by visiting the hospital in Baghdad where she was born. She dedicates a new birth wing and hangs out with the patients. Conrad notes that she's tender with the babies. It's a good sign for him if he wants her to make lots of babies for him.
Oh, and once again, we're reminded of this:
Sonya had told Brianna the room number where her mother had died. The staff allowed her some private time there, nobody knew why, nor did they ask. What Brianna wanted in that part of the world, she got... no questions asked.So Brianna is not only fundamentally better than everyone else in the world just by virtue of her beauty and talent and innate goodness, but she also has enough money to make people do what they want, even if they weren't already willing to fulfill her every wish because she's just so very beautiful.
She runs into a nurse who she thinks looks familiar, but the nurse gets super nervous when Brianna starts questioning her about her mother. Then there's a bomb scare and everyone evacuates the hospital, and Brianna tosses and turns all night wondering about the nurse.
That's the end of the chapter, which is very short, but I believe I've actually had my fill of stupid today, so here's a little mini bit of Brianna, and we'll return to see her hopefully for real meet her family next week.