So, I forgot, this is where we remember that Brianna is a rich pop star who can do anything:
After using their political pull, and at the request of the President of the United States, Iraq agreed to release the body of Brianna’s mother.Because of course the President is going to spend his time demanding that an Iraqi family ship their daughter's body off to the U.S. on a pop star's whim. That seems like an excellent move for relations between the Middle East and the United States.
Ethan, Brianna, and her bodyguards flew to Iraq on the star’s private jet....Better yet, Ethan, Brianna, and her bodyguard are apparently going to bring her mother's remains back themselves. In a private jet. That seems awesome.
After visiting her mother's grave, they visit the hospital where Brianna was born. They find a nurse who smuggled Brianna out of the hospital and they all reminisce together and it's all quite boring, or maybe I'm just not in a snarky enough mood.
We abruptly switch to them leaving Iraq. We learn that Brianna's grandmother has left her husband, who was then killed along with her two sons, and she inherited all his money. I don't have the energy tonight to look up whether that would be an actual thing allowed in their area of the world, but it is a nice tidy solution. Rothdiener opted to kill off everyone who wasn't a Christian by the end of the book.
Brianna's grandmother reveals that the charm Brianna found in her box of her mother's things is a 2500-year-old charm where every gem in the charm is one of the rarest gems in the entire world. Because Brianna definitely couldn't have a charm that WASN'T outrageously valuable. That would imply that her goodness wouldn't always lead to wealth, and that would be ridiculous.
So then they fly back to Colorado and they have a little funeral for Brianna's mother. They fly in that pastor of that church Brianna got saved in to do the service. Brianna and Ethan sing.
That's the end of the chapter. I'm not stopping there for this blog because, uh, nothing happened. All of this is so BORING. But at least it's not infuriating like the last chapter was, so I guess that's a step up. Either way, let's keep going.
(This chapter begins with this verse, quoted exactly here: "Now then, stand still and see this greet thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes!" This... what thing? I hope the Lord is about to teach us a new handshake. That would be a good greet thing.)
Brianna releases her new CD, which, of course, "quickly raced to the top of the charts," and then she goes off on a year-long tour while Sonya steps down as her manager for... no reason. Just that "it was time for the attorney to begin a new life of her own." Good luck going back to work as a lawyer after leaving your successful law office to work as a tour manager and personal assistant for seven years. Those fields are not terribly connected.
Everybody is sad and says bye to Sonya, although Rothdiener reminds us that "with modern technology she would only be a phone call away." Yes, so different than when we started this story in the 19th century.
Ethan takes over managing Brianna, because "[h]is people skills and knowledge of the world made him a perfect fit for the job." Yup. People skills and knowledge of the world are pretty much all you need. We don't want anyone with actual managing experience involved apparently, Brianna's career pretty much drives itself.
Brianna shares her conversion with everyone on tour, and everyone's happy because she's SO open with them that it makes them think of her as a family member. (I don't quite get that reasoning, but that's what our author is claiming.)
Ethan and Brianna also go to Paris together as part of her mega tour. But then...
After the final concert in Paris, Ethan said he was tired and going to bed early. Brianna thought it strange, and was afraid her father was ill. He had looked slightly pale. “I’m fine. I’m just very tired.”What? Ethan's a Christian. He can't die. Only the non-Christians die in this book, and they die horribly and with no possible hope. I can't actually remember if he dies, and he might just be faking it, because he suggests she and Conrad go see the sights, and I KNOW she and Conrad have gotta get together at some point, so it's probably here.
However, I'm pretty sure I can't stomach reading more awkward flirting between Brianna and her bodyguard who was flirting with her back when she was barely-16 and hasn't gotten any better at it since then, so I'm going to call it a day and try to tackle the rest of this next week. Sorry nothing happened in these chapters.