In Ariel’s post about this chapter yesterday we had some shocking revelations, and now it’s time for my take on them: I also actually like Miley Cyrus’s song “Wrecking Ball”. I have no shame about this. Girl’s got feelings to sing about.
So there’s been a lot of stuff happening, readers! Have you joined our new Goodreads group yet? Have you bought an Uncle Jeb’s Cave Tours mug yet? Have you seen the Ender’s Game movie yet? That last one isn’t shameless self-promotion; I just saw it and the book was really important to me as a kid and I have Feelings.
The previous chapter ended with, seemingly, everything that could possibly be the plot of this book. But it ended on this ambiguous cliffhanger!
“Wait,” he snapped.
Then he was gone. […]
Wait. For what?
Of course, Eva has no idea. We have no idea, because this plot is so awfully structured. So it’s time for detective Eva to figure out what the plot was supposed to be! It’s basically the Blue’s Clues chapter of the novel.
Although before that happens, there’s this fantastic line that we really can’t draw enough attention to:
“I should just write a book,” I muttered, resuming my walk back to my cubicle and wondering why in hell everyone was so interested in my dating life.
It’s funny because it is a book and I have no idea why anyone would be interested in her dating life either. Ha.
Anyway, back to pre-detective business. Eva runs into Gideon on a date with Corinne and flips him off and leaves before he says anything. Confused by what Gideon means by “wait” and his promise/warning that he would never take off Eva’s promise ring even though Gideon is apparently dating Corinne now (Because who wouldn’t promise their ex that he’s waiting for her to take him back and then date his other ex in the meantime? FLAWLESS PLAN.), Eva decides to investigate what the fuck this book was supposed to be about. NOW ON TO DETECTIVE BUSINESS.
Clue #1: Eva suddenly realizes her mother must have seen Nathan in New York!
“That day we went out to lunch with Megumi, you freaked out on the walk back tot he Crossfire. You saw him, didn’t you? Nathan. You saw Nathan at the Crossfire.”
“Yes, she admitted. “That’s why Richard decided it would be best to just pay him what he wanted. Nathan said he’d stay away from you as long as he had the money to leave the country. (Wait, if you gave him just enough money to do that, then he’s stranded on the other side of the ocean away from Eva. That’s not a bad compromise?) Why do you ask?”
“It didn’t hit me until just now that Nathan was the reason why you reacted the way you did. (Although why it hit her now isn’t explained. She was just “struck by a thought” after flipping off Gideon.)“
She hangs up, telling her mom she’s “working on” everything being alright. She meets up with Cary and deduces that Nathan must have gone to see Gideon before Gideon got all distant, so something other than Nathan must have been what set Gideon off.
So what did happen to make Gideon get all distant? Eva decides to go interview her next witness: Corinne Giroux!
Eva shows up at Coinne’s and – because she is apparently Sherlock fucking Holmes all of a sudden – deduces that Corinne has been putting on a show to make it look like she’s hooking up with Gideon to make Eva get jealous and back off.
I rang the bell to her apartment and the door swung open to reveal a flushed and disheveled Corinne in a floor-length black silk robe. […]
“Can I come in?” I asked tightly.
“Uh.” She glanced over her shoulder. “It’s best if you didn’t.” […]
“Cut the shit, Corinne. […] I know he would’ve told you upfront that you and he weren’t going anywhere, because he wouldn’t want to lead you on.”
“I just want to know what you were doing at the Crossfire that day you came out looking as freshly fucked as you do now.”
Her smile was razor sharp. “What do you think I was doing?”
“Not Gideon […] you saw me coming. Gideon told you at the Waldorf dinner that I was the jealous type. Did you have a nooner with someone from one of the other offices? Or did you muss yourself up before you stepped outside?”
Corinne denies it but Eva knows she’s right about Corinne not really seeing Gideon. Even though there was the shirt covered in lipstick in the office in his trash can, but I guess we’re ignoring that? DETECTIVE EVA.
Which brings us to Eva’s third clue: Dr. Lucas! By the way, Eva’s using Gideon’s limo that he still has following Eva around for some reason to do all this investigative work.
“Gideon Cross was a patient of yours […] You lied to his mother. Why?” […]
“Did he tell you that?”
“No. I’m figuring this out as I go. (…figuring out what? And how?) Hypothetically speaking, why would you lie about the results of an exam?”
“I wouldn’t. You need to leave.” […]
“I’m going to figure it out. I just needed to see your face. I had to know if I was right. (About what?)”
“You’re not. Cross was never a patient of mine.”
“Semantics – his mother consulted you. And while you go about your days seething over the fact that your wife fell in love with him, think about what you did to a small child who needed help.”
Eva leaves, having… apparently figured out something somehow.
Eva leaves Dr. Lucas’s office and we learn what her clues were uncovering: a way for Gideon to just show up and just tell her what’s going on already.
Oh, first they make out while Eva tells him about how they broke up.
“You think you can say a few words and end us? There is no end, Eva.”
Awwwwww! Call the cops! I’m pretty sure that’s the sort of thing crazy people say before they’re about to murder someone.
But then Eva puts her foot down and tells Gideon that he can’t “make this up with a kiss or a fuck”, which finally prompts Gideon to open up and tell Eva about his past. And, yes, it’s as tragic and fucked up and sad as we were expecting it to be from this series. Gideon’s dad committed suicide and a lot of people everywhere hated him for screwing them over financially, which was a difficult thing for kid Gideon to handle and he reacted violently. It got worse when his mother remarried immediately and their kid – Gideon’s step-brother Christopher – copied his older brother’s violent behavior. This was when his family sought therapy, and one of the therapists – who is implied to be Dr. Lucas – sexually abused Gideon. It’s a terrible and traumatic story, and does what would seem to be impossible: make the reader empathize with Gideon.
But this is still Reflected In You. Just because there’s a legitimately sad part, it doesn’t mean it isn’t shit.
“They came out to the house – the shrink and a doctoral candidate she was supervising. It started out all right. They were both nice, attractive, patient.”
It’s the word “attractive”. What is it doing in there? Every single character in this novel is described as attractive. Every. Single. Character. Which, sure, this is supposed to be an erotic novel. During sexy times, yeah, that’s good to know. But this isn’t sexy times. And we make fun of Sylvia Day for needlessly describing characters as attractive when Eva’s talking to a delivery guy or her dentist or a hobo asking her for change or literally anyone anywhere. But this is an emotionally haunted man talking about a prolonged period of sexual abuse during his childhood. It’s like Sylvia Day just had no idea that this might not be an appropriate time to continue in “Whoa! This is an erotic novel! Don’t forget everyone here is super hot!” mode.