[Free Best] Gabrielle (Sunfire, No 24)Author Mary Francis Shura – Bilb-weil.de

Is it the showboat magic that makes him love her? She's a showboat star Will she have to give it up for love?Sixteenyearold Gabrielle Prentice is practicing a new tightrope act for her father's showboat on the banks of the Mississippi River when she falls into the arms of a handsome young farmerand in loveShe soon finds that being in love with David Wesley isn't easy Mrs Wesley, his mother, looks down on showboat people, and showboat people, especially the talented, aloof Stephen Dubois, do not think much of farmers But Gabrielle is determined to pursue her dream of life on land She convinces her father to let her accept the invitation grudgingly extended by Mrs Wesley to spend a week on the family farmLife on the farm is not what Gabrielle had imagined David is different, too Has Gabrielle been dreaming of the wrong love? And is she ready to face what she really wants?


10 thoughts on “Gabrielle (Sunfire, No 24)

  1. Karla Karla says:

    This was the first Sunfire that had me flipping to the end before I finished to find out who the heroine ended up with. Usually the two boys the title character finds herself torn between are equally whatever, but the farmboy David Wesley in this book was so creepily stalkerish like Edward Cullen from Twilight that I was keen to see her end up with the other guy, the acrobat and showboat performer, Stephen DuBois.

    Because of Wesley's rather, um, psycho declarations and condescending attitude towards Gabrielle (definitely the YA 1980s Edward Cullen), it dampened the overall enjoyment of the book, but I did appreciate the attention Shura gave to the class divide between stage performers and civilians. It was entirely in keeping with the history books I've read of the 19th century theater. Shura did miss some opportunities to give more knowledge of the profession and the description of the showboat felt generic and non-descriptive in parts, but for a 215 page book, she did an extremely good job of evoking the difference between riverboat life and small-town smugness. The land folk weren't complete caricatures, even though they might seem that way. The bias towards actresses was pretty strong back then, regarded as little better than prostitutes, and that attitude came across very vividly.


  2. Stacy Stacy says:

    I remember these books from when I was growing up--wish I could find them in a used bookstore somewhere!


  3. Abby Abby says:

    Waxing Nostalgic#9- Gabrielle is by my favorite Sunfire author, Shura. I enjoy reading about life on a river boat. I think it would be fascinating. I love the idea of family among the performers. In this book, Gabrielle spends most of her time with only one suitor. I usually do not prefer this but Shura is a good writer and she gives both men a purpose and character.


  4. Gabriella Gabriella says:

    This was the first romance novel I ever read, I still have it- I chose it since my name is Gabriella- I don't remember too much about it and should probably read it again, but I do know that it never furthered my interest in romance novels...


  5. Meghan Meghan says:

    I think that Shura reused the plot from Jessica but with a more original setting.


  6. Kiki Kiki says:

    one of the first romance novels i ever read, I was in high school and i reread this book many times, I loved it


  7. Reading with Cats Reading with Cats says:

    Eh. Gabrielle was fine, but her stalkers heroes kind of suck.


  8. Natasha Natasha says:

    *Rereading my way through the Sunfire series, in publication order*

    Although not a deep story, GABRIELLE manages a good romance, solid character growth, and a nice amount of historical detail of the life on a showboat in the 1880s.

    Gabrielle Prentice grew up on her father's showboat, singing and acting. The boat's troupe are her family, but she's desperate for all of them to stop seeing her as a child. Although she won't admit it, she also wants to impress and get approval from young Stephen Dubois, the talented, yet arrogant new dancer on the boat. One week when weather forces them to shore, she secretly begins practicing a tightrope act that she thinks will do the trick. She's discovered by David Wesley, a farmboy, who is enchanted with this vision of a girl walking around up in the treetops. She's intrigued by him, he's positively smitten and begins following the ship from shore for a chance to propose to this girl he's talked to for all of three minutes. Rather than being utterly creeped out by his stalking, Gabrielle tells her father that she wants to get to know David better. Here's where I started to give the book some side eye. Her father exchanges letters with David's unwelcoming mother to set up a meeting between the two. Meanwhile Gabrielle debuts her new tightrope act, which is a smashing success. In the midst of her her success, she's invited to spend a week at the Wesleys' farm, getting to know David. He instantly declares his undying love for her and shows her where he's going to build their house. Gabrielle, more sensible than I gave her credit for, refuses to go along with it, reminds David they hardly know each other, and pushes him away. He then starts getting grabby, multiple times, and she really pushes him away. Why did she agree to come for a week, he asks angrily, if she didn't want him all over her? Thankfully Gabrielle found that question just as repellent as I did and, when the week ends, she returns very happily to the boat. Stephen is waiting for her and respectfully asks if he can begin to court her. This felt sudden to me, coming only in the last few pages of the book, but Gabrielle also acknowledged its suddenness, telling Stephen that she'd like to, but that there was no rush. Being a better man, he agreed that she was worth the wait.


  9. Kat Kat says:

    Basic Plot: Gabrielle decides if life on land or on her father's showboat is what she wants.

    I remember reading this and a bunch of the other Sunfire romance novels when I was an early teen. I acquired a couple through the ubiquitous Scholastic reading catalogues sent home from school and managed to find a few more at the local public library. I genuinely liked them at the time. They provided a little bit of historical tidbit in with the love stories, and featured young women who fought for what they wanted and didn't just stand by waiting for things to happen.

    Gabrielle being a theatre person (showboats are theatres, too!) made her someone I liked a lot. There was a distinct divide in culture between show people and other people at the time that the book really dealt with both clearly and well. Show people were not well respected at all, and were frankly looked down upon as charlatans and whores. The treatment Gabrielle got at the hands of the farm family was enraging, even when I was younger. The love triangle was equally infuriating, as it was really obvious to the reader which young man would be better for her life and sanity.


  10. Cindy Cindy says:

    I originally read this series back in the 80s, checking them out from my elementary school library. Having re-read them as an adult I think they stand the test of time and are still relevant as far as historical fiction is concerned.