Sunday, June 29, 2014

Over the River (Near Matson's Ford) and Through the Woods (Between Valley Forge and Philadelphia) to Mother Claire's House We Go!

SPOILER ALERT:  I have read 21 Chapters in Written in My Own Heart's Blood.  

Gather 'round now, chitlins, 'cuz mama's got a lot to talk about, mmmkayyy?  Talk amongst yourselves...I'll give you a topic:  St. John's Wort is neither a saint, nor a wart.  Discuss!!

First of all...  Ooooh wheee!  That Willy is all kinds of messed up in the head right now, is he not?!  Boyfriend's walkin' around...all disheveled...trying to keep up this facade of being rich-folk...when in all actuality, hereditarily speaking, he doesna have a pot to pee in!  (Unless it's the lady Arabella-Jane's chamber pot...and he's too highfalutin to peep on top of her low-class peeps so soon after she peeped 'em!)

The story of Willie's life.
OK so seriously.  Here's a guy who has been told - his entire life - that he's special.  And rich.  And all of a sudden...BAM!  He ain't worth a dime - figuratively AND literally.  It's got to be completely overwhelming and all-encompassing, no?  You really have to put yourself in William's position to understand why I feel such empathy for him.  His entire world is a lie.  His mother is not his mother.  His father is not his father.  And the very people who raised him and were supposed to protect him have been lying to him all those years.
You think I've got it bad...you
should see the Earl of Ellesmere!
This poor kid is a ticking time bomb!!  He makes Dallas in The Outsiders look like he's out for a stroll at the convenience store parking lot!!  I don't blame him one bit for hating Jamie Fraser.  (Nor does Jamie, I might add.)

But Ian?  WEE Ian?!?  Dude...you better back the eff UP.  I will NOT tolerate you hauling off and hitting Ian in the mouth...and then being all snooty and righteous and telling the officers HE started it.  Well nanny nanny noo noo, ya poor bugger.  I don't feel the least bit sorry for ya when ye act like a child.  Hell, my 9 year old wouldn't play THAT blame game...and he invented it!  His sister does everything wrong..."I don't know" leaves his stuff around the house...and "somebody" moved it when he can't find it.  Believe me - I know a good bit about acting like a child...and William's doing a rip-roarin' job.

Hey Rachel...
Want a piece of this?
And how about Miss Rachel being all bedroom eyed over Ian's fine arse in the woods...or his johnson private parts under the loin cloth breechclout for that matter!  Girlfriend is in HEAT!  I love it!  Quaker or no, she knows one fine piece of homely, skinny ass when she sees it!  I found it totally bittersweet when Herself said Rachel just liked to talk to Ian...and look at his face (so paraphrasing but you get the gist).  I love that he's found someone who's so gaga over him that she just wants to stare at him.  But it made me sad to think of his face being tattooed forever...and her probably being sad for him, even though he's not sad for himself.  I think those tattoos would probably make me love him more...because it would make him seem vulnerable in a way.  (And we all know how much Carol loves vulnerability in her fictional men!)

Honestly, it kills me to not know what Wee Ian looks like.  I wish someone would sit Diana Gabaldon down with a sketch artist and make her draw him for us.  I've always seen him like Joe Mazzello...but I'd love to know how she sees him (along with sooo many other characters!)

It also pains me to hear Ian rehashing and reliving "Emily" in his mind while filling Rachel in on all the sordid deets.  Ahem...cough bloort coughhhh!!!

Excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth a little at the mere thought of that awful woman.

Why, yes!  That is my nephew who
thinks I'm dead.  Thanks for asking!
OK getting back to the matter at hand.  Jamie...cruising along Lancaster Avenue  Route 30  Lincoln Highway  the main road to Philadelphia, on someone's wagon.  Like an even hotter, red-heided Pa Ingalls - trying to get back to Claire...so she can tell him just what she was thinking about, sleeping with Lord John, which he finds somewhat Mary McNabbesque.  (Not sure I remember him meeting back up with Mary for a little third base after that...a la Claire and Lord John...but why split hand jobs hairs).  I have to be honest - I don't really want Claire to get off that easy (pun intended!)  but - again - it's almost easier to write it off than spend a ton of time dwelling on it...just like the situation with Jenny.

So here's Jamie, riding along...and there is FRIGGIN IAN WHO THINKS HE'S DEAD walking alongside of him!!!  Oh holy hell - I sat right up (in my lounge chair by the pool where I was ignoring my family all afternoon) and said "No WAY!!!!!"  (I can't WAIT until we see Ian realize Jenny's still alive, too!!)  And poor Rachel is running alongside the gaggle of lobsterbacks...trying to keep track of where they're taking her Scottish Mohawk man.  (Um, did Ian not tell you to go to Mother Claire and help him get out of this mess?  So whatcha doin' still here, missy??) And then SHE looks at Jamie and almost falls the hell over...which is beyond deliciously fun, no?!

And when Jamie blackmails Willie and thinks to himself "Oh shiz - I couldna even take him!"???  Oh that just did it for me.  I am as entrenched as anyone can be at this point.

Yup.  I'm knee-deep in NEW GABALDON!!!  

It's like Christmas morning when you've unwrapped all your new toys and you love everything...but you've only tested out a few so far and they couldn't tear you away from these new toys if they tried.

A few quick points:  

- Kindof glad we have't heard from Mother Claire and Hal in the last few chapters.  I needed a break from Hal's asthma and Claire's ministrations.

- Love the complexity of the situation with Ian and Rachel...and Denny and Dottie for that matter.  Religious tradition and its upheaval in one's life always spices up a storyline.

- All y'all have no iDEA how juicy all this Philadelphia burbs stuff is.  Valley Forge...Matson's Ford (which is current day Conshohocken, y'all)...Brandywine...Jethro Woodbine (as in Woodbine Avenue)...it's like Diana Gabaldon was in my class at St. Norbert's and went on all the field trips with me.  Something tells me she didn't sing quite as loudly and obnoxiously as I did on the bus rides there and back...but I digress.

- Jamie has always, ALWAYS acted like a father to William.  So many instances of him showing him tough love...just like a good dad would do.  It warms my heart.  Jamie just walked up to him - grabbed him by the ear (OK not the ear but you know what I mean) - and told him what he was going to do...because it was the RIGHT thing to do.  I have such love for this sad little non-relationship, I canna conTAIN myself.  I can only hope they forge some type of bond going forward, after Willie stops feeling sorry for himself and doing hookers because they insist upon it while being saved from a good buggery.

- Lord John.  Lorddddddd Lord John.  Oy.  That dumb shit has now been taken by yet another band of rebels.  (Oh hush - you know I love him.  He's like family.  That's what family does.  We make fun of each other.  Tracey calls me dumb all the time.)  At least this time he's got the smarts enough to lie about his identity...and tone down the hoity toity English accent.  I can only hope for his sake that he left his sarcastic quips back at camp with Den and Dot.

I know I'm forgetting a ton of good stuff but that's what happens when you read, read, read...which I have been doing today.  I am getting to that point where I have no choice but to read, no matter how hard to try to ration my NG (New Gabaldon).

The force is strong with this one, my friends.  

35 comments:

  1. So cracking up reading this. Great job!

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    1. Fantastic stuff!! Just discovered Purgatory. Thanks for your insights. I'll be back for more!

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    2. THANKS Mandy!! :) I can finally read comments!!

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  2. OH MY GOD, Carol! This is classic! I laughed myself silly through the whole thing.

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    1. YEY!!! :) I have to post more MOBY soon!

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  3. Carol, I am PEEING myself reading this post!! Keep 'em coming, sistah! :-D

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    1. If you'll keep peeing, I'll definitely keep posting, Miss Cari. SMOOCHIES! :)

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  4. Awesome review....I wish I was sitting in the lounge chair next to ya yelling I KNOW CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS SHIT!!!!!!

    By the way...he knew his momma died at birth....but then his auntie died on him and then his step momma went back to her original husband ....oh wait still his step momma....The other day I started to describe a part that I was at in MOBY and in my heid I heard what I was gonna say and it was a soap opera sooooooo I stopped....

    Jule (CT)

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    1. LOLOL I know RIGHT! Can you imagine someone thinking it was "real life", Jule?!?

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  5. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!! Classic MOP is baaaaaccckk! So verra happy! "D

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    1. :) LOL Christie. I love you guys. I had no idea these comments were all so positive or I'd have read them months ago. ;) KIDDING. Just couldn't chance SPOILERS!

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  6. Fantastic! I anxiously await your next installment! Ellie(TX)

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  7. Loved this post! I was so mad when William told the men to take Ian I put my Nook down and started yelling at him (like a mom scolding her son). My husband looks up and says "That must be some book. You were cracking up five minutes ago!" He's not much for reading but is going to watch it on Starz with me. He won't let me tell him about the books.

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  8. I love you guys!!! I waited 4 years to post like this again!!!!

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  9. Oh, I am so loving this book! I'm further along than you, but damn, even by chapt 21, what a RIDE! I have startled my husband awake with my WTF! outbursts. And several of those even BEFORE Chapt. 21!
    10 min to True Blood. I will read more later.

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  10. Oooo, a most enjoyable chortle! Thankee kindly. My sort of stuff said as well, and I heartily and in a quakerish way, AMEN it.

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  11. Omg. I was cracking right up at Rachel's admiring the fine-ness of a wet Ian. So funny!

    The Force is indeed verra strong! Lol!

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  12. Good Gravy Carol, you have no idea how wonderful it is to find someone who thinks like me about all this, lol. I have been walking around in an absolute daze for weeks! When William punched Ian I exclaimed, "Hey now, that's not nice!" And my family was asking me what's wrong. How am I supposed to explain?? They clearly ask too much of me!

    Around the place where you are is when my "Oh, I'll just make this book last as long as possible..." facade came crashing down and I became like Gene Hackman in the French Connection rolling up my sleeve, needing more and more every day. (Sorry, it was the fist thing that popped in my mind.)

    Keep these awesome posts coming, sister. You are one of the few who think like me! (Does it make me a bad person that I'm on vacation with my family and half my brain is still in the 18th century?)

    -Donna from Western PA, with her toes in Outer Banks sand...

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    1. Yey! PA Represent!! Jiggin' Dad (aka Tracey and my father) is from Northwestern PA and we grew up in (Remember) PAOLI! :)

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  13. This is so awesome! I can finally follow along in real-time instead of stumbling on them after the fact. LOVE!!!! And OMG! that pic of "Jamie" as Pa Ingalls. Rolling......seriously. I had tears, it was so funny.

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    1. LOL T - I REALLY need to post more. I'm reading this in bloody NOVEMBER!!! LOL!

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  14. [No MOBY Spoilers Here]

    Lately I have been thinking about some of the comments besmirching Jenny character. Things like Jenny was hated at the end of Echo. I didn't feel this way, Jenny has always been one of my favorite persons and I thought I would perhaps say a few words in her defense.

    A few days ago I stumbled across Diana’s workshop “The Cannibal’s Art - Characterization” on her website. Not that I’m interested in learning how to write, but I am quite interested in how Diana writes. Sometimes when I finish a scene or chapter of hers. I am flabbergasted. How can the fictitious people feel so real and evoke such strong emotions? It has been my experience that writers with this particular talent are uncommon. Diana says that “Characters are defined in a story on the basis of what they want.” I would like make the statement upfront, that I do not presume to understand the inner workings of Diana’s mind and I honestly believe that I would not be able to sleep at night if it were possible to comprehend a small portion of what lurks in the shadows of the dark recesses of her imagination.

    Most people probably have a dislike for Jenny that began when she sent for Laoghaire in Voyager. Janet was sent by her mother, Jenny, to tell Laoghaire that Claire was back. Now why would Jenny do that? What was it that Jenny wanted? We know that Jenny and Jamie are very close and that she is very protective of her little brother. Jenny also knows that Claire isn't a highlander and that Jamie would without thought would give his wealth, his time, his life, his soul for Claire. Then Claire died and Jamie was all alone, at least that is what Jenny was lead to believe. Jamie wouldn't talk about Claire, it was too painful for him.

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    1. Brymen...you rock. Seriously!!! Please tell me you frequent Compuserve...because DG would love to hear all your thoughts, I'm sure!!! :)

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  15. Now after nearly 20 years of Jamie existing in a daze of profound loss and unhappiness, the sassenach is back. She didn't die, when Culloden happened, Claire left Jamie to die. For all Jenny ken when the going got really tough, Claire abandoned Jamie. It was left to Jenny to nurse him back to health. It was by her will that Jamie didn't die, and Jamie so wanted to die, that was, after all, the plan.

    Pretend for a moment that you are mother and have an only child, a son. After all Jenny did raise Jamie after their mother died and loves him as much as a mother would a son. Your son has fallen in love with a woman, an older woman. She is intelligent, talented, and endearing. Someone with whom you could be good friends, but you know that she is going to take your son away. You will rarely if ever seen him again. Your grandchildren will never know you. Perhaps you will see them from time to time, but there will not be the bond that you as a grandmother desires. But you see that this woman makes your son happy and you feel that you are perhaps just being selfish. So you give them your blessing and support. After a time your son’s wife is gone, and he comes back home, to you. He doesn't talk about her but he deeply misses her. Your attempts to comfort your son as he struggles to deal with his wife’s death seem to be in vain. You come to the realization that your love is no longer enough for your son and he stumbles through life in a daze. You find someone who seems to love your son. A companion that could help ease his pain and perhaps lessen his loneliness and although his he doesn't seem to be truly happy, they get married. After some time, he seems to have finally adjusted to live a fairly normal life.

    Out of the blue, your son shows up and she is with him. Nearly 20 years later she has come back for him, and he is overjoyed. Are you happy to see her? Where has she been? How could she let your son suffer for so many years? Is there any advice that you feel you should give to your son? In his present state, how would your advice be received? Would any words of caution only drive your son farther away from you?

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    1. Jenny knows how stubborn Jamie is and thought of a good way to see if Claire would leave Jamie when the going got tough, and the process not drive a wedge between Jamie and herself. Jamie seems to have overlooked mentioning Laoghaire, his current wife, to Claire. If Jenny considered Claire any friend at all Claire should know about Laoghaire.

      Wouldn't Jenny feel justified when Claire leaves Jamie? Claire doesn't stay and face Laoghaire. Would it not appear to Jenny that Claire must have assumed that Jamie should have spent the rest of his life, alone?

      Jenny worst fears came true when Claire did return and not only was Jamie taken away, but her son, Ian, too. The years go by and Ian grows into a man and his mother waits at home for her son she is sure she will never see again, in part, because of the sassenach returned.

      The day does finally come when mother is reunited with her grown son, who is now a stranger to her. But this sassenach is now here to save Jenny’s husband from dying. Now it is time that Claire, an old one, a fairy folk, could be there to save her husband Ian. No amount of pleading will change Claire’s mind, there is nothing to be done for Ian, he is suffering from consumption (tuberculosis) and will die. Jenny has seen Claire bring Jamie back from the dead, but in her grief, believes Claire is going to let Ian die because of her telling Laoghaire about them years before.

      “Jenny,” I said more quietly. “Please believe me. If I could do anything for Ian, I’d give my soul to do it. But I’m not magic; I haven’t any power. Only a little knowledge, and not enough. I’d give my soul to do it,” I repeated, more strongly, leaning toward her. “But I can’t . Jenny … I can’t.” She stared at me in silence. A silence that lengthened past bearing, and finally I stepped around her and walked toward the house. She didn't turn around, and I didn't look back. But behind me, I heard her whisper. “You have nay soul.”

      Gabaldon, Diana (2009-09-21). An Echo in the Bone: A Novel (Outlander) (p. 693). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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    2. Can you honestly hate her? I grieve for her.

      Jenny is a strong person and one of my best friends. Other than Claire, there is no one who loves Jamie more or knows him better, than Jenny. I just can’t wait to see if Jenny gets a hold of William and jerks a knot in his tail. He won’t know what hit him if he has to deal with his aunt Jenny. My favorite “Jenny” scene (thus far)...
      Then [William] rushed headlong down the stairs , thumping his wounded fist at intervals against the wall, where it left bloody smudges. He hit the front door with his shoulder, rebounded, jerked it open, and went out like a locomotive.
      I stood frozen on the landing in the midst of chaos and destruction, gripping the edge of the broken balustrade. Tiny rainbows danced on walls and ceiling like multicolored dragonflies sprung out of the shattered crystal that littered the floor. Something moved; a shadow fell across the floor of the hall below. A small, dark figure walked slowly in through the open doorway . Putting back the hood of her cloak, Jenny Fraser Murray looked round at the devastation, then up at me, her face a pale oval glimmering with humor.
      “Like father, like son, I see,” she remarked . “God help us all.”

      Gabaldon, Diana (2009-09-21). An Echo in the Bone: A Novel (Outlander) (p. 811). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

      I just re-read this and I have to confess, I did say “a few words”, but hey I got carried away.

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    3. You said this perfectly. I like Jenny, always have. I had said in a prev.post I see those times when she's kind of b!tchy as being in self defense, coming from a place of sorrow, fear and pain, and she's just putting up that hard, protective "shell". I get it. I do the same thing. I've been told it's a birth sign trait. I'm a Cancer, I wonder when Jenny's birthday is? Anyone know?

      Great points on her reactions to various things. I had always thought that the reason she sent for Lagiohaire was because she knew darn well Jamie would have to be forced into telling Claire about her and I don't see any other way to "force" him.

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  16. Oh, girl - you ain't seen NUTHIN' yet!! I love your posts! (When will we hear from Tracey??)
    I, too, tried the "just a few chapters a day" approach, which crashed and burned by about chapter 30! Now at 75% and need to be reminded to eat and go to work....

    The only "not-really-a-complaint-but..." is that I've reached saturation point with the number of story lines that I care about. No dissing anyone specifically, but a few of the characters fall into the "really don't care" catagory. (Blasphemy? Sorry.) There's SO much about certain newer characters and almost nothing about well-established ones.

    But, hey, it's DG's story and I'm happy to read however she wants it to go! I know by the end she will have woven another beautiful tapestry from all those loose threads. :-)
    "In Herself We Trust" !!

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    1. Thanks Diane! I write the blog and Tracey tweets and makes crazy videos with me!! :) We will be making a video about MOBY next week from PA while at the third sister's house for Thanksgiving. BE AFRAID!!! :)

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  17. I love all you guys for commenting...but I am terrified to read your comments!!!! Be expecting some replies when I finish MOBY!!! (Meanwhile you'll all be on to like your 7th next book by then - except Tonya - she'll be on her 47th ). :)

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    1. I understand your concern about reading comments. It would be helpful if posts were prefaced with [No MOBY Spoilers] [MOBY Spoilers up to Chapter 55].

      This would give readers the opportunity to make an informed choice as to read or not read posts until they reach the desired chapter.

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    2. Unfortunately, my spoilers warnings don't deter some people from (innocently/accidentally) posting spoilers in the comments. I just have to read with one eye closed! ;)

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  18. I am laughing like an absolute fool!!! Carol I have been reading your posts for about a year now as I went through the books and I believe this is your best post yet. Thank you! I've taken the time to quote my favourite moments from this particular post of yours below...

    "Quaker or no, she knows one fine piece of homely, skinny ass when she sees it!"

    "Lord John. Lorddddddd Lord John. Oy. That dumb shit has now been taken by yet another band of rebels."

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    1. LOL Nosipho. Why, thank you! :) I haven't read this in forever...but I just did and actually had a pretty decent laugh, myself...in spite of, well...myself! ☺️

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