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 Post subject: MOBY: Ch.136 - Unfinished Business
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 1:27 am 
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Clan Fraser
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:bagpipe: As of the beginning of the Written in My Own Heart's Blood rekilt, all books currently published (as of 1/2016) are open for discussion. The spoiler policy can be found here. Please do not discuss excerpts from Diana's Daily Lines related to book 9 or any other not yet published works in the MOBY discussion threads. To discuss excerpts of upcoming works, see the threads here.


Written In My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
Part 8: Search and Rescue
Chapter 136: Unfinished Business


William seeks out Jamie to thank him for his help with Jane and to ask one more favor of him. He wishes to know about the night he was conceived. Jamie is mildly offended and finds it ungentlemanly to discuss such things. Even so, William feels he has a right to know. Jamie somewhat complies and explains he did not force Geneva to sleep with him, and no, he did not love her. William is aware the Earl was fifty years older than his mother, and that Jamie lay with Geneva just before her wedding.

William has heard the rumors about his mother – she was reckless, beautiful, careless, and took chances. Jamie adds that she was also brave. William sees her for an instant in those words and is reminded of all he has lost. He asks Jamie if he is sorry for what he did. Jamie is sorrowful over Geneva’s death and will do penance for it for the rest of his life. While Jamie lightly cups William’s cheek, he tells him he is not sorry and storms out of the room, kilt flying.

Do you agree that William deserves an explanation about how he came to be?

Should Jamie have told William he was blackmailed into sleeping with Geneva so his son could better understand the nature of Jamie’s forced relationship with Geneva?

Do you think William will be able to move forward now that he has some closure on “unfinished business?”

I couldn't help notice that Jamie is wearing his kilt more often. He is returning to his roots.

What did you think about this heated exchange between father and son?

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 Post subject: Re: MOBY: Ch.136 - Unfinished Business
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 2:35 am 
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Clan Fraser
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Interesting questions, Lady Jayne. I wish Jamie would tell people (John, William) that he was blackmailed into sleeping with Geneva, but I guess it is not in his nature to admit to being blackmailed, nor would he want to paint Geneva's character any darker than it is. Poor Jamie, so tricky. I do think William deserves a bit more of an explanation, and I don't think he feels as if he has closure, although he is perhaps relieved to hear that Jamie did not force himself on Geneva. Wait until William finds out who shot his 'father', the Earl of Ellesmere, and there will be more sparks flying!

I am glad that Jamie and William are talking more, even if they keep flying into rages and storming off. It will be interesting to see a scene between Jamie, William and Bree, should they ever all get together.

I did notice the kilt is mentioned more often, but we only see it mentioned in the eyes of other people (William particularly). Is this to emphasise the difference between them? Or is it something that William is particularly sensitive to?


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 Post subject: Re: MOBY: Ch.136 - Unfinished Business
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 10:11 am 
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Clan Fraser
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Great questions, Lady Jayne. In some ways, I feel like William got what he needed, or at least, enough to connect the dots. He knows Geneva was reckless, and now he knows she was brave. He knows she was married off to an old man. He has seen Jamie in action by now, and also knows that Jamie was not a free man while at Helwater. I think William can see enough by now to start to realize that Geneva took a big chance, perhaps in defiance of being married to such an unsuitable man, and that she holds responsibility for what happens.

I do think Jamie is far too gentlemanly to share with anyone except Claire that he was blackmailed into sleeping with Geneva. Less so out of his own pride, more out of protection for Geneva's memory. He would think it dishonorable to paint her in a bad light, especially to her son.

I do wish Jamie hadn't walked out at the end of the scene. Why did he do so. His son is there to talk to him -- perhaps something more could have been said?

I'm glad William has had the opportunity to see beyond his initial thoughts about Jamie, and has started to see him for who he really is -- and I'm glad that William had the chance to hear that Jamie doesn't regret his night with Geneva because it resulted in William.

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 Post subject: Re: MOBY: Ch.136 - Unfinished Business
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 10:43 am 
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Clan Fraser
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Great summary and comments. I agree.

But, I have something to add and I'm kind of excited that I caught it because it's the first time I remember doing so. :bigsmile: As I reread the first paragraph of this chapter about William bumping into people, I was thinking that that's how William started in this book too, since he had just come from Chestnut Street and seeing Jamie there. So, I looked back at the first paragraph of chapter 2 (the first time we see William in this book) and sure enough, the same phrase appears in both places "oblivious to the complaints of those rebounding from his impact". It's a great set of bookend moments - the first and last time William appears in this book. First when he was running away from Jamie in anger and now when he is heading toward Jamie in gratitude and trying to gain understanding.

I think William did deserve to hear from Jamie that he didn't force Geneva, and I agree that Jamie doesn't want to talk about the blackmail because he doesn't want to sully Geneva's memory. He takes more of the blame than he deserves because he doesn't want William (or others) to think badly of Geneva.

I also agree that it was odd for Jamie to walk out at the end of this scene. That doesn't seem like Jamie's style and they were in his office, after all. I suppose we could assume that he was afraid things would deteriorate and he wanted to leave William while things were going OK between them. But, really, I think DG just wanted to end the scene with Jamie touching William and saying he didn't regret his existence and this was the easiest way to do it. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: MOBY: Ch.136 - Unfinished Business
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 10:58 am 
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Clan Fraser

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Great catch ABL!

Not sure I have anything to add except to say I think William needed to hear how he came about and I'm sure with time and reflection and with his memories resurfacing of the good times with Mac he will come to terms with his birth.


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 Post subject: Re: MOBY: Ch.136 - Unfinished Business
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 11:18 am 
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Clan Fraser
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Wow, audiobooklover, what a great memory to remember a small phrase like that, especially with the number of pages that have gone in between. (You're not starting another re-kilt with a different group, are you?)
It is a good way to describe William when he is all consumed with himself. I wonder if he will change after this exchange with Jamie. I had not thought about Jamie leaving the scene until you and Lisa brought it up, and I suppose it does seem strange to end what could have been a civil conversation and a rapprochement, but I think that Jamie might be a bit emotional, especially having just touched William and said that he did not regret that William was the outcome of the encounter, so he needed to get away and recompose himself.


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 Post subject: Re: MOBY: Ch.136 - Unfinished Business
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 12:03 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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I was doing a rekilt with a different group, but I listened to the beginning of the book again in late February, so although it was more recent than most others here, it was still 2.5 months ago. It wasn't the specific phrase I recalled, but when I just reread this this morning (I've been doing our rekilt with my paper copy and did the other rekilt, in approximately thirds of the book, on audio), I was thinking that we began with William running through the streets of Philadelphia and upsetting the goose girl (which I did not reread this morning but the scene stuck in my mind), so I went back to look since it felt kind of reminiscent and there was the phrase.

I also felt that in this chapter, it was a little odd that William was oblivious to complaints since emotions aren't quite as high as they were at the beginning, so the phrase sort of jumped out and reminded me of his earlier emotional state, which is what led me to look back.

It was kind of a lucky stroke of thought and at a time when I could flip back in the book to find it. I'm kind of excited to have discovered it. :flower:


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 Post subject: Re: MOBY: Ch.136 - Unfinished Business
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 6:18 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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Wonderful observation, ABL.:clap: Like DLT, I also think Jamie was too emotional to remain in the same room as William. I hope they can move forward in their relationship in a positive direction. I can see Bree as the one to help bridge the remaining gap between father and son.

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 Post subject: Re: MOBY: Ch.136 - Unfinished Business
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 3:10 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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Thanks for another wonderful summary and questions, Lady Jayne. Nicely done.
Lady Jayne wrote:
Do you agree that William deserves an explanation about how he came to be?

Should Jamie have told William he was blackmailed into sleeping with Geneva so his son could better understand the nature of Jamie’s forced relationship with Geneva?

Do you think William will be able to move forward now that he has some closure on “unfinished business?”

I couldn't help notice that Jamie is wearing his kilt more often. He is returning to his roots.

What did you think about this heated exchange between father and son?


1. I think that William deserves to ask for an explanation. Difficult as it must have been for Jamie, I am glad that Jamie understood William's need to know. He was relatively taken off guard by the inquiry, I'm sure.

2. Jamie was honest and William. William, in turn, knew from recent experience that Jamie would be so. Even without knowing that his mother had been judged reckless, William would have believed Jamie. What a relief for William to learn that Jamie had not been a brute. And how generous of Jamie to have given a positive remembrance to William by telling him that she had courage. What a great thing to learn about one's mother after having heard plenty of negatives.

3. About the unfinished business question, I imagine there will be more questions so that William will be able to flesh out his mother more fully. I have a feeling he will approach Claire, Lord John and Ian at some point or other and Jamie again. He will slowly get what he needs to know.

4. Interesting observation about the kilt wearing. I guess he knows we are looking. :D
Seriously, I think that Jamie finally feels the freedom to wear it. Since he had to remove his uniform after resigning his commission, the kilt reinforces his support of the Continental Army. I see it as a uniform of sorts to align himself with the rebels.
5. I think the exchange was a needed one. They had to pass this part. I'm glad that William took the initiative. He seems to be the one to reach out. Lots of emotions.

DLT wrote:
I had not thought about Jamie leaving the scene until you and Lisa brought it up, and I suppose it does seem strange to end what could have been a civil conversation and a rapprochement, but I think that Jamie might be a bit emotional, especially having just touched William and said that he did not regret that William was the outcome of the encounter, so he needed to get away and recompose himself.
Agreed. I don't remember giving the bit of Jamie's exit much thought either.. It was a charged exchange, emotionally. It seemed natural for Jamie to leave before he lost it completely.

Oh, I thought it was lovely that Jamie never regretted anything and that he could say so to William. That was the acme of emotion. That touch; my guess is that Jamie probably wanted to take William in his arms and hold him. Before he made it uncomfortable for William and himself, Jamie left. DG is holding on to these emotion and checking them, but I'm hoping there will be more, and that we will see a moving physical display between the two as the wall between them disintegrates. This is the beginning. Jamie has always loved William and William is only now learning to. What is important is that a bond of trust has taken root.
Suec wrote:
I'm sure with time and reflection and with his memories resurfacing of the good times with Mac he will come to terms with his birth.
:agree: It will be wonderful to see as the layers peeled away and his blinders are removed.

audiobooklover wrote:
t's a great set of bookend moments - the first and last time William appears in this book. First when he was running away from Jamie in anger and now when he is heading toward Jamie in gratitude and trying to gain understanding.
Great catch. I didn't realize this is the last time William appears in this book. But we are nearly at the end. I'm looking forward to the further development of the father son relationship. :read:

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