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 Post subject: MOBY Chapter 144 Visit to a Haunted Garden
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:35 pm 
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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 9 "Thig Carioca air an t-saoghal ach mairidh cell agus gaol."
Chapter 144 Visit to a Haunted Garden


Claire wakes and knows immediately where Jamie has gone. Although agreeing not to ask Claire what has troubled her he had obviously asked Jenny and now he has taken his rifle and gone hunting for her rapist.

After sharing her breakfast porridge with small Rob, Claire decides to to visit her old vegetable garden where Malva died. Some Ridge folk said her ghost haunted the garden but Claire hopes she is at peace. She nicks her wrist with her knife and lets a drop of blood fall on the ground in supplication that Malva rests quietly and does no harm.

She then makes her way to Rachel wondering how Jamie will kill the man and meets Jenny on the path who tells her that Rachel's waters have broken. Ian is white as a sheet and Germain and Fanny both want to watch. Jenny agrees to Fanny staying but sends Germain off with Matthew MacDonald to get Ian drunk. Before Ian leaves he gives Claire the hide of an unborn wolf cub to wrap the baby in.

I can see Claire saying a prayer for Malva in the quiet of the garden but what did you make of her dropping her blood on the ground in supplication? Did that seem too superstitious to you?

I think this is the first new baby in the immediate family since Mandy and Henri Christian was born. As Claire is remembering the loss of Malva's baby she is now jolted into the present with the imminent arrival of Ian and Rachel's new child. Is this a new beginning to match their new life on the Ridge?

It's interesting that Germain is deemed old enough to assist in getting Ian drunk and Fanny old enough to be at the birth. Do you have any thoughts on this?


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 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 144 Visit to a Haunted Garden
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:01 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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I loved how proud Germain was when Jenny indicated he was one of the men. :bigsmile:

Like you, Sue, I found Claire's cutting herself and letting a drop of blood fall pretty strange and unlike her. Especially since this was not the first time she'd visited the garden since Malva's and the baby's deaths. I thought it was interesting that she wondered whether anyone had named the baby. I suspect that no one else thought about it (well, maybe Allan would have thought about it, but I'm not surprised that he didn't do it given all the circumstances).

I wonder whether the MacDonalds will be more significant characters in the next book as another young couple to be friends of Ian and Rachel. With Fergus and Marsali far away, it seems like they'd want to be around another young couple.


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 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 144 Visit to a Haunted Garden
PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:31 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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I wondered why Jamie did not touch Claire to say goodbye in the morning, if this is something he does every time he rises early. Does he feel guilty? But does he not consider how Claire would feel should he not come back from his mission?

I think Fanny was deemed old enough to help with the birth because she would have seen such things at the brothel, and she could probably be counted on not to go all faint and squeamish and to be useful. The quickest way to get Germain off the scene would be to elevate his status to that of a man and permit him to get drunk.


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 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 144 Visit to a Haunted Garden
PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:32 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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I thought about Jamie's decision not to touch Claire. I suspect it was because if he woke her she'd ask where he was headed and he didn't want to tell her that because she'd try to stop him. Usually, she'd know if he were heading out early to hunt or visit or get supplies in a town or whatever, but this time he didn't tell her his plans so waking her might just cause an argument.


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 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 144 Visit to a Haunted Garden
PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:53 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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I found it odd too that Claire would drip her blood on Malva's resting place. Not at all like our Claire from the early days. I suppose it was a peace offering of sorts for peace of mind and perhaps not intended as superstitious, but I listened to this chapter a few days ago and I'm not sure if Davina sounded superstitious in that delivery.

I also found it odd that Jamie did not wake Claire. I suppose she'd had enough excitement earlier ;) and Jamie may have just wanted to let her sleep.

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 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 144 Visit to a Haunted Garden
PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:55 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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It does seem rather superstitious for Claire to offer blood to Malva's ghost, but perhaps this is in response to the superstitious belief of the people of the Ridge that Malva is haunting the place. Claire's actions fit in with the idea of new beginnings, making peace with Malva and setting her free.

Maybe Jamie didn't touch Claire because he knew what he was going off to do and had to know that Claire wouldn't want him to. Maybe in some way he felt he didn't have the right to take comfort from her touch in that moment, knowing that he was setting off to murder someone.

So many new babies! It must be hard to have to wait so long for news of Marsali and Fergus.

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 Post subject: Re: MOBY Chapter 144 Visit to a Haunted Garden
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:09 am 
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Clan Fraser
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Nice summary Suec. It seemed that Jamie didn't want Claire to know he was leaving before dawn otherwise he would have given her a parting kiss. By not waking her he also doesn't need to lie to her. He has his own secrets to keep.

Was there any significance to Adso killing the fat robin? Is this Jamie, the hunter, and his prey?

The birth of Rachel's baby is a good diversion for Claire. I did wonder where Ian had gotten the hide of an unborn wolf pup. Is this part of an Indian ritual/superstition?

I'm curious about the monstrous pokeweed rose in Claire's garden and will look it up.

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