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Benjamin Campbell

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Q&A - Richard MacDonald

A friend of mine recently finished reading Through the Mist: Restoration. I welcome feedback about the book. If you leave a comment or write a review, I will read it.

Here are the answers to two questions about Richard MacDonald:

Why did you call Richard “the MacDonald?”

I have noticed that the clan chieftain is usually referred to as “The Clan Name.” Yes, after the ’45, the clan system was destroyed. Titles like “laird” or “The MacDonald" would have represented a way of thinking that simply did not exist.

The phrasing is my subtle clue to Richard MacDonald’s mental state. He believes the old ways are superior. In his musings, he references how he prefers the kilt. He says the Act of Proscription has made his countrymen “soft.”

His rigid thinking is a sharp contrast to Benjamin Campbell’s more progressive ideas.

Why didn’t he bring people with him? Is he crazy?

Yes, he is! Richard knew that Benjamin and Malcolm killed his brother and sister – right under his nose, no less! Then, his father forbade him to seek revenge.

On top of the personal family tragedy, consider that the MacDonalds and Campbells did nasty things to each other throughout the centuries. Look up the Massacre of Glencoe if you want a sample of the violence that existed between them.

He waited in a crumbling castle. The MacDonald lands were seized by the British Crown after Culloden, leaving him with very little. He likely blamed Benjamin and his father for his diminished situation.

All of this would wear on a person as the years went by. When his father died, he was finally free of his promise. He would have been blinded by the desire for revenge. A sensible man might wait for an opportune moment and gather a group of man for the assault. Richard MacDonald is as crazy as a bag of cats, though. He is incapable of sensible thought. He wants revenge – NOW.

Do you have any questions about Richard MacDonald or any of the other characters in the book? Please let me know. I am happy to answer them!

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Tilly Munro: Character Insights, Part 2

Last week, we learned a bit about how Tilly’s background motivated her to keep moving. What about her marriage to Alex? It is mentioned in the book. We do not hear much about it though.

Since Through the Mist: Restoration is Benjamin and Tilly’s love story, I did not want to dwell too much on previous relationships. After all, when you date someone, do you really want that person to spend hours telling you all about past loves? Not really.

Tilly worked as a waitress at a restaurant with Beth while both ladies were in college. She met her future husband Alex one night when he came into the restaurant. He was a successful consultant who travelled all over the world, helping investment groups and individual chefs open restaurants. He has a culinary degree and has cooked in famous restaurants, so he knows his stuff.  He is older than Tilly. (I still have not decided how much older; it is not really a burning question right now.)

Tilly graduated from college not long after they met. They fell hard for each other and married six months after they met. She became pregnant with the twins right away. She managed to squeeze in a year of teaching before she left to care for the kids.

Her dream was to be a school teacher like her mother. Alex supported her dream and encouraged her to attend college when the kids were old enough. She earned her master’s degree and had hoped to teach at the same school her children attended.

While Alex was supportive of Tilly’s desire to teach, he was not the greatest husband. As a consultant, his job was not based in one location. He frequently travelled, leaving Tilly alone to raise the children. He once confided to Tilly that having children so late in life was not his plan. Now, he must work harder as a result. The kids would “cost a lot of money” that he originally planned to save for retirement. You can imagine how devastating that statement was. It put a great deal of strain on their marriage.

With Alex constantly away, Tilly felt like a single parent. She longed for a partner. More importantly, she wanted her children to know their father. He was seldom home, only spending a few days there before popping off for another job. It was not the life she wanted.

About a year before “the event” happened, Tilly threatened divorce. Alex finally listened. They opened a small restaurant so he could be in the same city. His hours were long there. Still, he came home every night and was there the next morning to take the kids to school. It was a start.

Alex and Tilly were also in couples’ therapy. The age difference and absence took its toll. Tilly was not sure if the damage could be repaired.

Tilly has a clear idea of what she needs in a relationship. She wants an equal partner in a marriage. She wants love. She wants respect. She wants trust. Benjamin will have quite the challenge providing all of that! 

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