[LMB] GJ&RQ - Chapter 4 - Part One

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 21 13:05:14 BST 2016

From: Jennifer Johnson <jennifer.johnson2557 at gmail.com>

"Sucks some days, to have all these boys with guns and not be allowed
to shoot anyone. It would be so _cathartic_." - General Haines

Gwynne: This reread has brought me a new favourite character - I adore
the general! His views of family life and childrearing are hilarious as well
as very logical. If you can field-strip a weapon you can change a nappy. And
he has no patience for men who wimp out when faced with various baby

I love the way he yearns to shoot a few contractors - so many people who've
been through various building or renovation projects will share his feelings.

There's the way Haines and Jole are so in tune about things - they have a
somewhat gloomy (but necessary) habit of predicting the worst possible
disasters in any situation - but then they prepare for them.

 I like the party idea, and the way Jole wants it kept as far away from
civilisation as possible. Again, predicting disaster. And a birthday
party as 'joint manoeuvres' - well, anything is a teaching tool.

Haines says there's a lot of curiousity about Jole's private life, or lack
of it. The fact that he'd even mention it, and they'd discuss it so
calmly and with no more than mild curiosity, says some interesting
things about the attitudes of Barrayaran society. Another running joke
that I love is Jole's kneejerk desire for secrecy - he's the only one who
seems to be all that fussed about the whole situation.

Jole's desire for lack of drama in military relationships is very
sensible - I wonder if people who provide too much drama end up on
Kyril Island for a while, leaving the problems to sort themselves out.

One point that only comes up tangentially - military families are a
useful way to get more population to Sergyar. You have partners who
could have useful job skills, plus if they're there for long enough they
can get to like the place. Their children grow up there and maybe
want to stay - we meet a few military personnel through the novel
who've retired and stayed on the planet. Sneaky way to get new

Jole floats the baby idea, and Haines accepts it, with some reservations
about the need for a support network.

 This is one of those quiet sections that is a goldmine of humour,
character and ideas.

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