Ngm Novel Notes

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No Great Mischief Understood

Chapter 1:
-grandma is freaking out about the wasted tomatoes as she is used to using everything - every Saturday Alexander MacDonald visits his alcoholic brother Calum -modern day is a September day in Toronto

-Calum lives in a crack of a location with a little bit of yellowish light; the bathroom is shared by everyone on the floor; the lock on the bathroom does not work and the hot water is scare -brother gets a gash above his eye and it drips into his chest hair and vanishes -when he opened the door he was very shaky, since he is an alcoholic and has not drunken today -Calum barely eats

-“almost as if the alcohol were a mysterious kind of plant food, causing the top most leaves to flourish while the plant itself grows numb” -9 -it took Calum 3 times to drink the alcohol his brother brought 1. Shot glass dropped

2. mug no handles dropped
3. Kid like bowl swallowed
-Calum remembers his old loyal horse Christy and her loyalty that she showed the brothers -Calum Ruadh was their great great great grandfather, who looks like Alexander with red hair, but Calum has his name and his size -He is buried on the edge of a cliff and his tomb stone gets destroyed by the storms and they have to keep re-writing his name -the words on the tomb stone were seen better in the storm than in fair weather (relationship to Calum’s alcoholism) -Hardly remember parents, unsure if it is memories or stories -Alexander’s twin sister is Catriona

-only reason Alexander comes is to look after his own blood (major theme) -Alexander remembers his roots in Cape Breton through the song “Lament for Cape Breton” and sings the song -Alexander goes out and buys alcohol for his brother

-Alexander is middle aged and considers himself a twenties century man

Chapter 2:
-flashes back to Cape Breton when he was first attending school -Alexander is called “gille beag ruadh” (red haired boy) and knows this better than his birth name Alexander -teacher called out Alexander and he did not reply in role call, and was told to remember to reply to his name -reflecting and grateful that he is not beaten anymore for speaking Gaelic, that occurred in the past -the clann protected him on the playground when kids were going to pick on him -Clann came from Scotland in 1779

-Alexander (3x great grandfather) married to Anne MacPherson had 3 boys and 3 girls and died from the fever when the children were young -Alexander remarried to Anne’s younger sister, Catherine MacPherson and they had 3 boys and 3 girls -they planned to land in Nova Scotia after a 6 week journey and destined for Cape Breton where there was land for them -the eldest daughter was married to Angus Kennedy

-Catherine became sick days before they left and died on the journey 3 weeks in, died from fever and was placed in a bag and thrown over the ship -as they were leaving Scotland, their trusted dog swam after them even thought they told her not to and they took her to the new land -the condition of the trip was not favourable, it was crowded and disgusting -throughout the text they mentioned the “v” formation with the geese and the dog swimming -Alexander (3x great grandfather) lived to 110 years old.

Chapter 3:
Traits (ways of identifying the Clann):
-twins (fraternal)
-fair skin and bright red hair or shinning black hair
-if red head they had unusual dark black eyes

- Catriona married to a petroleum engineer she met at the University of Alberta and has a 11 year old son named Pankovich who was given $50 because he was from the clann Chalum Ruaidh (CCR)

Chapter 4:
-twin brother and sister (youngest of the family) were raised by their paternal grandparents who were cousins of each other, so was their maternal grandfather -m-grandfather was raised by a single mom, and his father never married wife and never wanted to be a father -grandfather was an exceptional carpenter; married middle age and had only one child, Alexander’s mother, wife...
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