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Monday, July 2, 2012

Outlander Read-a-Long: Ch. 15-21

Book cover of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Week Three of the official Outlander Read-a-Long!  I'm SO glad we finally get to discuss Chapter 15 – it's one of my favorite chapters of the entire series, and I never tire of rereading it.

1) We FINALLY get to the scene we've all been waiting for. You know what I'm talking about – yay sexytimes! What were your impressions? Was it what you were expecting? Or did you want more?

As I said above, I lurve Chapter 15, not so much for the physical aspect of Jamie and Claire's wedding night, but because of the emotional connection that is beginning to develop.  I love the care that Jamie takes with Claire.  When he takes her hands and asks her to tell him about Frank, I just melt every time.  It's such a telling moment that perfectly captures Jamie's innate nobility.  

Since I read so much more romance these days, I was surprised at the "fade-to-black" aspect of that chapter.  When I originally read it, I thought those scenes were ultra racy, but now they seem so tame.  I also find I am so much more interested now in Jamie and Claire's emotional connection, not their physical relationship.  Later on in the book, the scenes get a bit more explicit, but it's almost as though Diana Gabaldon wants the reader to initially focus more on the couple's friendship and the trust they're developing.


2) I know that some readers thus far have been bothered by the fact of Claire being married to Frank but still being involved with Jamie, despite the different time periods. Does their time as newlyweds change anyone's opinion of that? If not, now what are you thinking of the situation?

At this point, Frank barely even qualifies as an afterthought for me, so I am not bothered by Claire's growing closeness to Jamie.  I do think Claire is far too blithe about what is essentially bigamy, but I tend to project a great deal of my own feelings on to Claire and I have to continually remind myself to allow her to be her own character.

3) What did you think about the "waterhorse" that Claire saw? Why do you think Peter was so spooked? And what do you think this means for Claire?

That's another one of my favorite chapters as well because of the element of ancient magic that's present.  When Peter says, "Ha-have mercy, lady," and falls to her feet, it's clear that he thinks she controls the waterhorse.  I think this spells trouble for Claire...

4) If you were Claire and you were knowingly in the vicinity of the stones, would you have done the same thing she did?

I think I'd be daunted by the fact that the stones were a seven mile walk, but I'd certainly want to try.  Claire talks about wanting to get home, and I'm sure I would have felt the same way, no matter how attractive my new husband was.

5) What do you think about Captain Randall? How do you think the family resemblance between him and Frank affects Claire and particularly her relationship with Jamie?  

Oooh, he makes me so angry.  I hate everything about him – his cruelty, his abuse of power, his condescension toward the Scots.  His treatment of Jamie and the Frasers obviously colors Claire's perception of him, and based on his great resemblance to Frank, she's is already starting to feel an emotional distance to her modern husband.  And who can blame her?  I think Randall's cruelty toward Jamie leads to Claire's growing romantic feelings for her new husband.  I also think this was a deliberate move on Gabaldon's part to influence the reader's feelings toward Frank.

Check out my answers to Week One and Week Two's questions.



Outlander Read-a-Long
Sponsored by Gone with the WordsThe Reading HousewivesStalking the Bookshelves
Into the Hall of BooksTangled Up in Blue and Logan E. Turner



Romance novel book reviews by Sarah The Brazen Bookworm

14 comments:

  1. I love the hand holding & the emotional connection way more than the physical. That being said.... Thanks for the sexy times ahead heads up ;)

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    1. Oops - I hope I didn't ruin anything for you! But yes, the sexytimes get good. :)

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  2. I agree with you - the connection between these two is just fantastic and it's so realistic to me that I sometimes have to remind myself they are just fictional characters. LOL! I think she handled the Sexy Times in the perfect way - probably one of my favorite "love scenes" ever!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

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    1. Yes - they do seem so realistic! Especially Jamie...yum. Although maybe he's even too good to be true!

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  3. Oooh, that is KEY - what you mention about projecting your feelings onto Claire and reminding yourself to let her be her own character. I like that.

    Also, I've seen you and one other person mention something similar to this: " I also think this was a deliberate move on Gabaldon's part to influence the reader's feelings toward Frank." This didn't occur to me! But it makes complete sense. It's amazing how sometimes we all can read a book and pick up different things from it.

    Seriously, I loved Chapter 15, and yes the scenes get more explicit but I like it all so far, as a whole. I'm at the end of Chapter 28, where I'll stay for a while, and I'm enjoying this book so much more than I ever imagined I even could (since historical isn't my favorite genre). Love it!

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    1. I'm so glad you like it! Isn't it awesome when a book takes you by surprise and you love it? Those are the best reading experiences. And, yes, with really great books I tend to immerse myself so much that I forget I'm not the character. Lol...

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  4. I had the exact same thought on re-read - the sex scenes seem so tame now!

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one who felt that way. Of course, I just finished Elizabeth Hoyt's latest, so my perception may be skewed on what "tame" really is. :)

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  5. I really respect that Jamie is asking Claire about Frank, he is just wonderful in so many ways! I agree that DG wants the reader to focus on their budding romance and not so much the physical aspect. I read some racy adult books (LK Hamilton!) so these were pretty tame but I actually liked it. I really liked that it wasn't so detailed, it made it more romantic in a way. I totally thought Peter thought Claire controls the waterhorse as well! I can kind of see why since she was just hangin' out non chalant when ol' Nessie was swimming about.

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    1. Yes, that's an example of a sex scene that succeeds as a romance even without explicit details. I read somewhere that Gabaldon doesn't consider the book a romance (despite her RITA win), but there are definitely some intense scenes!

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  6. LOVE LOVE what you said about Jamie and Claire's emotional connection. That is my favorite part as well. And I thought it was hilarious that Claire thought a 7 mile walk over dangerous ground would be manageable. Stupid move.

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    1. OK, thank you for agreeing with me about the distance! And that's seven miles over rough terrain, not a road or anything like that. Plus, um, she's wearing 18th century garb and shoes. Not the brightest plan, Claire!!

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  7. Haha, at this point I haven't read much romance either and thought this was racey! I kind of love hearing the spectrum of reactions. =)

    I agree that I like the amount of focus on their developing relationship though, it seems real and thoughtful, and has the potential to be deep.

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    1. Lol...it's funny hearing the perspective of romance readers vs. non-romance readers! That's part of what makes this read-a-long so great.

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Thank you for your comments!

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