Hey, book fans. Let’s talk.
The mid-season finale for Starz’s Outlander came out yesterday. Since I’m only on the fourth book of the series, I am glad for the pace. I want, by the time the next part of the season premieres, to have finished all eight/nine novels. Apart from that, I am enjoying the show and more importantly I am enjoying the chemistry between Claire and Jamie (especially the Jamie aspect). My only pet peeve are the Frank scenes. A good part of the novels are in Claire’s point of view so Frank’s search for Claire was never mentioned, although it was assumed. Anyway, there is enough of Jamie for me to get over it.
Moving on; this post is not about the show. This post is about the book that started it all and what I have learnt from it. Spoiler alert, everyone. If you have not read the novels or are just watching the show, don’t read on. I warned you. If you continue, I cannot be held responsible for whatever shocks come your way. Last chance….
The Outlander series should be renamed the Jamie series: Hear me out. Yes, it is mostly from Claire’s perspective and yes, there are other interesting characters. But let’s be really honest with ourselves. Claire did, when she went back to the stones twenty years later (Oi show watcher, still reading? Well there’s your season two). Jamie has been a magnificent force in the series. He’s the selfless hero, the faithful lover, the courageous fighter, the sharp thinker..oh, he’s perfect. Too perfect. Annoyingly perfect. The man doesn’t age, for goodness sake! And he has the right kind of modesty that makes you okay with such perfection. So although several scenarios and conundrums are presented in the novel, in the back of my mind, I’m always asking ‘when next do we see Jamie?’ or ‘when is the next greatest act of Jamie?’ He’s everywhere. And if you don’t see it…you’re a Frank fan -_-
Scotland just became your next getaway: I recommended the novels to a friend of mine studying in Scotland. By the time she reached the middle of the novel she was in love with the descriptive and vivid scenery of the Highlands. She was so excited, she decided that on her time off, she would visit the sight. I am now jealous of her and refuse to hear her depictions of the landscape. The point is, that Diana Gabaldon did such a great job describing the history, the people and the Highland mountains that Scotland just shot to the top of your travel list. Now, I’m encouraging my friend to stay in Scotland, so that I can have a rest stop when I arrive there.
You need a love like Jamie and Claire’s: This has been a recurring theme in the four novels I have read so far and I don’t fear it ever waning. There is just something all-consuming about their love that makes it so unreal. Don’t mind my cynicism. But theirs is the kind of love, I think, you only really see in novels. Diana Gabaldon’s masterly descriptions of their devotion to each other has me sometimes placing the book aside to sigh dreamily before continuing.Thank you, Diana, for shooting our expectations impossibly high for any other man. We live in a world of mere mortal men but still, a girl can dream.
History’s ignorance: I think one significant example of this was Claire’s witch trial (Congrats show watcher, you now know the middle of the second season). I have always hated the history of the Salem witch trials and any others. The logic behind the hangings made me ashamed of humanity. A witch floats and a righteous woman sinks? Damn puritans. In the novel, Father Bain was the epitome of ignorance. Refusing healing from a woman (misogynistic brute) was one thing. But trying to claim Claire was a witch because she tried to help is a completely different piece of crap. I was glad he died from the same wound. That kind of ignorance is unhealthy for a town that still believes in the ‘auld folk’.
- The permeating Scottish language: My friend and I ‘canna’ get away from it. We are parallel reading the fourth novel and now, the language has bled into our text speech. Even my thoughts contain references to the language. It’s both weird and little pleasing that I have become so involved with the series. I can honestly say that reading this novel has been one of the highlights of my 20s.
The books are long; the plot seems endless. But I will still continue to read because I need to know what happens to Claire and Jamie. Brianna and Roger (season three, show watcher, hopefully!). Fergus and Marsali. Jamie’s loyal Scottish men and even enthusiastic Ian. I may take breaks but I am determined to finish. Show watcher, you with me?