Welcome to The End of the Outlander Read-Along!
I can’t believe the Outlander read-along is over! It’s been such a fun experience for me. I’ve enjoyed meeting all of you, and working through the book as part of a group. THANK YOU THANK YOU to Asheley for letting me hijack her blog each week so that I could participate in this event.
I do not get seasick, thankfully. Not that I’ve taken many (any) long sea voyages. Also, we have Dramamine these days and that is very helpful. Besides the first trimester of pregnancy, which makes me ill just thinking about, the only thing I can think of is spinning in circles. I used to be able to get on the merry-go-rounds at the playground and spin around for hours. But now if I turn in a circle a few times, I feel like I’m going to throw up. The other night my kids wanted me to swing them around the room. After I obliged them a few times, I proceeded to feel sick for the rest of the evening. No joke.
I can’t even imagine what Jamie went through, having to get on a boat that he knew would make him seasick, after the physical and mental wounds that he suffered. But it was better than the alternative of staying in Scotland and risking capture again. The things that man has been able to endure are astounding.
This section of the book was extremely difficult for me to get through. I have a hard time reading about sexual violence and rape, and it hit me really hard. Reading this section made me glad to be going through Outlander as part of a read-along, because I really needed some emotional support after hearing what happened to Jamie (you think you’re done hearing about it in chapter 36, but no it get’s worse later on!). Somewhere in this passage Claire acknowledged that Jamie is going to have to open up about what happened, but that she didn’t think she wanted to be the one he does it to. And I felt the same way that she did. I didn’t want to know how bad it was. But now that I do know, I’m glad he opened up to her about it. I think that Claire showed tremendous strength in this section of the book. I was really impressed with how she handled everything. She worked very hard to help Jamie to recover, trying her best to give him what he needed without thought to herself.
Okay, I can barely handle even thinking about what Jamie went through. It is horrible. And I cannot imagine the great psychological damage he suffered at the hands of Randall. The physical pain was only a fraction of Jamie’s wounds. I WANTED Jamie to fight back. I’m not going to lie about that. But I do not judge him for not doing it. Jamie had given his word in order to save Claire. He also likely thought that he would die anyway. Plus Randall excels at this kind of mind game/violence. He was systematic and practiced in a really sickening way, and Jamie was so beaten down already – emotionally and physically. I don’t think anyone could withstand it.Claire recognized that Jamie still felt like Randall was exerting power over him, and it was very smart of her to get him to fight back and break through that mental block. The way she went about it was in typical Claire fashion – foolish and brave. But it WORKED. I know I said this, but I really came to admire Claire through this whole scene. She doesn’t give up on her husband. She suffers with him by not sleeping. And she does everything in her power to pull Jamie out of the darkness and help him to heal.
Wow. I love that quote! I didn’t really know what to expect specifically when I started Outlander. I knew that it was a popular and addictive series, and that Jamie Fraser is a lot of people’s favorite kilt wearing hero. I was excited about being in Scotland and the relationship between Claire and Jamie. I also love social history, so learning about life in 18th century Scotland was interesting. I was actually surprised that Claire fit into the society so easily and that she was useful there (due to being a former combat nurse). There’s no way I could drop into the same time period and blend in as well as she did.I knew that Outlander would have ups and downs, but I wasn’t prepared for how vast they would be. Diana Gabaldon is not afraid to take her characters into darkness (or bring up controversial subjects), and some of that – especially at the end – was hard for me to handle. But there were some really high moments – mostly involving Jamie saying or doing something magnificent for Claire. And really not any dull moments in the book at all. Of course, I’d have liked less Randall. But I don’t think the book would be the same without the evil villain that brilliantly looked like Claire’s first husband. Though I wouldn’t have minded if he’d taken it down a notch. And I was never a fan of Frank. I guess the fact that Claire was married already is something that I never liked, and it’s still hanging over our heads.
Outlander was a wild ride, and overall one I really enjoyed being on. Diana Gabaldon sure doesn’t shy away from controversial material! I covered a lot of my thoughts in the previous question so I’m not going to say too much more about the book here.I found it a little difficult to get into the Scottish speak, but as I’d read another book with similar language, it wasn’t as hard as I’d thought it would be. And once I got the hang of it, the story picked up tremendously.There are so many great quotes and I’m not going to put them all here. But I will say that I’m a sap for a good romance, so I loved when Jamie said,“Because I wanted you.” He turned from the window to face me. “More than I ever wanted anything in my life,” he added softly.And when Claire told Jamie: “I was made for you.” (I wanted to shout for joy when Claire FINALLY acknowledged her feelings for Jamie.)“Don’t be afraid. There’s the two of us now.” I like Jamie and Claire so much as a couple. I love when they work together. They are such a great match.
I would like to continue this series. But I definitely need a break before starting the next one. Outlander was long and very emotional. I don’t know what Diana Gabaldon could do to top it, especially the emotional turmoil I faced at the end of this one. But I’m sure she will.I don’t know what to say about predictions. I did read the back of book two, Dragonfly in Amber and I’m a bit confused about where the story is headed. But I was told that it would all make sense once I start it. Also, I’ve noticed that DG likes to bring characters back around, so I’m sure we’ve not seen the last of the people we met in Outlander.The read-along was a lot of fun. I loved seeing everyone else’s thoughts on the book. I enjoyed having support as I read, especially when I got to the latter chapters. It’s always fun to read at the same time as someone else. This was my first time doing a read-along and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be to stick to the reading schedule – at least until the end when I just HAD to finish the book. I’d definitely do another one of these.
I got 14 out of 15 answers! The quiz was a bit vague in places. But fun!
Well just having an entire room of my house dedicated to books and reading would be pretty awesome. With lots of comfortable places to sit of course. Sorry guys, I didn’t look up any pictures. But I’m excited to see yours!
Lauren – It’s been a pleasure having you on my blog!
I’m SO GLAD you joined the readalong!!
You’re awesome. 🙂 – Asheley
Ok yes, I had forgotten about pregnancy. Oh my, I can't even think about that. Sickest I've ever been in my life – with my twins. UGH.
I'm not ready to jump into book two just yet either, we've talked about this. I said that now that we've got Jamie in a pretty-ok place, I just want to keep him there for a little while and bask in that, in his and Claire's relationship – because you know as soon as you start reading book two all you-know-what is bound to break loose. We know what is coming up in about a year, and I'm sure the traveling and the preparations for that, and Claire's issues and the rest of Jamie's healing won't be easy. i need to "come down" from the latter chapters of this one first.
I've LOVED doing this readalong. I really didn't expect to love this book as much as I did. I knew I'd like it, I just overwhelmingly loved it. It had ups and downs, but I kind of liked that. I am extremely impressed with this author – she really did her research going into this book. I'm not sure that there are any holes in this book. What do you think?
I feel the same about ending this book and starting the next one. The last chapters of this one were SO EMOTIONAL for me that I didn't feel like I could really bask in the glow of the end of the book. I actually re-read the last chapter a few days after I'd finished the book, just because I needed to remind myself that everything was okay with Jamie and Claire. BUT having book 2 makes me a bit itchy to see what happens in it!
YES. DG is an impressive author. She did TONS of research and also took risks in the material she presented. I'm sure there will be more of all of the above in the next books. There are like 5+ more to go and they keep getting LONGER.
No. There were no big plot holes that I came across. I'd be interested if anyone else saw any though.
"I was made for you." *swoon* I think that may be one of the biggest compliments a spouse could give the other. Beautiful.
Claire did a beautiful job recognizing that the thing Randall took from Jamie was his fight. It is the thing that made me fall in love (besides the sweet words) with him. So much pride in not being broken.
Oh I agree. And said by Claire! I was actually surprised that she opened up that much to Jamie. She came quite a ways in this series.
YES. I agree with everything you said in the second paragraph. Claire does seem to "get" Jamie and worked to give him back his dignity and fighting spirit.
I was actually very impressed with Claire through these chapters and it made me feel better about the book as a whole. Though I thought it was rather ridiculous how she "healed" him I can see how she needed him to fight back to gain his confidence. I also love all of your quotes!! "I was made for you" really melts me into a puddle. I read the blurbs to all of the books and they are so confusing!! That reason alone might make me read them LOL
Yeah. I seriously thought I'd missed something when I read the blurb for book two. But it does make me excited to keep reading!
I also grew to respect Claire so much more in this last section. Some of what happens seems a bit far fetched. But I get her motives behind what she does for Jamie.
I really enjoyed having you be a part of the read-a-long. I love making new book friends! Let me know when you are ready to start book 2. Maybe we can have another read-a-long. 🙂
Thank you! I loved being part of it. And meeting you too!! Look at us reading ANOTHER book together. Which also has time travel and lots of history, though it's quite a bit more complex. And reading Outlander 2 together would be great! I'd definitely be up for that.
what a perfect description of Claire: foolish & brave. I'm glad you liked it, i did, too. I want to get into the next one, but like Ashley said, we left Jamie in a good place, let's let him be happy for a little while, at least 🙂 ~dixie
Yes. I want Jamie and Claire to have a little peace before DG RIPS out our hearts again. She's good at that. 😉
Oh, girl. Morning sickness. Like sea sickness x 20! I was So sick w/ both my kids, but especially the second one. I'd take sea sickness over 4 months of morning sickness any day:)
"Claire recognized that Jamie still felt like Randall was exerting power over him, and it was very smart of her to get him to fight back and break through that mental block."
I love how you said this, because yes, I got that's what was going on, but could never have phrased it as well as you! It was bizarre to me, I'm glad it worked, but it was still mighty strange. And man, could've gone SO wrong. That DG sure does keep us on our toes;)
I'm so glad we had the opportunity to meet, Lauren (I'll have to thank Asheley for that too!) It's great meeting new reading buddies! If you ever decide to start up a blog I'll be you first follower:) When you are ready to start Bk# 2 of Outlander, I'm in for a mini readalong!
Thanks, Heather. I am so excited to have met you and found your blog! Although all these new reader friends have only increased my insane TBR pile. I'd love to read book 2 with you. Maybe in the next month or two.
DG definitely keeps us on her toes. She is not afraid to write about controversial topics or add unconventional plot points – like the way Claire "healed" Jamie. I agree, it was strange. I got worried about the whole basin/witch part that she did when she was preparing. BUT I get what she was trying to achieve. And am thankful that it worked. I think that Jamie is a man of action, so it was appropriate that action and not words are what helped him to face his fears.
THANK YOU for your comment about a future blog. I have been contemplating doing one – if only so I could do more read-alongs ;). I'll let you know if I set one up.
So glad you ended up liking it. I still, vividly remember the first time I read those chapters about Randall and Jamie. It sticks with you. But I love that Diana really went there with the story. It ties Claire and Jamie together in a unique way that cemented their bond for me.
YES. I like the way that you put that. Facing difficult situations and healing from them together, definitely strengthens a relationship. I LOVE how Jamie and Claire's grows throughout the story.