Before I embark on my first voyage to Scotland, I’ve been reading “Voyager”, the third book of Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” book series. This is not only the first time I’m reading the book but also reading it before I watch the season on Starz TV. I’m sensing a theme of a lot of firsts!
I’m reading the mass-market paperback and I’m about to begin Chapter 20 “Diagnosis”. Many things have happened up until this point and there are a few sticking points I have to gripe about so I can get it off my chest.
For those of you that don’t want spoilers, haven’t read the book and want to wait to see Season 3, then please take a look at some of the other spoiler-free posts I’ve written!
For those of you who have read “Voyager” and perhaps the subsequent books – Please! I beg no spoilers for what may happen later in the book(s) but for now, humor me….
Frank & Claire
I am chomping at the bit to see Tobias Menzies and Caitriona Balfe kill it in Season 3! Book 3 provides a few answers to Frank and Claire’s marriage and so far the strains in their relationship brook no question as to the compromises and sacrifices each of them make. To me it’s clear that both have tried to make the best of it but underneath the veneers of propriety that society expected of marriage at the time, the emotional fissures between them widened and further separated them over the years. Their last moments together at the house left me sad. Is this what it’s come to? After all these years, there’s nothing but resentment and bitterness for the choices each of them made save for the one bright spot that was Brianna. The image of Claire at the hospital with Frank after the accident made me sad for the both of them.
Say what you will but it’s clear to me that Frank supported Claire in her career choice the best he knew how. He wasn’t perfect but neither was she and his infidelities seemed to bother her only a little because maybe (pure speculation) she never allowed herself to open up to someone else and instead held onto a ghost all those years.
Jamie & Geneva
None of us ever want Claire and Jamie to have sex with anyone else but each other! Having said that they are human and therefore have needs and in all the years they’re apart I imagined that at least something would have to happen between Claire and Frank. Jamie? Well I didn’t want to think about it too much.
I accepted when Mary McNabb offers herself to him (she’s so sweet and at this point in her life, why not try to “lay with laird” ya know? Girl, you’re worth it and you deserve it!) and Jamie reluctantly though logically complies. Fine! I get it! I accept it.
What I don’t accept is this nonsense with Geneva. First and foremost, Jamie rapes her and don’t try to change my mind about it! When Geneva was cast, I noticed some online fervor about a scene in “Voyager” that people talked about. I didn’t look too much into it (tried to block out the spoilers) but now that I’ve come across this infamous scene, I can now say oh yes he totally did that! Yet, I wasn’t that surprised. Jamie Fraser has done some other questionable things in the past books (hey how about that moment in Book 3 where he kicks the dog?) that put a slight tarnish on the golden veneer that many fans cast him in but I don’t mind it. Diana has to make her characters infallible otherwise they would not be very interesting and one reason why we read her stories is because of the characters’ complexity.
Was I happy as he climbed through her window at the dead of night to make up his part of the bargain? No. Is she a brat? Of course! Doesn’t mean she deserved anything more than a swift boot to the ass but an octogenarian husband? I can live with that.
But the part that I really don’t like? Willie. I really despise that twist in the plot. I hate the idea that he had a child with someone else particularly with that manipulative brat! I really don’t like it. I can’t say enough about how much I don’t like it. Did I say how much I don’t like it?
Change my mind Diana! Sell it to me! How ya gonna turn that plot twist into something I might like later? How is this going to be something I might change my mind about? I’ll be waiting…
Lord John Grey
If I have to read about another chess match…
I know there are a few novellas dedicated to him but go away John. As you pine away for Jamie in the cold dampness of the prison harboring your own secrets, I have yet to find you compelling. Not even your gesture to relocate Jamie and dedicate him to indentured servitude on a nice English estate makes me fond of your character.
Oh and what a surprise you have a thing for Jamie – We ALL have a thing for Jamie! Line up!!
I understand that any problems I have thus far may only be the beginning or might change later. I am only a quarter of the way through “Voyager” and aside from a few gripes I am enjoying it.
It’s a little strange reading everything before I watch Season 3 though. This will be the first time that I’ll anticipate certain scenes or characters before I see them! After watching Season 1 and 2, I really enjoyed reading “Outlander” and “Dragonfly in Amber”. The books provided more insight into some of the characters or alternate versions of events. Because I work in film and TV, I thoroughly enjoy seeing how the writers adapt the book for the show. It’s fascinating!
I am aware of at least one occurrence in this book that I cannot verbalize nor type. It’s too dreadful. So I’ll let you wonder what that may be as I pretend it won’t happen…cause it won’t.