I just logged onto the blog to see if Bethany had posted anything today. And then I remembered that it’s Tuesday, which is my day to post. Ooops. I forgot. Anyway. I’m now about halfway through Outlander, and things have, erm, heated up a bit. Let’s suffice it to say that I now know why some bookstores put this series in the Romance section.
The second quarter of Outlander focuses on Claire and Jamie’s developing relationship. The MacKenzies go traveling around their lands, and Claire is brought along in case there are any accidents along the way. She sees this as fortuitous since this may be an opportunity to escape back to the stones at Craigh na Dun. But what kind of TIME TRAVEL/historical fiction adventure would this be if our heroine got back to the future less than halfway through the book? Gabaldon has other plans for poor Claire. At an early point in their travels Jack Randall crawls back out from under his rock and demands that Claire be delivered for questioning to Fort William, and Dougal, who is leading the MacKenzie party, decides to have Claire get married—as a Scottish citizen she can’t be compelled anywhere by the British. Claire agrees to marry Jamie, though she has plenty of reservations about engaging in polygamy. Things get even more complicated when Claire realizes she has feelings for Jamie. And then not a lot happens except for a lot of sex.
And then after Claire and Jamie have been married for about a month, the group leaves her alone while they go to meet with a fellow named Horrocks who has information for Jamie about getting his name cleared (he has been accused of murdering a British soldier—this is a plotline that is just beginning to be developed). Claire realizes she might be able to make a break for Craigh na Dun, but in her efforts to make her way, she is captured by Jack Randall’s men, forcing Jamie to make a desperate attempt to rescue her from Fort William, which is successful, but causes quite a bit of trouble between Claire and Jamie. He actually takes his belt to her, which is something that’s common in eighteenth century Scotland, but not so much so in twentieth century England. And then they have more sex.
As the second quarter of the book winds up, the rent-collecting party returns to Castle Leoch and the news of Claire and Jamie’s marriage becomes public knowledge. Some folks are very pleased, but others are not so much so, especially Laoghaire, a sixteen year old girl who has a crush on Jamie, and who perhaps he has led on a bit. I suspect this girl is going to cause trouble for our two lovebirds.
Other plotlines are developing as well. I know we have not seen the last of Jack Randall, for example. There has also been more backstory about Jamie’s family. Both of his parents are deceased, but he does have a living sister named Jenny, who we will meet fairly soon, and a family estate called Lallybroch, where we will go in the near future (I’ve looked ahead a little). Geillis Duncan was around for a bit, and very drunk. This scene was actually pretty funny. I know she is important down the line but I’m not sure how important she will be in Outlander.
I’m still enjoying Outlander quite a bit. It’s long but goes fast, and it’s one of those books I want to just sit and read and ignore everything else around me. Hopefully by Thursday I’ll have more to report.