It took every ounce of self-control I had to not walk to my book room Sunday night and pick up the next book in this series. Diana Gabaldon has a way with words.
So where was I with my summary? Ah, yes. Claire and Jamie come home from the trip where they got married, and settle into a routine and happy existence at Castle Leoch. Basically the rest of the book is about how Claire treats scrapes and bruises as the castle physician and Jamie trains horses, and everything is lovely. Ha! Not at all. I think this phase of their marriage lasts about two days. Then Jamie has to go off on a hunting trip with the Duke of Sandringham, a known homosexual, who enjoys Jamie’s company (he does this to ingratiate himself with the Duke so maybe he can help get him a pardon for the murder he didn’t commit but is wanted for). When Jamie’s gone, Claire goes to see Geillis Duncan because Laoghaire says Geillis is looking for her. Interestingly, Geillis is arrested for witchcraft and tossed in the thieves pit in town, and Claire is caught up in the mob. She is put on trial for witchcraft along with Geillis. Jamie returns just in time to rescue Claire, and Geillis sacrifices herself to save Claire. Or does she…?
The downside of Claire and Jamie running after he rescues her is that we never get to have a big confrontation between Claire and Laoghaire. I really would have enjoyed that scene, but maybe it’s still to come. Somewhere along the line Claire comes clean to Jamie about where and when she is from, and he takes her to Craigh na Dun and tells her that she needs to return to her time. He then takes off to a nearby cottage to wait for her to go. She, of course, doesn’t go, because who could leave the man who just saved her from being burned at the stake? It’s not an easy decision for our Claire, by any means. I felt her conflict. Gabaldon does a great job. And then she and Jamie travel to Jamie’s family home, Lallybroch, and they live happily ever after. No, of course not. They do go to Lallybroch, and meet Jamie’s sister Jenny, and her husband Ian, and their son little Jamie. There is a brief period of happiness here, and peace. It was sort of boring, but nice. And then, Jamie gets captured by British soldiers and ends up in a prison, at the mercy of good old Black Jack Randall. Claire leads a daring escape, but not before Randall tortures and rapes Jamie. Eventually they make it across the English Channel so Jamie can recuperate at the Abbey where his uncle is a monk. There, he develops a horrible infection in the hand that Randall broke in like a thousand places. Eventually he heals, and lovely things happen, and it’s beautiful and wonderful, and Claire is pregnant, and they live happily ever after. Maybe this time it’s true. If nothing else, the book ends on a happy note. But we all know there are many more pages of this saga to come.
So yeah. I know Bethany says this series is very uneven, but I don’t care, and I know she doesn’t either. I’m going to be a good girl and read a couple books off my list of “assigned reading,” and then I’m going back to see Jamie and Claire as soon as possible. Maybe we should change the name of our blog to Postcards from Lallybroch….