Today ended up being a read-all-day Thursday, which I desperately needed, complete with gloomy skies and a midday thunderstorm. The only downside to the dreary weather, as far as I’m concerned, is that my Golden Retriever Bailey has developed a horrible storm phobia the past few years, and I ended up having to spend about two hours of the day holding her in my lap or spooning with her on the couch/napping, which was valuable reading time lost. I don’t mean to sound like I’m annoyed with my dog. I’m not annoyed with her. I feel terrible for her when something like this happens out of the blue. Fourth of July and New Year’s, we are prepared. She gets sedatives and we figure out where the quietest part of the house is and go there. There’s not really any hiding from Thor, the God of Thunder when he gets going really good, though, and today was one of those days.
Other than the strange weather (it is historically not normal for my part of the world to have thunderstorms more than once every year or two, though they seem to be increasing lately, probably a happy byproduct of global warming or ObamaCare or something else Donald Trump would want to get rid of), I did have a relatively pleasant, quiet day. I think I cleared about a hundred pages of Voyager today, including the scene in which Jamie and Claire reunite after twenty years apart, which was, as Bethany promised it would be, magical. I had absolutely been enjoying the book up until this point, but now that Jamie and Claire’s stories are once again the same story it’s been even better. The general air of sadness has been lifted from the novel, and I think things are going to fly from here on out.
Briefly, Jamie gains parole from the prison he had been incarcerated in, and his friend Sir John Grey get him a placement at an estate of friends of his in the Lake District of England. Knowing of Jamie’s love of horses, John asks his friend the Lord Dunsany to take Jamie in as a groom/indentured servant to serve out his parole in relative comfort to the others from Ardsmuir prison, who are being shipped off to the American Colonies. Jamie finds peace there for several years, until one of the Count’s daughters, the Lady Geneva, takes a shine to Jamie, and blackmails him (she intercepts a letter from his sister Jenny with information about the ongoing Jacobite activities) into having sex with her. She then marries, learns she is pregnant (and not by her husband), has the baby, dies in childbirth, Geneva’s husband insists the baby isn’t his but that he’s keeping him regardless so he will have an heir, the Lord and Lady Dunsany find this unacceptable, somehow pistols are drawn, and somehow Jamie ends up killing the Lord Ellesmere, and the child, Willie, goes to live at Helwater with his grandparents and his biological father. Because the Dunsanys are so happy about what Jamie did for them, they arrange for a pardon for him, which he takes them up on after Willie begins to look more like him when he is six or so. That’s in 1756, I believe. And then we know no more of Jamie’s story until Claire finds him under the name Alexander Malcom working as a printer, in Edinburgh, in 1765. Hopefully that will get filled in by Jamie to Claire over the rest of the novel. Mostly what Claire does after they track Jamie down in historical documents is make the decision to go back to him and then set about severing ties with her twentieth century life. By the time she goes back through the stones at Craigh na Dun at Halloween 1968 Bree and Roger are in love, and have a feeling that they will be able to go back in time as well, because they can “hear” the stones like Claire can. I’m not getting into it beyond that, or I’ll end up on some sort of time travel tangent, and it’s already almost ten o’clock, so I will digress for the time being.
I’m really enjoying Voyager. Bethany said once that this one is her favorite of the entire series thus far, and I can see that happening with me as well. I am looking forward the reading An Echo in the Bone, because that one was the one that got me interested in reading the Outlander series in the first place. It was out in hardcover back in 2008 and I spent a lot of time cruising Barnes and Noble back then, so I picked it up a lot, and was appalled that I had just then learned about this time travelling female English doctor from the mid-twentieth century and her Highland Scot husband living in pre-Revolutionary North Carolina and elsewhere in the Colonies. I enjoyed reading it so much that I didn’t want to stop reading to write a post, which is always a good sign.