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Outlander series

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Lady of the Forest
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Postby Lady of the Forest » Sun June 6th, 2010, 7:42 am

I have recently started reading the book Outlander, which I had been looking forward to for some time, for one because of my general interest in Historical Fiction and because I have heard a lot of good things about it, but upon reading it, I found myself quite disappointed early on into the book. There were a few things that I really did not care for in the book and now I am considering if I should just give up on it because I question my ability to truly enjoy it with the problems I am having with it.

One of the primary things that bothers me about the book, and of which it seems I am just about the only person who finds it the least bit off-putting, is the fact that the heroine of the story, a character whom presumably is supposed to be sympathetic and likable is an adultness. The main premises of the story revolves around a woman cheating on her husband.

Some people might I suppose justify it because of the time travel factor, but personally for me that just really is not an acceptable excuse for her to cheat on her husband since she is completely conscious of her actions and knows that he is married to another man.

On top of her being an adulteress, not a trait I find the least bit admirable or appealing, her overall personality grates on my nerves, which is another negative factor in my trying to read this book, is the fact that I wish someone would throw the narrator over the side of cliff.

If the story was not done in 1st person narration I think I could like it a little more because Claire is grating upon my nerves.
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Ordinary morality is for ordinary people

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Madeleine
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Currently reading: Heavenfield by L J Ross & Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Sun June 6th, 2010, 4:22 pm

yes I must agree with you that Claire is pretty irritating, and for someone who's lived through WW2, she acts pretty recklessly in a war situation, putting herself and everyone in danger.

I must admit I hadn't thought of the adultery angle, you do have a point but I suppose in her defence I would say that she's very scared, and doesn't know if she'll ever get back to her own time and, despite the obvious attraction between her and Jamie, some developments in their relationship aren't totally their own choice - I don't want to say too much in case I give anything away as I don't know how far you are into the story. I'd be interested to know how you get on with the book if you decide to carry on with it.
Currently reading "Heavenfield" by L J Ross & "Lost for Words" by Stephanie Butland

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Misfit
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Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Sun June 6th, 2010, 4:35 pm

I've seen this issue discussed at thread over at Amazon's romance boards as well as Goodreads (there is an Outlander group there if that helps). It wasn't an issue for me and as Madeline said some things are beyond their control. Don't press yourself too hard, not all books work for every person and if it's not for you, I'd just move on when you've had enough.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Lady of the Forest
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Postby Lady of the Forest » Sun June 6th, 2010, 9:03 pm

"Madeleine" wrote:yes I must agree with you that Claire is pretty irritating, and for someone who's lived through WW2, she acts pretty recklessly in a war situation, putting herself and everyone in danger.

I must admit I hadn't thought of the adultery angle, you do have a point but I suppose in her defence I would say that she's very scared, and doesn't know if she'll ever get back to her own time and, despite the obvious attraction between her and Jamie, some developments in their relationship aren't totally their own choice - I don't want to say too much in case I give anything away as I don't know how far you are into the story. I'd be interested to know how you get on with the book if you decide to carry on with it.


I had considered the angle of her initially not knowing if she would be able to return back, but then for me the issue is, if she does indeed find out that she is able to return back to her time, but continues to bounce back and forth between men, she is a hussy as far as I am concerned.

But someone else who has read the book assured me that she does come to finally actually make a choice between men.

So as long as the book just does not have the feeling of glamorizing her adultery I think I will be able to come to terms with it and carry on and enjoy the other elements of the story.

Though I don't fathom I will ever actually come around to liking her.
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Ordinary morality is for ordinary people

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Vanessa
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Currently reading: The Survivors by Kate Furnivall & The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Postby Vanessa » Sun June 6th, 2010, 10:04 pm

I don't think I saw it like that. When Claire married Jamie, Frank wasn't actually born if you think about it - Frank didn't exist in 1745 (nor did Claire but she had time-travelled) so technically Claire wasn't actually married when she married Jamie. It's a bit of a grey area really! Apart from that I just read it as a bit of a romp - not to be taken seriously. Personally, I wish I was Claire!!!! That Jamie is a bit of a hunk! LOL.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sun June 6th, 2010, 10:25 pm

As the plot worked it out, the marriage was more one of necessity, to keep her from being raped by Frank's ancestor. Under the circumstances, it was less about adultery than survival.

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Lady of the Forest
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Postby Lady of the Forest » Sun June 6th, 2010, 10:35 pm

"Vanessa" wrote:I don't think I saw it like that. When Claire married Jamie, Frank wasn't actually born if you think about it - Frank didn't exist in 1745 (nor did Claire but she had time-travelled) so technically Claire wasn't actually married when she married Jamie. It's a bit of a grey area really! Apart from that I just read it as a bit of a romp - not to be taken seriously. Personally, I wish I was Claire!!!! That Jamie is a bit of a hunk! LOL.


The thing about the whole Frank wasn't born yet, does not work for me, because though Clarie did time travel, she is an intruder in that period of time, and she is fully conscious and aware of the fact that she is married to Frank, so even if on the technicality of him not being born yet, she is still knowingly breaking her vows because she knows she does have a husband.

So even if you can claim that theatrically she is not psychically being unfaithful, since Frank does not yet exist, in mind and heart she is still betraying him.

Though if there were extenuating circumstances, and she was put in a compromising position in which she was placed in danger as indicated in the post by MLE and she was let unknowing if she would ever even see her own time period again, that would be a different case than if she simply gave into her own personal desire, and acted for the sake of her own self-gratification.
Last edited by Lady of the Forest on Sun June 6th, 2010, 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ordinary morality is for ordinary people

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: The Survivors by Kate Furnivall & The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Postby Vanessa » Mon June 7th, 2010, 7:18 am

If I remember rightly, didn't Claire try to escape? Originally escaping was part of her plan. She was in a rather strange situation.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Lady of the Forest
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Postby Lady of the Forest » Mon June 7th, 2010, 9:53 am

"Vanessa" wrote:If I remember rightly, didn't Claire try to escape? Originally escaping was part of her plan. She was in a rather strange situation.


Yes in the early stages of the book she does try and think of some way to esape and return back to the stones.
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Ordinary morality is for ordinary people

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Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: Heavenfield by L J Ross & Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Mon June 7th, 2010, 11:24 am

I think she and Jamie also marry partly for Jamie's protection too.

the book does have some rather fantastical elements to it - again I don't want to give anything away, but she does have a bizarre encounter in Scotland! - so I think I'm with Vanessa and would perhaps try not to take it too seriously and just treat it as escapism, there are way too many plot holes with time travel anyway.
Currently reading "Heavenfield" by L J Ross & "Lost for Words" by Stephanie Butland


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