Nicole Claire doesn't watch it happen, she is told the story after the fact. So while you don't get an exact description, it is told in a way where you can picture what is happening, and it is pretty horrific.
Darlene Schara I agree with Beckah. Most of the scenes of this nature, and even the sex, are NOT explicit. There is a lot of "fade-to-black", and things written in a way that let you understand what happened without giving you every single move and breath.
Beckah It is not really explicit or detailed it does come up but it roundabout ways, and Jamie does tell Claire some but it is not horrible. You feel sad for him that Jonathon did it to him but at the same time you commend him for his bravery.
Elizabeth I read this book 12 years ago while I was on my way to Scotland to get married. I liked the storyline and I have watched the first three seasons of the series. But I _still_ wish I could un-read that part of the first book and have skipped those scenes at the end of season 1. When I saw that they were making a series out of these books, my first thought was, "How are they going to do that without the brutal prison rape?"
Wendie I'm very sensitive to torture scenes (avoid or walk out of movies with them, etc) and found that part of the book difficult. I'd say it goes into quite a lot of detail although much of it adds to the characters development. Nevertheless, I eventually skipped over those sections and otherwise liked the book quite a lot.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)[It is a difficult scene to read (and the actors say it was challenging for them too!), however, it is as tastefully written as something like that can be written. Again, in my opinion, it is a necessary part of the character development, and it stays very close to being historically accurate (yes these things did happen). The influence on Jamie (as a person), and on Claire, and the relationship that develops between the two of them, is essential to the evolution of the storyline. The events build a level of trust and understanding between Jamie and Claire, and in future events has quite a critical influence (sorry, not wanting to give too much away about the storyline in later novels in the series) (hide spoiler)]
Mrs L E Slade
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)[I was dreading reading that part of the book having watched the series first. The graphic scenes in the tv series are not like that in the book. I read that chapter yesterday and found it very tenderly written and told after the fact. The treatment of Jamie in the prison was not so sexually orientated but he had taken more of a beating. His wounds were more physical than emotional and thankfully, he keeps his sense of humour and his close relationship to Clare. I love the series but their relationship is so much better in the book and Black Jack isn't featured quite so much. (hide spoiler)]
Leigh Taylor I cried a lot because of the Jack Randall ordeal, it is very emotional. But I honestly think it made me love Jamie and Claire more as characters, and added something that really emotionally invested me in them even more than I was (which was a lot). It can get quite detailed at times, but I would not change it for the world.