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History Group Reads > Outlander: On the Road/Brimstone (Ch. 17-25)

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message 1: by Emily (new)

Emily (ohmagichour) | 181 comments Here's where to discuss this part of the book.

message 2: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Moody | 544 comments Once again, Claire's attachment to Frank and 1945 seems very questionable to me.
Her talk about getting back always sounds so forced - like it's something she's supposed to do, not something she wants to do.
Not that I blame her, I'd stay with Jamie, too.

In chapter 20 Jamie leaves Claire in a meadow and goes to meet with a man who may be able to help clear his name of the charge the English have against him. But first he tells her to stay put - threatening he'll 'tan your bare arse wi' my sword belt' if she leaves before he comes back for her.
Claire wanders around, thinking about Jamie and the birds in the area, before she eventually realizes that this is the opportunity she's been waiting for - a chance to get back to the stones and to Frank.
So she takes off. And of course it ends badly, with her being captured by the English.
Jamie rescues her - AGAIN - and once she's safe he makes good on his promise to punish her.

The 'beating' was ridiculous. The whole thing. From Jamie's enjoyment of it to Claire's was just silly. I wouldn't say I found it offensive, I certainly didn't find it sexy...I just thought it ridiculous.
Obviously it was supposed to bring Jamie and Claire closer together, and I'm sure it did, but it just seemed like a joke to me.

Once they are back at the castle life is picturesque for a while. Jamie and Claire are happy together, and it's sweet. I liked the part when Claire helped deliver the foal. I liked them happy together.
I also liked getting to know Geilie better. She's an intersting character - I was happy to see more of her.

When the Duke of Sandringham comes there's a lot of talk about how much he likes Jamie. It's entertaining - but I wonder why Jamie is so irresistible to these gay men who have power? It's another example of his vulnerability, I suppose. And of how attractive he is, I'm sure.
This book has a very predictable pattern - Claire gets in trouble and Jamie saves her, then Jamie gets in trouble and Claire saves him.

The last chapter of this section was one of my favorite parts in the book - Claire and Geilie are 'arrested' and put in the thieves hole to await their trial for witchcraft. We find out just how evil Geilie is and another great character, Ned Gowan, comes to defend Claire in her trial. Of course (in keeping with the books established pattern) it's Jamie, not Ned, who saves Claire in the end.

After she's safe, Claire tells Jamie the truth about where she's from. He believes her story and takes her back to Craigh na Dun. She doesn't realize that's where they're headed until they're almost there, of course, and therefore has no time to think about what decision she'll make.
At the stones they realize that the portal (or whatever it is) is still open and operating, and she can get back.
Jamie is a great romantic character, and leaves her to herself. He tells her he'll wait in an abandoned cottage until evening, to make sure she's safe.
Before he goes, though, she makes her first warning about the future - an attempt to keep him safe during the rising. I'm guessing that her future predictions will come in to play later in the series, if not this book.

Claire stays on the hill for a long time - agonizing over her decision between 1945 and Frank, or 1743 and Jamie.
I was rooting for Jamie, of course - and I'll admit, I teared up when she went back to him.
But I was irritated that the decision wasn't more difficult for ME, the reader. Franks character wasn't well established in the beginning, I felt no attachment to him. Claire never seemed to miss him enough for me to consider him Jamie's rival. She never thought about him, never compared him to Jamie in any meaningful way. He had nothing to offer her, as far as I knew.
I felt like this could have been a really emotional part, it should have been harder.
I will say that I'm glad she's finally made a decision and can get on with her life.

message 3: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Moody | 544 comments Wow - didn't realize I was being SO long winded until I actually posted. Sorry about that!

message 4: by Emily (new)

Emily (ohmagichour) | 181 comments I agree - I completely teared up when she went back to him, though as you pointed out - it was pretty obvious. I pretty much was not interested in Frank at all and would have been bitter if she had gone back to him.

message 5: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 2 comments Absolutely Frank should have been a more well-rounded character. And Mandy I can see your point that her attachment to him felt forced. Perhaps a stronger pull from a larger family of hers should have been added. Maybe a brother that she desperately wanted to see after the war? Frank seems to be her only connection to 1945, and a tenuous one at that. However, it was still a momentous decision for her to stay with Jamie.
As for the beating - that left a bad taste in my mouth. If Jamie had hit her face, I may have had to put down the book. But I do realize this is my culture and time coming through. Still...I'm not convinced this was a necessary plot piece. It could be argued that it was her initiation into 18th C. Scottish Highland society. But initiations always make me gag.

message 6: by Emily (new)

Emily (ohmagichour) | 181 comments I agree - I think the book would have been better if there had been more of a struggle for the reader to decide.

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