Outlander Series discussion

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Group Read > Total Read-Through - February 2015 - NO SERIES SPOILERS - DIA

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message 1: by Natalie (new)

Natalie (nataliewade) | 28 comments I came across the series because a coworker mentioned them to me and when I subsequently mentioned them to my mom, she said that my oldest sister had loved the series. So I knew I'd have to give them a try. As a diehard Song of Fire and Ice fan, I was not expecting too much of Outlander. I could not have been more wrong! I won't say anything more for fear of spoiling anything...but to anyone out there who is apprehensive, give it a try, you'll love it!


message 2: by Nicky (new)

Nicky Yvette | 9 comments I had heard about this series as a teenager, but never took the time to check it out. I saw it again in my mid-twenties when I got a new kindle. I bought the first book, but always found something else to read. I then heard they were making a TV show, but was so busy with school and work (still busy with school now), that I did not get the chance to read before the season started. I loved the show so much, that I finally took my semester break during the holidays, and the mid-season break from the show and read the first book. I am now on The Fiery Cross, but as soon as I done (which will be in a day or two) I will go back to Outlander with you guys!

When I first read the book, I was excited because I already knew how it would start, but did not know how it would end! I think I reread my favorite parts at least four times before I finish the book!


message 3: by Jean (new)

Jean | 4 comments I checked out the book from the library two years ago after someone recommended it to me and actually returned it without reading because it was so huge. I finally decided to read it when I came across pictures from the TV show (San Heughan is the best!). It turned out to be such a good read. I'm currently on the second book, but I can't wait to reread the first one and note the details I miss the first time through.


message 4: by Carren (new)

Carren Kay | 953 comments I actually found the series while in Sitka, Alaska. I was in a little book store and picked up Drums of Autumn and realized it was a series. So when I returned home, I purchased Outlander and, as they say, the rest was history.
I think I've read the series at least 3-4 times and still find something I missed.


message 5: by Tgt (new)

Tgt | 27 comments For nearly two years, I would consider purchasing this for my Nook, but I always chose something else. When I learned of the Starz series I realized it was that book and so I gave the series a try. I was hooked. Once the season ended, I immediately purchased each book. I read them all in a month. I'm excited about the re-read.


message 6: by Tgt (new)

Tgt | 27 comments Carren, I'm finding all sorts of clues and things I missed during my first reading.
You miss a lot when you binge read. Everybody, pay close attention when reading because you'll need it in the future.


message 7: by Sassafrass (new)

Sassafrass (sass-a-frass) | 24 comments I'm pretty sure that Dee (our mod) got me interested in the books. And then I looked and saw how many of my friends were into the series so I had to see what they were going on about.

Historical Fiction really isn't my thing, so I was hesitant but these books are so much MORE, I got sucked in just like everyone else!


message 8: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 1124 comments Lol SAssy - I'm innocent...I swear...


message 9: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 1124 comments Hi Melissa - how do you want to handle threads for this? And the read? Set discussions at different points etc?


message 10: by Sassafrass (new)

Sassafrass (sass-a-frass) | 24 comments Dee wrote: "Lol SAssy - I'm innocent...I swear..."

Yeah, right!


message 11: by Jean (new)

Jean | 4 comments Dee wrote: "Hi Melissa - how do you want to handle threads for this? And the read? Set discussions at different points etc?"

This is actually a good way to do it. Since we all have different reading pace and other things going on, it's the best way not to spoil anyone.


message 12: by Arlene (new)

Arlene | 255 comments I don't even remember how I came across Outlander, but I am glad I did. I was an early reader so I have patiently awaited each book until DG was ready. It's been a long haul, but an enjoyable one. Waiting for each new book has been agony at times. I've enjoyed the read, but the Starz series has totally pulled me in. The casting is so perfect. the story lines, even with the changes from the book has been so spot on that I am totally pulled into the hype. I never really had anyone to discuss the books with, so to me this is exciting. I agree with the suggestion that we set discussion topics at different points of the book. It should be enlightening to see the reaction of other people. already I have seen from different threads that I seem to be much more accepting of the story line than some other people. Naivete? I don't know.


message 13: by MJ (new)

MJ | 207 comments I was told about them about 15 years ago i think. Never got around to them for years, but once I did, I've been hooked. Have been putting off reading MOBY until I do a re-read and haven't started yet. Should be interesting to read thru with everyone.

As for threads... I'd suggest a thread for each book? Would it need to be broken down more than that?


message 14: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 1124 comments There is already a thread dedicated to each book in the Book folder here - if you guys want to use those - but they may contain spoilers in them


message 15: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (EllenChristine) | 245 comments When are we starting? Wasn't the date set for Feb 15? Or am I imagining things?


message 16: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (EllenChristine) | 245 comments I found it because of the tv series.....totally involved with the entire cast of characters....


message 17: by Meagan (new)

Meagan (irishrose1920) | 10 comments My husband's aunt recommended the series to me. It took me about a year to actually start reading the series but I love them. I'm currently in the middle of the third one. I'm looking forward to a discussion by people who already like the series!


message 18: by Tgt (new)

Tgt | 27 comments Melissa, I think discussions about specified parts is a good idea. That way no page will be left unturned.


message 19: by Arlene (new)

Arlene | 255 comments Just started on Outlander again in preparation for this forum. It's funny how I am noticing the differences from the Starz series, but will try to stick to the ink as my choir music director tells us to do.


message 20: by Maddie (new)

Maddie | 43 comments I read them because of my parents. My mom had been in a reading rut and went to the book store and picked up the thickest book she could find (Outlander) and we had to go back the next week because she read it so fast. She then sent it on to my dad (whom she had been waking up in the middle of the night telling him how good it was). On a family trip when I was young we listened to it (abridged obviously) and my sister and I were not that interested until a few years ago. After we got out of college and could read for pleasure again we both picked them up. I actually picked it up because my mom had been telling me that I needed to read them and one day through Barnes and Noble the nook version was free so I said why not. Then I read all of them in the span of about 6 months.


message 21: by Vanessa Eden (new)

Vanessa  Eden Patton (vanessaeden) | 549 comments I found outlander by searching for the best historical romance novels of all time and outlander was at the top. I researched it on goodreads and tried to find it for months. One day I had a dream I went to the mall and bought it and my husband woke me up and we went for an outing...and we went to the mall...to a bookstore and I bought it. My life has been a wreck ever sense lol. Every book I read never compares to outlander. I'm obsessed.


message 22: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (EllenChristine) | 245 comments @Arlene, I'll start with you....is everyone starting yet?


message 23: by Amy (new)

Amy Dibenedetto nelson | 34 comments It was the Starz series. I watched it and just loved it. Also a SoIaF fan. I wondered how I could have missed this book for so long! I'm currently halfway through a Dragonfly in Amber, so this could be good timing.


message 24: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (EllenChristine) | 245 comments Starting today! I so need this right now.


message 25: by ash | (new)

ash | (sffreads) | 1 comments I just finished Outlander a few week ago so it's still fresh in my mind!


message 26: by Missy (new)

Missy | 1 comments I watched Outlander on Starz and was instantly obsessed, love the characters & actors! I read Outlander the book about a month ago and am just starting Dragonfly in Amber. I can't believe how much I love these books, glad I finally have a group to discuss them with!


message 27: by Arlene (new)

Arlene | 255 comments @ Ellen - I'm ready if you are!


message 28: by Arlene (new)

Arlene | 255 comments 2 months per book is good for me. I've started and have gotten to where Claire is in the cottage with the hairy boys but let's not rush through. I would think the first thing is to talk about Claire and Frank on their 2nd honeymoon. My first question would be what (if anything) did you notice about their relationship?


message 29: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (EllenChristine) | 245 comments I'm on it!


message 30: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (EllenChristine) | 245 comments I've just read, and re-read, and re-read the bit up to the Stones. Claire has just landed on the other side of her reality, flush in the mids of war cries and battle. I cannot find one single reason to not like Frank. He's affable, industrious, intelligent, loving, albeit a bit post-War lost in his footing. It would seem to me that he, as well as the world around him is still in a shock phase after haveing been subjected to invasion, battle, spies, loss, persecution at the hand of Hitler's Germany. Perhaps not as comfortable with his oh-my-God-where-have-you-been wife, but even after a first date, a guy's bound to be a bit unsure of himself.
all a logical lead up to Claire feeling desperation to return to the safety of Frank, and then guilt at her succumbing to the charms of need I mention his name quite yet?


message 31: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (EllenChristine) | 245 comments and, @ Melissa...all my friends, family et al lecture me on my colorful language, so I found that bit quite in keeping with the company they were in. I"ve been miffed at times, fer sure, about it, but hey what the hey, that's life.....Frank loves her, and wants the world to love her, so I find it less a critique than a smoothing over.


message 32: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (EllenChristine) | 245 comments one more thing ( I keep forgetting points): passion? they were doing in in the hedgerows fer God's sake...here, there, and everywhere, to re-kindle and spark that little zygote into being. Frank's sort of passion might be imbedded in his academia, but he's got it for Claire, and no doubt about it. But perhaps, after meeting Himself later on, we've all become a bit prejudiced...just saying.


message 33: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (EllenChristine) | 245 comments oh, you forward thang, you! Trust me, we've all probably done SOMETHING in the hedgerows, passion, love or whatever notwithstanding.


message 34: by Tgt (new)

Tgt | 27 comments @ Ellen, I also just re-read and re-listened to that portion of the book concerning Claire and Frank. I believe Frank loves Claire, but I also feel he is rather arrogant and dismissive. This is supposed to be their second "honeymoon" and yet Instead of concentrating on their relationship, and getting reacquainted, Frank is completely caught up in researching his genealogy. Maybe I'm crazy but if I'd been separated from my husband for such a long period of time and he would rather spend time reading old documents with vicars than reconnecting with me, I'd be PISSED! But something occurred to me.... Claire was raised by Uncle Lamb who was always engrossed in his archeological digs so as a child she was left to her own devices most of the time. While he did take her along on his travels being physically present, but mentally he was always absent. Maybe Claire believes that's how a man is supposed to treat her, especially if they are an academic.


message 35: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (EllenChristine) | 245 comments @Tgt, quite apropos, that point about Uncle Lamb. Not to mention all the soldiers she'd been fixing up....talk about distracted! I don't get the impression that Frank is arrogant, or dismissive. I get the feeling that he is feeling his way back to a relationship he cherished, and now has to forge new links. His academia is his protective shell, certainly, but Claire seems to get it...


message 36: by Tgt (new)

Tgt | 27 comments I just thought about something else. Since Claire is accustomed to being alone, be it by herself or within the protection of her personal bubble, she needs to have a lot of "me time." Being with Frank all the time may have caused her to feel smothered.

There were some things that jumped out at me that caused me to feel that Frank could be a bit of a butt. One example is when he argued with the barkeeper about the quality of the beer and presumed to tell how Scottish beer is supposed to be made. Another is when Claire burns her hand with Mr. Bainbridge's teapot and Frank shows no concern about her injury but IS worried about Bainbridge's perception of them. When Claire is brushing her unruly hair and decides to tame it with the perfume, knowing how much Frank likes that perfume. But Frank comes back and wants to brush his hair, smells the perfume on the brush then puts it down wrinkling his nose. (He didn't like it, right?)Later, when he holds Claire, while trying to smooth things over with her, he sniffs her perfumed scented hair and tells her how wonderful it smells. He uses up the water in the ewer and later, when he needs water, he gives Claire a look because the ewer is empty. Okay, I'm done with my rant.


message 37: by Diane (new)

Diane (Tvor) | 19 comments I saw the hardcover of Outlander in the bookstore when it was first released in 1989, The book jacket looked interesting and when I read the inside flap, I was very intrigued. More than just an average "bodice ripper", this book sounded like it would have a lot more to it and of course it did! I've got the whole series in hardcover because i couldn't wait for the paperbacks to be released, also have all the ebooks now too. Easier for rereading!


message 38: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (EllenChristine) | 245 comments I like the ebook versions becaue I can "mark" them up without doing damage to the hard cover editions. I don 't like the paperbacks at all, at all.......gotta have the hardcovers just for the sensation of turning the pages.......so satisfying when you have a cup of tea at hand....


message 39: by Jean (new)

Jean | 4 comments I personally think the lack of passion between Frank and Claire is partly due to the fact that, unlike Claire and Jamie, we don't get to see Claire and Frank falling in love. We get bits and pieces from Claire, but these flashbacks don't have the same power as reading Jamie's lovely words to Claire.
I do agree with Tgt that Frank seems a bit distance when he spends so much time researching during their second honey moon. I dislike him mostly for this reason too, but I try to persuade myself to be fair and not just hate him because Diana didn't provide too much background on Claire's first marriage.


message 40: by Arlene (new)

Arlene | 255 comments Reading about Frank, I thought - ONLY CHILD. There is a streak of selfishness in him that just reminds me of someone who is used to being catered to. That has nothing to do with whether or not someone is in love with another. I never have doubted that he loves Claire. However, I think the things he loves her for are the things that would eventually drive them apart, even if she hadn't fallen through the stones. He is charmed by her independence and her free spirit. Unfortunately, these traits won't do for the wife in academia. I can't imagine Claire to be the wife waiting at home, having tea and luncheons with all the other wives who even lose their first names. She would forever be known as Mrs. Frank Randall, not Claire Randall.

Post WWII was a time of great adjustment. Women had been left on their own back home, or like with Claire, had been out doing important, exciting work. Now that the war was over, the expectations were for the little women to leave their jobs and become Suzie homemakers. Claire knew that, didn't question that, and even bought the vases to start her on the path to her new, civilized life.

Frank was a very educated Englishman. He is fascinated by the history of Scotland, but deep down, I think he holds the country in disdain. That's where his offhand comments come from, IMO.

I never have gotten the feeling there was no passion between Claire and Frank. Remember, they just have gotten back together after a 6 year involuntary separation. It would be almost like starting a new relationship; needing to build up trust. Mrs. Graham made Claire uncomfortable when she did the tea reading and told Claire that Frank was a stranger to Claire.

To me, there are all sorts of signs that they loved each other, but if they stayed together, that would change.

I guess I have spouted off long enough! :~)


message 41: by MJ (new)

MJ | 207 comments I always find myself skimming ''the frank day's". Don't mind the flash backs and the memories later, but yeah, he and the way he treats her on the honeymoon bugs me.


message 42: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (EllenChristine) | 245 comments Off the Frank thing for a fast minute, guys....but I just noticed that BJR is Claire's height...does this mean that the 18th C types are indeed smaller? I know that proportion has changed through generations, but it didn't hit me here until I read the BJR passage


message 43: by Arlene (new)

Arlene | 255 comments Ellen wrote: "Off the Frank thing for a fast minute, guys....but I just noticed that BJR is Claire's height...does this mean that the 18th C types are indeed smaller? I know that proportion has changed through g..."
If I recall, Claire said she was 5'6" and Frank was 5'10" so if she was eye to eye with BJR, he was considerably shorter than his descendant. I would guess it had to be that people were, upon average, shorter back then. All the more reason that Jamie was a standout in his time. If Claire's face rested in his chest, he had to top 6'


message 44: by Arlene (new)

Arlene | 255 comments How well do you think Claire handled her trip through time and in coming to terms that that is what happened to her? How do y..."

I'd say she handled it remarkably well. Even though all the evidence was there, it would be something that was a little hard to believe. If it was me, I'd think I'd had some sort of breakdown. She must have been in some sort of shock, but the daily reality just kept pushing in her face until she HAD to believe this was true. I don't know how far we are going into the book on this one, but after Jamie rescues Claire from Ft. William she says that Jamie was more real to her than anything had ever been, even Frank and her life in 1945. That's a pretty good adjustment!


message 45: by Tgt (new)

Tgt | 27 comments Since Claire had always led a nomadic life, she was able to adjust to life without the pleasant amenities very quickly. Being a nurse during WWII, she had to learn to make do with whatever she had. She had to make it work. Those skills along with her interest in Botany enabled her to successfully treat her 18th century patients. Listening to Frank go on and on about his family's history, and I'm sure talks with Uncle Lamb, gave her some background on the dress, language and behavior of that time allowing her fake it and make adjustments in her interactions with her captors. That's not to say she wasn't alien to the people around her. They are still trying to figure her out. Claire's earlier life was preparation for the future that she would have in the past.

I on the other hand, would have a much harder time. I have never been camping, never had a garden (I killed my cactus), only ridden horses a few times, freak out at the thought of drinking unfiltered water from a stream, and HATE cold, damp weather. To top off all of that, I'm a black woman. Not sure, but I don't think their views on slavery would have leaned in my favor. Even if it did, they would see that "one of these things is not like the others." Especially since the highlanders found outsiders suspect. Now having said all of that, I would struggle for my survival, no matter the odds.


message 46: by Ellen (last edited Feb 07, 2015 12:24PM) (new)

Ellen (EllenChristine) | 245 comments @Arlene typical Army combat nurse mentality, I should think ( having never been one myself), with Claire picking up and dusting off, trying to fathom her status based on a. logic, b. acceptable explanation c. imagination which is finally where she comes to rest in her 18th C. environs.
Back to Frank, @Gertt I"m thinking that Claire married him because in most respectable circles that is what one did. One got married. He was the first out of the gate for her, she having been reared by a solitary and somewhat vague bachelor Uncle Lamb. Perhaps not becaue passion was so very very at the top of the list, but perhaps more because of practicality. Not everyone fell head over heels on first sight. The "coup de foudre" is famous, but not everyone has/had the pleasure of knowing that feeling. We don't get the inside track on Frank/Claire, but I still feel the same as I have done towards him: accepting. I tend to accept people for what they are, and let them show their persona(e) as we go along.


message 47: by Arlene (new)

Arlene | 255 comments Sorry about the only child reference. It doesn't mean someone is particularly spoiled or selfish, BUT I do think that because of the singleness of upbringing many only children don't automatically think of sharing like you would if you were one of a "tribe" of children.
Gertt, I think we are saying the same thing about Claire and Frank. He was first drawn to her because of her unconventional attitude, but then when the war is over, he is holding to a conventional life and expects Claire to change, whether he realizes it or not. As for Jamie, Murtagh had it right when he said Jamie needed a woman not a Lassie. He found that in Claire. After much denial on Claire's part, she realizes that Jamie is the one for her.


message 48: by Arlene (new)

Arlene | 255 comments Tgt. You are so right about how listening to her Uncle Lamb and Frank being a help to her. There are references directly in the dialog that point to this, but I'm sure she absorbed a lot of practical knowledge as well even when she was only half paying attention.

Your assessment of fitting in would be spot on too. I have a friend who is black and works in a very white office. She always says she is the only raisin in the bowl of oatmeal. We laugh about it, but the reality is there are times you want to blend into the background and it's hard when you have outstanding characteristics. But, as you said, you'd try to survive and at least they wouldn't think you were an English spy!! :)


message 49: by Tgt (new)

Tgt | 27 comments @ Arlene maybe, just maybe, their knowing I wasn't an English spy would be in my favor. Maybe I would be so foreign and exotic that they would believe I was a mythical being like fairy folk or the Loch Ness Mon--ah, wait! Maybe that wouldn't be such a good thing.


message 50: by Tgt (new)

Tgt | 27 comments I was wondering if anyone else picked up on the fact that Claire already enjoyed her whisky neat, even had a second glass, whereas, Frank needed water for his.


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