This week Becky and I read parts five and six of Outlander. Part five was about Lallybroch, Jamie reuniting with his family and friends, and Claire coming to terms with life at Lallybroch, understanding that it is likely where she and Jamie will end up living once Jamie is in the clear. Part six is then mostly setting up the final section and what is likely to be the most traumatic section of the book.
My first thoughts on this section are about how much I love Jenny’s character. She’s so strong-willed and such a powerful lady, not to mention a female Jamie. The scenes between her and Jamie were so fantastically written, I almost felt as though I grew up with them too, and was also reminiscing about the same events from our shared childhood!
Their argument when they first meet is so well done. We really feel the emotion from both characters and see that their love for one another is expressed through the anger and passion in this initial argument. Jamie is angry because he believes that he caused Jenny to be raped by Randall and forced into bringing up his bastard son. Jenny is furious that he would jump to that conclusion without first asking who the child is, as Jamie is unaware that young Jamie is in fact her legitimate child with her husband. My favourite line of Jenny’s is definitely “And if your life is a suitable exchange for my honour, tell me why my honour is not a suitable exchange for your life?” Yes, Jamie, why? Their love for each other is evident throughout.
This is also the first time that we hear that Jamie in fact married Claire for love. We know that Claire married Jamie for both necessity and convenience, but Jamie in fact married her for her. Of course, Claire’s love for Jamie developed. They are also a very funny couple to read about. Often in romance novels we read about couple’s romantic lives, and passion, but less about their humour, and humour is so important in a relationship it’s refreshing to see them connect in that way.
Speaking of humour, when Jamie hid from the redcoats under the water while one tried to fixed the wheel, it was hilarious to see his shorts attached to the top of the wheel, and know that Jamie was under the water the whole time, holding his breath, stripping off his shorts and fixing the wheel.
But then Jamie is captured and sent to Wentworth prison. Claire and Jenny set off to find him, though Jenny has to turn back after a short while and Claire gets to spend some time with Murtagh as they search for Jamie together. Eventually they learn of his capture because they find Dougal hiding in the woods. Dougal shows a darker side to his character, as he declares it impossible to save Jamie, and how much he wants Claire. Her husband isn’t dead yet, Dougal, leave the poor girl alone! We also learn that he did in fact father Colum’s child. As Claire puts it, he is Colum’s arms, legs and cock. He also tells Claire that Geilis had given birth to his child before being burned as a witch. Her son was placed in what Dougal calls a good home, so perhaps we will hear more about the child when he is older. Dougal also gives Claire the message ‘one nine six seven’ – 1967! We learn that Geilis has come from 1967! She tells Claire that she thinks it is possible but she’s not sure, and Claire thinks she is referring to returning to the future.
Essentially, by the end of the section, Claire and Murtagh have found some men willing to help them and they set off on their journey to Wentworth to save Jamie. Having seen the TV series I know what will happen and I’m so nervous to read it! Though I am intrigued to see how Gabaldon approaches the topic, I am also aware that it will be a difficult and uncomfortable read.
Off we go, to the final section!