Kilted Virgins Ho! Outlander Readalong Week 1

36

June 18, 2012 by Heidi

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon ReadalongOh hi there!  Remember last Friday when I said I’d be out till Wednesday?  Well, that’s still true.  I’m just popping in to talk a bit about Outlander and answer the questions from Week 1 of our Readalong.  If you’re not participating, or you have zero interest in Outlander, you can go ahead and scamper along now.  I won’t be insulted.  I’ll see you back later this week!  For those of you who are interested, here we go!

These questions were put forth from the ever awesome and lovely Jess of Gone With the Words:

1. Outlander is a well-known book. Before you cracked it open, what were your expectations or assumptions about this story? Or did you jump into it with a blank slate?

Before cracking it open, I knew a few things from hearsay:

  1. It involved time travel. For which I am a complete sucker. I read the author’s note at the beginning, wherein she said that the setting was partiality inspired by an old episode of Doctor Who–be still my heart!
  2. There would be kilted virgins. And gingers. And a bit of romance. Check, check, and check.
  3. It was a total chunkster. Luckily, you ladies spread this out for long enough that it’s not intimidating.

2. Claire’s husband, Frank, is fascinated with learning more and more facts about his family tree, which extends back pretty far. Do you or anyone in your family keep a family tree? How many years/generations back does it go? If not, have you ever considered or attempted to create one?

Honestly, I’ve never been overly interested in my family tree. In fact, I have a complicated enough immediate family history that I always dreaded the ‘family tree’ assignment in school, and distinctly remember weaseling my way out of it once or twice.  There is a family historian on my father’s side, but nobody otherwise off the top of my head.  We have been to visit my mother’s relatives in Norway, who still live in the village her grandmother came from.  Culturally, my family is probably more traditional than most.  We are German and Norwegian, but mostly Norwegian, and we keep many traditions of Norwegian Americans, particularly around the holidays.

My favorite family history story though is that telling how my father’s family came over from Germany over a hundred years ago.  My great great whatever grandfather was a barber.  One day, a nobleman came in for a shave and a hair cut, but refused to pay him two bits (or anything for that matter).  Thus, my forefather followed him to the local bar and started a bit of a fight.  He ended up killing the man, and had to flee the country or be thrown in jail.  This is how my family came to be situated on a farm in Eastern South Dakota, which is still in the family today.

3. How did you find Claire’s initial conclusion as to her surroundings after waking up from going through the stones? Did you think that was a reasonable conclusion?

I suppose it was? It does seem a bit silly to assume you’ve stumbled into the filming of a period piece, but it certainly is a more logical first conclusion that time travel.

4. How about her composed, rational way of dealing with the fact she’s traveled back in time. Did you find it believable? Do you think you would have acted the same way?

I like that it takes her a long time and a whole slough of evidence to really accept her predicament.  I also liked that when it did finally sink in, and it occurred to her that she was now separated from Frank that she broke down.  But then after that initial break down she seems just fine and dandy and accepting of it all.  I don’t think it’d be a switch like that.

5. At this point in the story, what are your feelings or expectations on Claire and Jamie? Is Frank still a factor for you?

I think Frank’s going to be a factor for me unless they kill his forefather thus rendering him unborn in the future.  The adultery aspect makes me really uncomfortable.  I realize that Claire and Frank don’t have the most solid relationship because of the war, and she did become worried that perhaps he was alluding to having been with other women during that time.  Also, perhaps she takes this conversation as a sort of permission to act on other emotions if/when they’re separated?  I knew going in that Jamie was ‘the guy’ of the book, but I didn’t go in knowing Claire was already married.  I suppose if you’re stuck back in time, it is a decent conclusion to say you’re a widow, but it’s still awfully weird.  I feel like she accepts it all so quickly, and is less determined to make it back than I would expect.

Bonus Question: Frank encounters a man outside of the inn where he and Claire are staying. He is afraid it might have been a ghost. What do you believe it was? Do you have any predictions or suspicions on what that was about?

I assumed at the time that it was Jamie.  I still am more or less assuming that, but I’m really unsure of all the mechanics.  Unless it was like a descendant of Claire and Jamie…but that makes less sense with the whole ‘disappearing’ thing he supposedly did.  We shall see!

Okay, that’s it for me this week! Crazy busy till Wednesday, so sorry if I don’t get to everyone else’s posts before then. I will get there!  Cheers, I hope you’re all loving Outlander, I certainly am.  I know many of you have been unable to put it down and blazed on ahead. I swear now if you spoil it for me, I will cut you.  Just kidding…kind of…maybe…

Outlander Readalong

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