British wolves must be wimps: Outlander Readalong Week 5


July 16, 2012 by Heidi

Outlander ReadalongOne week left!  Yay!!  Um…not that I’m excited to be done reading this book or anything. *shifty eyes*

This week was pretty meh for me.  Not great, but not terrible, I’m still plugging along.  I’m sad to say I will not be giving this one a very high rating on Goodreads, so sorry to everyone who recommended this to me.  Not every book’s for every reader, and this one was certainly not for me!  Anyway, onto this week’s questions from Logan E. Turner:

1. We are now settled into life at Lallybroch. What are your impressions of this place, and Ian and Jenny Murray? How do the stories of Jamie’s life here growing up shape your feelings toward him?

I really like Ian and Jenny, they’re definitely my favorite characters in the book.  I liked Lallybroch, and it sounds like a lovely place to live.  I did enjoy hearing them sitting around reminiscing, and it certainly gave me a feel for Jamie’s childhood, though it seemed as if they mostly just discussed his father beating him.  Which confused me as apparently he spoke out adamantly against the logic of corporal punishment, but then still beat Claire and said he’d beat their kids?  Hmm.  Also some of their conversations were just screaming Freud at me in all of the worst ways possible, but I’ll repress the urge to rant (more that is).  I do feel like Jamie and Claire are made perfectly welcome, but that Lallybroch is in good hands without them should they be unable to ever return there permanently.

2. What do you think of the story of what really happened between Jenny and Jack Randall? Could you have been as bold as Jenny? Does this change your understanding of Randall?

I felt like her story was just sort of filling in the gaps, and that we had had the gist of it previously.  I was surprised that she hadn’t told Ian before.  It doesn’t really change my thoughts on Randall at all, I’m not sure I’d have been able to laugh at him, it’s more likely I’d be sticking my thumbs in his eyes and biting/kicking/scratching a lot…yeah…he’d kill me.  I think that Jenny was incredibly smart in the way she handled the situation, bold, but smart, and her gamble paid off.

3. For the second time, we see Claire warning a Fraser about future events. Do you think this is wise? Or does this mess with history/the space-time continuum/the natural order of things? 

I do think it’s wise.  We really have no indication as of yet how much can be changed, or if she’s just setting the past on a path that it had already been on anyways because of course she’d been there to warn them of events before.  I was hoping these aspects of the story would be explored more, but chances are looking slim.

4. Do you consider Claire brave or foolish for going after Jamie? Would you be courageous enough to go into enemy territory to try and save the man you love?

Neither, really.  I think that going after Jamie was something she absolutely had to do, no question.  Honestly, I can’t put myself in her shoes because I’ve chosen to love a man who would never get himself into these sorts of situations.  Does not compute!  I don’t say that to degrade Jamie, I really don’t, because most of the situations he’s been in and charges against him haven’t really been all his own fault.  I do think they were silly not to book it out of town as soon as Maggie came about, but again, extenuating circumstances and all.  I just have a hard time identifying because I can’t imagine this sort of situation befalling our family especially when my significant other is the son of a cop, works at a law firm, and has the utmost respect for the law and those who enforce it.  But I suppose that yeah, I probably would.  I can be a bit feisty and defensive of those I love.

5. Jamie makes a gut-wrenching decision in Chapter 35. Do you blame Claire for putting him in that position? What kinds of repurcussions do you expect?

I blame Claire for not having her knife on her and being ready for when Randall came, yeah.  I mean, I guess this little woman can kill a wolf with her bare hands, but she barely seems to put up a fight when men come into play.  I think she has it in her to do more, but doesn’t.  She should have been waiting behind the door expectantly for Randall, killed him right away, and then worried about freeing Jamie.  Instead she needs to save him so that he can save her, as he always does.  I think Claire’s resigned to the history books or something, she knows when Randall dies, and so she doesn’t bother to even try killing him.  I know Jamie will live, because it’s that kind of book, I’m sure they’ll argue about it and then have sex and all will be right and bonny in Scotland.  I kind of just wish she’d been eaten by wolves.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  Hoping everyone is having fun, and enjoying the ride a bit more so than me.  Don’t forget to link up and check next week’s questions over at The Reading Housewives!


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  1. bookgoonie says:

    I was a little disappointed in Claire’s lack of response & attention, especially after all her courage and effort to get to him in the prison.

  2. “I just kind of wish she’d been eaten by wolves.” <—-LOL! I hope you get through this book without too much further bother. Looking forward to seeing those ranty pants again!

  3. I’m glad I’m not the only one who things this book ISN’T the best thing since sliced bread! lol I’m to the point of finishing it only because I’ve made it this far and I feel like I should – not because I’m particularly interested in what happens. I had such high hopes, and it’s just falling a little flat for me. Oh well. I really like your assessment of Claire – I hadn’t thought of it that way, but it’s true, Claire is all Wonder Woman when it comes to some things, but as soon as men show up, she’s back to being helpless. That’s really bothering me now…

    Only one more week though! We can make it!

    • Heidi says:

      Hahaha, we can totally make it! And I’m with you, I’ve continued it because of the read-a-long, which I really am enjoying even if I’m not loving the book itself. Otherwise I’d have given up after about 200 pages. I just don’t like female characters who always need a man to save them.

  4. Jac @ For Love and Books says:

    Bwa ha ha ha ha!! British Wolves Must Be Wimps?!? Best title ever. And your wishing she’d been eaten? OMG! Can I give you a high five and a hug? Because that is EXACTLY how I felt. I love the Outlander Series. But Claire just drives me batty…

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  5. I’m glad to see someone else who doesn’t love Claire. Most people’s responses seem to rave about how strong they think she is, how much they admire her, etc., but I’ve never been a huge fan. Her actions always grate on me. Granted, I really like Outlander, but she’s my least favorite part of the story. I pretty much read the books to find out about everyone else! I’m sorry this hasn’t been a great experience for you, but you’re right – imagine how boring the reading world would be if we all loved the same things!

    • Heidi says:

      Exactly! And I’m glad that a few of you that DO love this book are still annoyed by Claire. Honestly, I think that if it were told from another perspective, or even in 3rd person I might be able to enjoy it more.

  6. I also felt like Claire could have / should have done more in regards to Randall. The man was already DOWN, with Jamie braining the big sloth guy (one handed, I might add), could she not have done something to help the situation rather then sit on the bed and try to stay out of Jamie’s way??

    But had these things occurred then the story would’ve taken a different turn and I’m guessing (since I haven’t yet finished the book) that Jamie’s experience w/ Randall (ick) is going to play a big role in this, or future books.

    I’m sorry the book isn’t working for you either Heidi. I’m wanting to know how it ends, but knowing it continues on for several more books tells me that the ending is probably going to feel a bit hollow. Will I read more about Jamie and Claire? The jury is still out…

    • Heidi says:

      Yeah, that’s my worry, that the ending won’t feel complete because of the series factor. I don’t know how much DG was planning on writing when she approached the story. And YES at the part where she’s just shrunk back in the corner and Randall’s on the floor and all she can do is gape at Jamie fighting?! I was literally yelling out loud ‘YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!’

    • Gone Pecan says:

      you know, i was waiting for her to do something, too. jamie was in really bad shape & she hides under the bed?!?!? who does that?

  7. Lauren says:

    I had the SAME reaction as you did to Claire in the scene with Randall. Especially, because she was able to bring down a wolf bare handed, just a few minutes later. BIG FAIL on her part.

    I also like what you said about Claire HAVING to go after Jamie. Very astute way of putting it, and I completely agree.

    Jenny was pretty darn smart, wasn’t she.

  8. Book Nympho says:

    I felt the same way about Claire in the last question. I think there was a lot more she could have done. Even if she doesn’t believe she can kill Randall, she could have at least tied him up or something. Seriously!

  9. Kristilyn says:

    I was so curious about that conversation about corporal punishment as well! It seemed so out of place after he beat Claire!

    That’s too bad the book isn’t working out for you … I really liked the first one, not so much the second, and loved the third. I’m hoping to continue on and finish the series after this. But it can’t be for everyone!

  10. I was so curious about that conversation about corporal punishment as well! It seemed so out of place after he beat Claire!

    That’s too bad the book isn’t working out for you … I really liked the first one, not so much the second, and loved the third. I’m hoping to continue on and finish the series after this. But it can’t be for everyone!

  11. Alyssa says:

    Do I even have to say? We obvs have the same opinions. I was SO annoyed at Claire, usually I feel like I am super judgemental regarding Claire but in the scene where she is “saving” Jamie I just kept thinking “Oh she’s totally going to get Randall, why is she trying to free Jamie when she can totally save the day here?!” and uhm…then she didn’t and went and put Jamie’s life (and honor) in danger AGAIN!!! Blah I just don’t know. I am entertained by the book but overall I think that I can’t stand her to the point where I won’t read more in the series.

    • Heidi says:

      I’m glad you’re really liking the book, even if you’re as annoyed with Claire as I am. And yeah, like, sure Jamie was already getting tortured and going to be hanged in the morning and all, but she just made things worse. I feel like she always makes everything worse.

  12. You make a really good point when you mention that Claire already knows when Randall dies so she doesn’t try to go after him. I hadn’t thought of that. She should’ve tried harder to kill him WAY earlier in the book.

    This section was surprisingly hard for me. I NEVER get that way. So now I understand why you had a hard time earlier in the readalong. I just reacted so strangely to several situations, wasn’t able to remove myself, etc. I literally almost wish I’d have stopped after Chapter 28 when all was well in my little Outlander world. I’m terrified of what happens between now and the end, because I had a really tough time this week. I’m just SO surprised at myself, almost embarrassed about it.

    • Heidi says:

      You shouldn’t be embarrassed!! I think that DG chooses to write about situations that are likely to be difficult for many readers. I think she makes people think, and that’s what attracts a lot of people to these books, but I guess for me it just makes me mad because it’s too much/over the top. I hope that you get through the rest of the book and that you can get back to your happy place!

  13. I never noticed the wolf thing, but you’re right – it makes me wish Claire hadn’t seemed so wimpy with Randall.

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