Does Claire weigh the same as a duck? Outlander Readalong Week 4


July 9, 2012 by Heidi

Outlander ReadalongThis week’s goal was just to power through for me, and the first couple of chapters were a rough go.  Then, suddenly, everything smoothed out and I really started enjoying the story again!  Maybe it’s because I didn’t feel like I was just flipping a coin thinking ‘heads – sex scene, tails – attempted rape’, and that there was some actual story.  I will say I’m a bit disgusted about the fact that everyone (Jamie and Claire included) seems to like the Duke, who clearly molests/rapes boys.  Apparently it’s okay to rape kids, as long as you’re a good guy.  Sorry, not in my book.  But I suppose we did learn this week that Jamie’s been in that boat just about as often as his wife!  At any rate, I’m hoping the story keeps up the way it was this week as I liked it a lot.  Loving Jenny, who’s already probably my favorite character in all the book!

1. How do you feel about Claire disobeying Jamie and the resulting punishment he brings forth on her for this? Do you feel that Jamie’s punishment was justified by the fact that everyone was put in danger by Claire’s actions? Finally, did Jamie’s vow with Claire’s dagger do anything to sway your thoughts or change your mind on how you initially feel/felt about his punishment? 

Good question!  Because my feelings on this were so mixed.  I was so mad at Claire for what she had done, that I agreed she needed to be punished, but the idea that belting a grown woman will make her think more seriously about matters is a bit ridiculous.  If it were current, I’d declare Jamie a wife beater and be done with him, but the fact of the matter is given the time and culture, he did do what he felt he had to do, but was as lenient as he felt he could be.  The fact that he vowed never to do such a thing again did make me soften toward the situation even more, but honestly, I’d just hope Claire wouldn’t do something so reckless and stupid again as to warrant it.  I feel as if Claire barely acknowledges her own wrongdoing in the situation and has no right to be nearly so upset with Jamie as she gets.

2. Just for fun, what was your reaction to the suspicious black spot Claire spotted on the floor near the area where Jamie was sleeping? Did you have any theories to what it might have been before it was revealed to be a _____? 

Wait, what?  I don’t remember this at all to be honest.  This may have been when I was still pissed at this book and skimming…someone clue me in!

3. With regard to the ‘changeling’ baby Claire and Geilie spotted in the wild – if it were you back then and you happened upon a changeling baby in the wild in a circumstance such as this, do you think you’d have reacted most like Claire or Geilie? Explain. 

I would have reacted more like Geilie.  This is another one of those times where I got incredibly angry with Claire, though I’ll admit it made me step back and think about why I would react so differently.  I studied (and have a degree in) anthropology, and it is a subject I dearly love, and therefore, I have the mindset of an anthropologist.  That being–when you encounter a new culture, it’s not your job to ‘fix’ it, but rather to observe.  I think that because of this mentality, I would more easily accept things being done in the way that they are done in a certain time and place than Claire seems to have.  I realize leaving sick children out to die of exposure is cruel, and I’m not saying it’s okay, but I did think it was incredibly stupid of Claire to be determined to interfere.  Obviously people who so ardently believe in these things that they are willing to lose a child over them take them bloody seriously, and there would obviously be consequences to going against such strong beliefs (yes, I was futilely hoping that Claire would burn for a bit).

4. Share your thoughts on Geilie Duncan. Is there anything that surprised you about her story or were you suspicious of her from the beginning? 

I’ll admit, I did not suspect her as being from the future like Claire!  This really and truly surprised me, and I love being surprised.  What I do find interesting about her being from the future is that obviously she knows that the rebellion won’t work, and yet she tries to win over support.  Does she think she can change history and that the Highlanders have a chance of winning?  Very interested to see how this develops.  I’m always interested in time travel novels to see if the time traveler can or cannot actually have an affect on history.  I don’t think this has occurred to Claire.

5. Your thoughts on Jamie’s LAST REASON for wanting to marry Claire – the one he had been so secretive about. GO! 

I figured that was the reason, so I wasn’t surprised, but I was still very happy that he told her and felt that the timing was appropriate given as how she’s just shown him how much she loved him (if she still hasn’t actually told him which I hate).  I did like that he was so good-naturedly insulting in the way he went about telling her.  I’m starting to warm up to Jamie, though I still don’t like Claire much.

Don’t forget to link up you post and get next week’s questions from Logan E. Turner!


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