Outlander Book Club – “On the Road” (Part 1)

Part Three of Outlander is an EXTREMELY long section. So, for the sake of my sanity, I’m splitting this into two parts! You will be able to access Chapters 17 – 23 next Friday, 13 November, here on The Sassenach Files Blog.

The first few chapters of Part Three, “On The Road” encompass some of my favorite parts of Book 1 including The Wedding and The Wedding Night. Honestly, I just enjoy watching our favorite couple get to know each other and begin to fall in love. Their sexual encounters are always so playful and joyous, and you really get the feeling that these two individuals are prefect for each other, whether they see it or not. It’s a story that never gets old, and I’m looking forward to discussing it with you all!

Chapter 11 – Conversations With A Lawyer

As Claire gets on the road with the boys in this aptly name third section of Outlander, we learn a wee bit more of the MacKenzie clan history–primarily as it relates to Jamie and his family. Ned Gowan seems to be a pretty reliable source of intel since he’s been around for at least two generations of MacKenzie lairds, and boy does he have a story to tell! Colum and Dougal MacKenzie are the sons of Jacob MacKenzie, but they aren’t his only children, Colum and Dougal also happen to have a couple sisters including Jamie’s mother. We don’t know her name yet, but it would appear that she was a bit of a trouble maker in her day… hmmmm, apparently the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree where young Jamie is concerned!

In the year prior to Red Jacob’s death, the MacKenzie family was in crisis. Colum, who had been seemingly healthy, fell off of a horse during a hunting accident and broke his femur. Then while still recovering from the accident, fell down a flight of stairs and broke his other leg–neither of which healed right and left him in the condition that we met him in. Arguments were made that Dougal should lead the clan because Colum was in no shape physically to lead men into battle and defend his lands. However, when Jamie’s mother and father eloped, Dougal didn’t take things so well, and people argued against his being laird on the grounds that he wasn’t emotionally mature enough to handle the decisions that needed to be made with a clear head.

Phew… talk about a mess! The only thing that prevented this situation from dissolving into a clan civil war was the fact that Dougal stood firmly behind his brother’s right to become the clan chieftain. Cue Ned Gowan in all his solicitous glory. It is because of him that we have the current hierarchy with Colum as the MacKenzie and Dougal as the War Chief. I find this entire situation perplexing. Everything I have read leads me to belive that Dougal would welcome the chance to lead the clan. Perhaps this is a situation that has evolved over time since Dougal was a boy of 16 or 17 when all of these life altering decisions were made. I tend to believe if he had been in his twenties when his father died, he may have fought a bit harder to become the clan leader. Who knows?

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


A month, then, since my calamitous passage through the circle of standing stones. At least I now thought I knew why the stones had been placed there.

Likely of no particular importance in themselves, they were markers. Just as a signpost warns of rock falls near a cliff-edge, the standing stones were meant to mark a spot of danger. A spot where…what? Where the crust of time was thin? Where a gate of some sort stood ajar? Not that the makers of the circles would have known what it was they were making. To them, the spot would have been one of terrible mystery and powerful magic; a spot where people disappeared without warning. Or appeared, perhaps, out of thin air.

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

Regardless of Dougal’s past, he is definitely up to something in the here and now. Oh wait, he’s a JACOBITE. I suppose I don’t really take issue with the whole “Jacobite” scheme. What I take issue with is his using Jamie as a motivational device to talk people out of their hard earned money. Jamie purposefully takes precautions to avoid showing his back to people. As he said in an earlier chapter, once people see something like that, it changes how they see you. He doesn’t want people to pity him. He just wants to live his life, and it’s kind of hard to do that when you’re two faced, traitorous uncle is ripping your shirt off every five minutes!

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


“I gave my word to Colum, not to you.” So it was young Jamie McTavish, and precisely three guesses as to what he was upset about.

“One and the same, man, and ye ken it well.” There was the sound of a light slap, as of a hand against a cheek. “Your obedience is to the chieftain of the clan, and outside of Leoch, I am Colum’s head and arms and hands as well as his legs.”

“And never saw I a better case of the right hand not knowin’ what the left is up to,” came the quick rejoinder. Despite the bitterness of the tone, there was a lurking wit that enjoyed this clash of wills. “What d’ye think the right is going to say about the left collecting gold for the Stuarts?”

There was a brief pause before Dougal replied, “MacKenzies and MacBeolins and MacViniches; they’re free men all. None can force them to give against their will, and none can stop them, either. And who knows? It may happen that Colum will give more for Prince Charles Edward than all o’them put together, in the end.”

“It may,” the deeper voice agreed. “It may rain straight up tomorrow instead of down, as well. That doesna mean I’ll stand waiting at the stair head wi’ my wee bucket turned upside down.”

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

Why doesn’t Jamie just tell Dougal to stick it where the sun don’t shine, and move on, you might ask? Well, let’s just say Jamie and Dougal’s relationship status is “It’s Complicated”. Dougal taught Jamie everything he knows when it comes to clan politics, sword fighting, and a good many other things, and while Dougal certainly has a selfish streak, he’s also fond of his nephew, and I think the reverse can be said of Jamie. Jamie may be frustrated by Dougal’s methods, but he sees the reason behind it as well. Jamie is an outlaw and can’t go home, so he doesn’t have a lot of options. So, like he said to Claire, he’ll let Dougal keep on using him — for now.

Chapter 12 – The Garrison Commander

I’m not going to lie, I’m totally on Claire’s side for this one. I probably would have been super freaked out too if I was sleeping in a strange inn with no bolt on my door, and I heard someone shuffling around outside. That’s downright creepy, and as a woman, you have to take these things seriously–especially in a time where sexual assault and rape were commonplace. Granted, in this particular instance, her caution was unwarranted, but still!

Jamie was downright adorable. I love how protective he is of Claire, even without a technical “attachment” to her. She’s his friend, and that’s reason enough to guard her door from unsolicited advancement. Alright, alright, fine… Jamie’s act of kindness wasn’t completely selfless. He didn’t want an encounter with a group of redcoats either–for obvious reasons, but in the end, the gesture really was a sweet one. Plus, it gave us some giggle-inducing dialogue…

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


“What are you doing here?” I asked accusingly.

At the same time Jamie asked, in a similarly accusatory tone, “How much do you weigh, Sassenach?”

Still a bit addled, I actually replied “Nine stone,” before thinking to ask, “Why?”

“Ye nearly crushed my liver,” he answered, gingerly prodding the affected area. “Not to mention scaring living hell out of me.” He reached a hand down and hauled me to my feet. “Are ye all right?”

“No, I bumped my head.” Rubbing the spot, I looked dazedly around the bare hallway. “What did I bang it on?” I demanded ungrammatically.

“My head,” he said, rather grumpily, I thought.

“Serves you right,” I said nastily. “What were you doing, sneaking about outside my door?”

He gave me a testy look.

“I wasna ‘sneaking about,’ for God’s sake. I was sleeping–or trying to.” He rubbed what appeared to be a knot forming on his temple.

“Sleeping? Here?” I looked up and down the cold, bare, filthy hallway with exaggerated amazement. “You do pick the oddest places; first stables, now this.”

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


“In the midst of this lawful pursuit,” he went on, in measured tones, “I encountered a half-dressed Englishwoman–in a place where no Englishwoman should be, even with a proper escort–who resists my inquiries, assaults my person–”

“You assaulted mine first!” I said hotly.

“Whose accomplice renders me unconscious by a cowardly attack, and who then flees the area, plainly with some assistance. My men and I searched that area most thoroughly, and I assure you, Madam, there was no trace of your murdered servant, your plundered baggage, your discarded gown, nor the merest sign there is the slightest truth to your story!”

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

Black Jack, like everyone else in a position of authority is suspicious of Claire. I mean, who wouldn’t be under these circumstances? But I also feel that Claire has seriously underestimated her opponent. There is a part of her that knows this is Frank’s ancestor and expects him to have the same qualities… man is she in for a reality check… Black Jack is merciless and relentless. He wants answers, and he’s pretty used to getting what he wants–one way or another.

I don’t think Dougal was anticipating a run in with Black Jack Randall when he decided to take Claire to see the Garrison Commander at Brockton. These two have a history, and while he wanted to know who Claire was and whether she was a British spy, I honestly think he would have looked at every other avenue of inquiry before he dropped Claire in BJR’s lap. I believe this line of thought is supported even further by how Dougal jumped into action when he saw Claire had been abused.

Chapter 13 – A Marriage Is Announced

Jamie was right, knowing someone was flogged is a lot different than seeing it first hand. We, as the reader, don’t actually see what happens to Jamie, but hearing a first hand account of the horrors he endured is bad enough, and Dougal’s account of the whole affair gave me the willies… I mean when he was talking about hearing the tear of flesh… ugh…! But the biggest take away from this story is how Jamie handled the whole thing with dignity and bravery. He knew what was coming for him, having seen two men flogged before they got around to him. It must have been awful seeing all the gory details of exactly what was going to happen to your own back in a few minutes time. Jamie didn’t try to run or hide, he faced down the barrel of a gun and refused to give into his fear, which says A LOT in my opinion.

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


“Come Jamie’s turn, he walks up to the post–some men have to be dragged, but not him–and holds out his hands so the corporal can unlock the manacles he’s wearing. The corporal goes to pull his arm, like, to haul him into place, but Jamie shakes him off and steps back a pace. I was half expectin’ him to make a dash for it, but instead he just pulls off his shirt, it’s torn here and there and filthy as a clout, but he folds it up careful like it was his Sunday best, and lays it on the ground. Then he walks over to the post steady as a soldier and puts his hands up to be bound.”

Dougal shook his head, marveling. The sunlight filtering through the rowan leaves dappled him with lacy shadows, so he looked like a man seen through a doily. I smiled at the thought, and he nodded approvingly at me, thinking my response due to his story.

“Aye, lass, courage like that is uncommon rare. It wasna ignorance, mind; he’d just seen two men flogged and he knew the same was coming to him. It’s just he had made up his mind there was no help for it. Boldness in battle is nothing out of the way for a Scotsman, ye ken, but to face down fear in cold blood is rare in any man. He was but nineteen at the time,” Dougal added as an afterthought.

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

This whole story is used as a very effective illustration of Jamie’s character, and is a masterful move on Dougal’s part. I am a firm believer in the following statement: “The true mark of a man is how he behaves in the face of adversity.” The day that, heretofore, serves as the worst day of Jamie’s life, is a shining example of the type of man he is, and if Claire wasn’t sold on Jamie as a good guy already, this story is sure to shift the scales in his favor! While we don’t know why he has arranged the marriage between Jamie and Claire, we do know, that Dougal is pretty set on the idea. I mean, what? He all of a sudden decides he CARES about Claire? The same man who basically had her imprisoned at Castle Leoch and prevented her safe return “home”… I don’t know about you, but I smell a rat.

Regardless, it’s made pretty clear that Claire only has two choices in this matter. 1) Be returned to the bosom of her countryman and face possible torture and prosecution as a traitor to the crown a la Captain Jonathan Wolverton Randal esq. or 2) Commit adultery, marry the mysterious Jamie McTavish, and hopefully avoid another run in with the Garrison Commander of Fort William. I think I would certainly choose the latter. Even factoring Frank into the situation, which Claire certainly does, option two is still the better choice. She doesn’t love Jamie; she’s only using the marriage as a means to an end, and I don’t consider an instance with no emotions involved ‘adultery’ *shrug.

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


I flapped my hand, dismissing the matter of outlawry as a minor consideration, compared to the whole monstrous idea. I had one last try.

“Does it bother you that I’m not a virgin?” He hesitated a moment before answering.

“Well, no,” he said slowly, “so long as it doesna bother you that I am.” He grinned at my drop-jawed expression, and backed toward the door.

“Reckon one of us should know what we’re doing,” he said. The door closed softly behind him; clearly the courtship was over.

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

Chapter 14 – A Marriage Takes Place

The sheer impossibility of what Claire has to do in this chapter breaks my heart. I mean, yes, she has to marry Jamie Fraser… any other woman on the face of the planet would have three words to say to that: Twist. My. Arm. But Claire loves Frank. She doesn’t want to betray him, and that’s exactly what she feels like she’s doing. Of course, it’s not all sunshine and roses for Jamie either. His parents married for love, and I’m sure he thought he would one day as well. Now he’s faced with an arranged marriage to someone he considers a friend, but who is still, in all fairness, a stranger. While he’s been told Claire’s husband is dead, he can still see she is caught up in her previous marriage–mourning the loss of her first husband. So I feel for both parties involved. It can’t be easy to walk in either of their shoes.

The scene where Jamie gifts Claire with his mother’s pearls really touched me. In the show we got a more intimate scene, but I don’t think the original version takes anything away from his intentions. He wants to show Claire that he values her, and while he may not be in love with her, he certainly intends to do right by her. It also gives me a good deal of satisfaction to read the horrified objection from Dougal as Jamie places Ellen’s pearls around Claire’s neck. So what, Dougal MacKenzie? Claire’s good enough to marry your nephew, but she’s not good enough to wear your sister’s pearls? This guy’s standards are ALL over the place… *eye rolls.

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


But Jamie was not quite finished, it seemed. Ignoring Dougal’s fuming, he drew a short string of white beads from his sporran. He stepped forward and fastened the necklace around my neck. Looking down, I could see it was a string of small baroque pearls, those irregularly shaped productions of freshwater mussels, interspersed with tiny pierced-work gold roundels. Smaller pearls dangled from the gold beads.

“They’re only Scotch pearls,” he said, apologetically, “but they look bonny on you.” His fingers lingered a moment on my neck.

“Those were your mother’s pearls!” said Dougal, glowering at the necklace.

“Aye,” said Jamie calmly, “and now they’re my wife’s. Shall we go?”

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

One thing that I thought was cool, but also a wee bit too big of a coincidence for me was the fact that Claire and Jamie were married in the same church, shiny and new, that Frank and Claire were married in, as a building with historical charm. I suppose this reinforces the idea that everything in the Gabaldon Universe is connected… And if we’re thinking about this happenstance, I can totally see how Claire was tempted to bolt. That church is like a big giant billboard screaming “Hey! Remember Frank? Your HUSBAND?!?!” That girl deserves a couple of stiff drams… as soon as she’s recovered from her last binge. But the one good thing we get out of the pre-wedding jitters is Jamie’s REAL name…

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


Jamie and Dougal walked close on either side of me, preventing escape. Their looming plaid presences were unnerving, and I felt a mounting sense of hysteria. Two hundred years ahead, more or less, I had been married in this chapel, charmed then by its ancient picturesqueness. The chapel now was creaking with newness, its boards not yet settled into charm, and I was about to marry a twenty-three-year-old Scottish Catholic virgin with a price on his head, whose–

I turned to Jamie in sudden panic. “I can’t marry you! I don’t even know your last name!”

He looked down at me and cocked a ruddy eyebrow. “Oh. It’s Fraser. James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.”

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

The Wedding itself wasn’t anything special, but I love how Claire describes it. There was one line in particular where she says she felt as though they were holding each other up, and if one person let go, they would both fall. They are both extremely nervous I think, Jamie because he’s taking a HUGE leap with this woman, and Claire because she already HAS a husband. This isn’t either one of their first choices, but they are doing it out of necessity, and it all comes to a head when Claire wakes up with her head in Jamie’s lap after the ceremony. He made the other’s go away so he could take care of his new wife, and I think that sets the tone perfectly moving forward. He will always take care of her. Always.

Chapter 15 – Revelations of the Bridal Chamber

As Claire is contemplating her second wedding night, she can’t help but feel the ghost of Frank in the back of her mind. Jamie sees this. Of course he does. I will give James Fraser the credit he is due. He’s an exceptionally perceptive individual–especially when it comes to Claire, and this chapter is no exception. He confronts the elephant in the room and says, if Claire loved him, Frank must have been a good man, and he promises to honor Frank’s memory by taking care of his wife. Jamie doesn’t have a magic wand. He can’t make everything better. But what he can do is make the best of the hand he’s been dealt. By making this admirable and downright adorable gesture, along with his pledge to never ask for information she doesn’t want to share, Jamie has succeeded in breaking the ice enough for Claire to accept what can’t be changed, and do what she has to do.

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


“I know there are things ye’d not wish to tell me, Claire. Perhaps things that ye can’t tell me.”

You don’t know just how right you are, I thought.

“I’ll not press you, ever, or insist on knowin’ things that are your own concern,” he said seriously. He looked down at his hands, now pressed together, palm to palm.

“There are things that I canna tell you, at least not yet. And I’ll ask nothing of ye that ye canna give me. But what I would ask of ye–when you do tell me something, let it be the truth. And I’ll promise ye the same. We have nothing now between us, save–respect, perhaps. And I think that respect has maybe room for secrets, but not for lies. Do ye agree?” He spread his hands out, palms up, inviting me. I could see the dark line of the blood vow across his wrist. I placed my own hands lightly on his palms.

“Yes, I agree. I’ll give you honesty.”

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

Slowly but surely, we are unravelling the ball of yarn that is Jamie Fraser. And in this edition of Who Are You, we’re learning about his parents!! Brian Fraser and Ellen MacKenzie married for love against the wishes of both of their families. They were kind of like an 18th century Scottish Romeo and Juliet, if you will. But eventually, their families came to an agreement of sorts. Ellen’s brothers didn’t want Ellen to be a tenant on Fraser land, so Simon Fraser of Lovat, Brian’s father granted the newlyweds a freehold known as Broch Tuarach. However, it came with several strings (par for the course for Lovat, but we’ll chat about that some other time).

Broch Tuarach is an estate with over sixty tenant families, the small village of Broch Mordha, forests for hunting, and lakes for fishing–overall a solid piece of land that could support the laird of clan Fraser’s son and the laird of clan MacKenzie’s daughter in holy matrimony. This estate could ONLY be inherited by the heirs of said son and daughter. So, if Brian died prior to Ellen without any children, Ellen would be returned to the bosom of her family. If Ellen died before Brian, but they still didn’t have any children, the estate would revert back to Lovat upon Brian’s death–even if he had children as a result of a second or third marriage. However, all of this is a moot point because Brian and Ellen had three children together: William, Janet, and James–or as we affectionately refer to them, Willie, Jenny, and Jamie. Confused yet? Yeah…me neither… *she says as she scratches her head…

When Claire wakes up from her nightmare after a night of lovemaking, and Jamie goes to comfort her, he voices his concerns fully. He worries that Claire’s emotional state is because of him–that he’s not good enough, or that he can’t give her what she needs, and the resulting dialogue from this admission is probably the best thing he could have said. She realizes that, however unintentional, she ended up with a good man who would rather see her happy, even if it means tarnishing his own reputation. Claire, let me just come out and say it. “You aren’t going to do better than that, sister!!”

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


“Is it me?” he asked quietly. “Can ye not bear me?”

I gave a short hiccupping laugh, not quite a sob. “No, it isn’t you.” I reached out in the dark, groping for a hand to press reassuringly. My fingers met a tangle of quilts and warm flesh, but at last I found the hand I had been seeking. We lay side by side, looking up at the low beamed ceiling.

“What if I said I couldn’t bear you?” I asked suddenly. “What on earth could you do?” The bed creaked as he shrugged.

“Tell Dougal you wanted an annulment on grounds of nonconsummation, I suppose.”

This time I laughed outright. “Nonconsummation! With all those witnesses?”

The room was growing light enough to see the smile on the face turned toward me. “Aye well, witnesses or no, it’s only you and me that can say for sure, isn’t it? And I’d rather be embarrassed than wed to someone that hated me.”

I turned toward him. “I don’t hate you.”

“I don’t hate you, either. And there’s many good marriages have started wi’ less than that.”

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

Jamie and Claire’s sex life can be anything from fireworks to a slow burn, and Diana Gabaldon certainly has a way of writing that puts the average smut to shame. It’s all in the sensory language, to be honest, and on the wedding night we get our first dose. Diana eases us into the water. We don’t get our first full blown sex scene until a chapter or two later, but then again, that seems natural. Chapter fifteen is more about Jamie and Claire getting to know their new spouses, and yes, there is sex. I mean, HELLO, it’s a Wedding Night. But while, Jamie is an average male in his desires, he wasn’t about to force Claire into anything she wasn’t ready for either. 

The chapter title “Revelations of the Bridal Chamber” is extremely fitting in more ways than one. It is about the discovery of a couple’s first sexual encounters and Jamie’s education on the finer points of oral sex and orgasms. But it’s also about the things these two learn about each other, their families, and the lives they led before they met. There is a great deal of hesitancy between the two which breaks down a little bit at a time as they talk and grow used to one another. Of course, there’s a bit of drinking involved. Nothing like some good wine or whisky to break down those emotional barriers *wink wink.

Chapter 16 – One Fine Day

The day after Jamie and Claire’s wedding proves to be a bit…awkward. While they learned a lot about each other in the night, the dark has provided a bit of false security for Mr. and Mrs. Fraser. Now the sun has risen and they are realizing the intimate night they just spent together was with a relative stranger, and they’re both feeling shy. Never one to back down from a challenge, Jamie takes Claire on his lap and they begin to talk–hoping this will ease them back into their little Bubble of Love.

One of the BIG questions we finally get answers to is the Great MacKenzie Debate. Claire has certainly drawn her own conclusions up to this point about what is going on between Colum, Dougal, and Jamie–but now we finally get Jamie’s side of the story. The fact of the matter is, as Ellen MacKenzie’s son, he has a claim to the Chieftainship. All three of the key players realize this, but none of them really WANT it. Jamie, especially, has no interest in leading the MacKenzies if it is going to cause a divide amongst his supporters and Dougal’s–which it almost certainly would.

Claire also comes to appreciate JUST how thin a line Jamie walked on the night of The Gathering, and has even more respect for him now. Her new husband was able to talk his way out of a dangerous situation, but by marrying an English woman, he has doubled his insurance. Members of the MacKenzie clan would never support him as Colum’s successor if he has an English wife, which suits Jamie just fine…

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


“Do you mean to be laird, if Colum dies?” It was one way out of his difficulties, after all, though I suspected it was a way hedged with its own considerable obstacles.

He smiled briefly at the thought. “No. Even if I felt myself entitled to it–which I don’t–it would split the clan, Dougal’s men against those that might follow me. I havena the taste for power at the cost of other men’s blood. But Dougal and Colum couldna be sure of that, could they? So they might think it safer just to kill me than to take the risk.”

My brow was furrowed, thinking it all out. “But surely you could tell Dougal and Colum that you don’t intend… oh.” I looked up at him with considerable respect. “But you did. At the oath-taking.”

I had thought already how well he had handled a dangerous situation there; now I saw just how dangerous it had been. The clansmen had certainly wanted him to take his oath; just as certainly Colum had not. To swear such an oath was to declare himself a member of the clan. He risked open violence or death for refusal; he risked the same–more privately–for compliance.

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

Jamie and Frank… sometimes it seems like the only thing these two men have in common is their wife, and Claire’s descriptions of the two early on in Chapter 16 seem to highlight that assumption. Physically speaking, they are opposites. Frank is average height, with a slim “tennis player” build, with dark eyes and hair. Jamie is a towering 6’4” with flaming red hair, bright blue eyes, and the build of a warrior. Frank is older than Claire, more reserved, but a skillful and tender lover. Jamie, is admittedly younger than Claire with little experience in the bedroom. By Claire’s own admission, Jamie has a joy in his lovemaking which isn’t always skillful, but rouses her nonetheless. I found these descriptions so interesting, because it begs the question, is there only ONE “right” person out there? Or could Claire be happy with either of these men?

Photo Credit: Outlander-Online


“Well, then, it would seem I have two choices in the matter,” he said. “I can let you brood about it, or…”

He leaned down and gently fitted his mouth over mine. I had kissed my share of men, particularly during the war years, when flirtation and instant romance were light-minded companions of death and uncertainty. Jamie, though, was something different. His extreme gentleness was in no way tentative; rather it was a promise of power known and held in leash; a challenge and a provocation the more remarkable for its lack of demand. I am yours, it said. And if you will have me, then…

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

Claire isn’t in love with Jamie — not yet anyway, but she is slowly coming to the realization that she feels a bit more for him than the average friendship. The parallel she draws to her time in the war fascinates me. Here we get an inside glimpse into what it was like for her and her companions in the medical field. And at least to me, it absolutely makes sense. Everyone has a different response to stressful situations. Some people need comfort and companionship, and for them to seek that with the nearest available person… well, infidelity may not be the MOST reasonable solution, but I can understand that craving.

Claire is also feeling an extreme amount of guilt over the situation because she made it through the entirety of World War II without cheating on Frank, and now she’s broken her vows to him — made all the worse by the fondness for Jamie she feels creeping up on her. It’s not love yet, but her eyes linger on him more than they should. She wants to be near him as much as possible, and as she says, “…a dangerous thing, infatuation.” As much as she wants to deny it, they are becoming closer–bonded by their shared experiences and intimacies. She worries about hurting Jamie, but she still loves Frank, and she can’t have one without hurting the other.

Jamie Fraser is known as The King of Men amongst us here in the Outlander fandom, and when he tells Claire about his conditions for marrying her, I think any debate over that title is put firmly to rest. Jamie wanted time for them to get to know one another without any rush or time constraint put on the consummation of their marriage. He wasn’t about to jump on Claire, and he made that plain. Secondly, Jamie’s faith is a huge part of who he is as a character, so it’s not surprising that one of his conditions was to be married in a church, before a priest, in a religious ceremony. He didn’t want their wedding to just be a legal union, but a religious one as well. And finally, let me just say, the fact that he was considerate enough to make sure Claire had a proper dress for her wedding makes me grin from ear to ear. I don’t know how many more times I can say it without sounding completely redundant. He’s just the SWEETEST…and sexy as hell, but we’ll leave that conversation for another day, shall we?

That wraps up my thoughts on the first half of Part Three “On The Road”. It was a jam packed section, and I’m looking forward to chatting the second half of Part Three next Friday!

Until next time, Cheers!

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