Quick question: if this book has a quarter of a million ratings and still maintains an average rating of 4.13, why the hell are the most popular reviews the snarky, mean spirited, one or two star reviews? That doesn't match up at all with what I'd assume would be the case, which is that most people who read this book LOVED IT. Including me. Please, people. If you enjoy a book, click "like" on the good reviews as well. That's what people see first when they look for reviews on Goodreads...the one Quick question: if this book has a quarter of a million ratings and still maintains an average rating of 4.13, why the hell are the most popular reviews the snarky, mean spirited, one or two star reviews? That doesn't match up at all with what I'd assume would be the case, which is that most people who read this book LOVED IT. Including me. Please, people. If you enjoy a book, click "like" on the good reviews as well. That's what people see first when they look for reviews on Goodreads...the ones with the most popularity, or "likes". Sad that this amazing book's two most populare (and therefore most visible) reviews are not in keeping with most people's thoughts.~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~ "Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone.I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.I give ye my Spirit, 'til our Life shall be Done."
Claire is happily married. She and her husband are visiting Scotland and soaking up the history while indulging in some much needed time alone. One morning, they are witness to a group of women performing a ritual at a nearby stone circle."They should have been ridiculous, and perhaps they were. A collection of women in bedsheets, many of them stout and far from agile, parading in circles on top of a hill. but the hair prickled on the back of my neck at the sound of their call.(The modern witches at the stone circle...spooky and oh, such a good mood setter!!!)Claire returns to the circle later. I wonder if she felt called to that magical place, as if fate had plans for her and she was simply following her destiny.The tallest stone of the circle was cleft, with a vertical split dividing the two massive pieces..."Without warning, and for no apparent reason, Claire is whisked back to the year 1743.I could say that my field of vision contracted to a single dark spot, then disappeared altogether, leaving not darkness, but a bright void. I could say that I felt as though I were spinning or as though I were being pulled inside out. All these things are true, yet none of them conveys the sense I had of complete disruption, of being slammed very had against something that wasn't there."There she meets James Fraser, a man who is as complex as their relationship turns out to be. Claire never stops trying to get back home, but this world of the past and her present is slowly beginning to sink into her. She must now decide between remaining faithful to a man she may never see again, or conceding to the realization that she will forever remain in this time, with this fascinating man who has become her fiercest protector. ~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~It's pure craziness to me how this book can be summed up in a couple of paragraphs. And it's both detrimental and beneficial that a summary simply cannot encompass the sheer scope of heart that is in these pages. I was absolutely unprepared.Why detrimental? Because the details did become tedious, even as they were adding to the story. The downtime...instead of a time of building anticipation, became a time of hurry up and wait. This is the only reason that I can't give this five stars...because, for a couple hundred pages, I was 'a wee bit' bored. And I hope that my saying this won't keep someone from reading it. I wish that I didn't have to mention it, but in order to be fair and honest, I feel like it's necessary, if only to keep someone's expectations from becoming too high. And to be totally confusing, it's the details that drag you down into the middle of the eighteenth century, the minor secondary plots that make you live this life for awhile. So I'm not certain that they weren't necessary. I do wish that we got more of Claire dealing with the mundane things, but she just never seems bothered enough with inconveniences to mention them.I don't want to do much of a character breakdown except for maybe the three big key players in this story.~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~ Claire... "You're no verra sensible, Sassenach, but I like ye fine."
Oh boy. I had heard that a lot of people didn't like Claire at first. And to be quite honest, for most of the book I really DID like her. She was fairly steadfast to her husband...although circumstances bieng what they were, it would have been nearly impossible for her to stay that way. This was a fascinating look into what it must have been like for a woman back in those times. Not quite the Dark Ages but boy, they were a far cry from modern women's rights. This was a time of witch burnings and mob mentality. Imagine what it would be like to go back to these times, knowing what we know now, remembering what took place in history, and being scared to death to be female. You're completely at the mercy of the men you are with. Thank goodness Claire stumbled upon Jamie.Her character did fluctuate for me, for obvious reasons. I had a few minor hiccups with how wishy washy she was at times, and how little she seemed to think about how her actions would affect Jamie. However, (view spoiler)[ I do think that she had no idea how passionately Jamie felt for her until near the very end. So why would she feel the need to constantly spare his feelings and put him first? (hide spoiler)] At some point, she has to think of herself. The time frame in which all of this happens is not exactly conducive to accepting her fate and giving up on her whole life before Scotland. So I felt like I could cut her a break. She has an awful lot to deal with and I feel like she did the best she could. And toward the end...she becomes just as much a hero as Jamie does. You just have to wait for her to build up to this amazing person that she was meant to be. ~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~ Jamie...
Yes, I swooned, I gushed, I loooooooved Jamie Fraser! Who wouldn't? Who would admit to it if they didn't? However, he is really not at all what I expected. I like the badass boys, the heroes, the heartbreakers, those men who make you wonder if they will ever be tamed. I like men on the edge of good and evil, the ones that you are always unsure of. But there's just something about the nice guy, the man who...as soon as you meet him, you know his heart is pure and good. There are no questions with regards to Jamie about his purity of character. He's the epitome of good. He's a great mix of beta male (somewhat in the background, not horribly outspoken, usually backup for the leaders) and alpha male (leader, loud and proud, tends to be bossy and pushy.) I expected Jamie to be a more stand out guy but honestly, it was all in the “knowing” of Jamie that made me fall for him. He is one of the most honorable, strong minded, tender, loyal and devoted fictional men I've ever, ever read about. As Jamie himself puts it, he ”I havena the taste for power at the cost of other men's blood.” All of these romance heroes that we read about...the Dukes and Lords and Lairds and such...all of the battles and death and heartache...they're entitled to their place in society, to revel in their own sense of power and self-righteousness. Jamie just wants peace, a home, his wife, and a good life. Simple but so powerful. If only more people felt that way, if only more men were heroes because of the battles they didn't fight.Claire tending to Jamie's shoulder... "Ye need not be scairt of me," he said softly. "Nor of anyone here, so long as I'm with ye."
That is not to say that he was perfect. One big, huge point of contention for me was (view spoiler)[ when he beats Claire after she tries to find the stone circle and instead ends up getting captured. I don't care what year it is, That's never right. To beat her until she can't sleep, can't sit down, and then allow his men to make fun of her for days afterward while she is healing... (hide spoiler)]this is one of the more cruel things that I've ever forgiven a hero for. I suppose if I'm going to forgive, it may as well be James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~ Randall...
I truly think that he is not only one of the most vile, heartless, disgusting, noxious, EVIL villains that I've ever met, he is also, oddly, an object of pity. Not to be mistaken for sympathy. He deserves a slow, torturous, endless agonizing death. His singleminded foxhunt of Jamie is confusing at first and later, every time his name is mentioned, I literally became filled with rage. I'm one of those that cried when I'm angry and I can't even tell you how hard I cried. Enough that I couldn't read any more. I had to calm down first. Poor Jamie :( Here is my reaction, of which I typed in the buddy read I was taking part in after I read the specific part that made me hate...literally hate Randall. Do not read this if you don't want a huge spoiler. You've been warned!!82% (view spoiler)[ Son of a fucking bitch!!! Not only did Jamie get raped but we don't even get to see that evil, sadistic ass hole suffer? I'm so mad right now. So fucking mad. And what the hell was all the wolf bullshit? Why even put that in there? It has no bearing on the story except to draw out the part where Jamie is once again flogged...tortured, burned, beat, raped. So I say again...what the fuck? I'm a vindictive bitch. I want payback. That fucker needs to suffer. Jamie needs to look him in the eye while he guts him. How fucking anticlimactic to give him an easy out. I am just livid. I'm so pissed off I'm crying (hide spoiler)]Yeah, suffice it to say that I really hope we get more of Randall and that Ms. Gabaldon feels the black rage that I felt toward him. I hope, I hope, I hope. Even rereading my reaction makes my blood pressure rise. Final thoughts:
Yes, this is a great historical fiction novel but Jamie and Claire..their love, their devotion to each other is what makes this story epic. You just can't get around that fact. This is a love story. And so much more. I was so conflicted from the position that both Claire and Jaime were put in. What is right and wrong here? Claire loves her husband. But here she is, in this impossible situation, of which she can confide in no one. Not a single person. And so she goes first with her gut. Then with her head, and finally, FINALLY with her heart."Does it ever stop, Claire? The wanting?""You're mine, mo duinne," he said softly, pressing himself into my depths. "Mine alone, now and forever. Mine, whether ye will it or no." I pulled against his grip, and sucked in my breath with a faint "ah" as he pressed even deeper."Aye, I mean to use ye hard, my Sassenach," he whispered. "I want to own you, to possess you, body and soul." I struggled slightly and he pressed me down, hammering me, a solid, inexorable pounding that reached my womb with each stroke. "I mean to make ye call me 'Master," Sassenach." His soft voice was a threat of revenge for the agonies of the last minutes. "I mean to make you mine."and later..."Oh, aye, Sassenach...I am your master...and you're mine. Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own."With the gorgeous backdrop of Scotland, the descriptions alone, and the way the dialogue forces you to sink into the setting is worth the entire read.I'm beyond happy that I finally started this series. I'm trying to pace myself while reading the next stories, as I feel the greatness in ma bones. This book itself was so amazing, I can't imagine what's in store for me. There were a few hints...very, very tiny hints in this book of some strange happenings with regards to the time travel aspect. Things always get convoluted when it comes to the whole switching time thing. What came first, Claire in real time or Claire in 1743? What will she change by going back and messing around with her ancestors, or more so her husband's ancestors? I can't wait to find out. more