Outlander Read-Along Chapters 15-21

Today is the third discussion day for the Outlander Read-Along! This week’s questions come from Jess at Tangled Up in Blue:

1. We FINALLY get to the scene we’ve all been waiting for. You know what I’m talking about–yay sexytimes! What were your impressions? Was it what you were expecting? Or did you want more? 

It’s funny to me going back and re-reading these sections after having read so many more romance novels. It seems so tame compared to the Black Dagger Brotherhood! Yet the first time I read this I was shocked at all the sexytimes, because I hadn’t read much romance. 

I do think that the scenes are written well and varied enough to show us the emotions that Jamie and Claire are experiencing. They serve their purpose well of showing us that Jamie and Claire are drawn to each other in a way that only true love can do. 

2. I know that some readers thus far have been bothered by the fact of Claire being married to Frank but still being involved with Jamie, despite the different time periods. Does their time as newlyweds change anyone’s opinion of that? If not, now what are you thinking of the situation? 

Do I think that Claire is maybe a bit too eager to do anything other than jump Jamie’s bones? Perhaps. But she is leading a lonely and dangerous life in Scotland, and Jamie offers her protection, friendship, and some bodily comforts. Should I judge her for wanting those things? I decided no. She made a choice to marry Jamie, so she might as well commit to it fully now. 

3. What did you think about the “waterhorse” that Claire saw? Why do you think Peter was so spooked? And what do you think this means for Claire?

The waterhorse – with its own chapter and backstory – seemed to be a bit of foreshadowing to me. I like how Diana Gabaldon always finds ways to throw us for a loop. Claire seemed to recognize this creature of Loch Ness, but not just as Nessie. Very interesting! I won’t say much as to Peter and Claire’s own thoughts about the monster, though. That’s it’s own bit of fun that comes out later.

4. If you were Claire and you were knowingly in the vicinity of the stones, would you have done the same thing she did?

I can understand why Claire wanted to get back – it was kind of a now-or-never situation. It had to be hard to decide to leave Jamie, but I think in a way she recognized that if she stayed with Jamie and continued to live as his wife, she would have a much tougher time leaving him. Better to do it like a Band-Aid and be quick and sharply painful about it at first, with the hope that it’s less painful in the long run.

5. What do you think about Captain Randall? How do you think the family resemblance between him and Frank affects Claire and particularly her relationship with Jamie?

I think I can safely say that I’ve never read a more detestable character than Captain Randall. How Diana even thought him up is beyond me, but I’m glad she did because he is a complicated presentation of pure evil that disrupts the lives of Jamie and Claire in awful ways that still make for a great read. I think the fact that he is a relative of Frank’s makes it easier for her to distance herself from Frank while in Scotland and feel justified in choosing a Fraser over a Randall. 

If you read along with us this week, be sure to link up your post or share your thoughts in the comments!

To link up your post and get next week’s discussion questions, visit Asheley at Into the Hall of Books.

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6 thoughts on “Outlander Read-Along Chapters 15-21

  1. very well reasoned about Claire’s attraction to Jamie, I hadn’t thought of that but of course it makes perfect sense. she’s someone she can rely on. and I also like your thoughts about Captain Randall.

  2. You know, I agree that the GOOD STUFF scenes are well-varied, particularly the further along we get in the book (I’m thinking on the part I had to read ahead, Chapters 22-28, too). Excellent point.

    I love this description –> “…complicated presentation of pure evil…” because it is pretty accurate! He is awful. I’ve read some tough villains before, but they’ve been in dystopian-like settings. This one, being historical, seems more real to me, and Captain Randall seems a little more scary. That’s why I am just completely not at ease even reading his scenes! Which is so ODD for me because I’m usually really great at suspending beliefs and all of that.

  3. What is this Black Dagger Brotherhood you speak of, I must have some! I admit that these scenes were a bit tame for me as well, I am a LK Hamilton fan sooooo her scenes get prettyyyy detailed!! I really like how DG shows the emotions between the two characters, it really builds up the relationship in my mind. I don’t think I would have left for the stones if I was Claire, for quite a few reasons but I can appreciate her need to go NOW NOW NOW!

    • OMG, you MUST read the BDB series. It starts with Dark Lover by J. R. Ward. I think there are 10 or 11 books (can’t remember) now. They’re really addictive!

  4. Sorry to be commenting so late! I really like what you said in #4 about Claire leaving Jamie. Although I think she was pretty idiotic in thinking that she could actually make it 7 miles, I get her thought process. And the bandaid analogy is a good/accurate one. And Captain Randall – shudder! But, definitely a brilliant character by DG. Both in his villainy and how he affects Claire’s views of Frank.

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