Outlander Read-Along Chapters 22-28

Today is the fourth discussion day for the Outlander Read-Along, and it’s my turn to host! I’m so excited! But before we get to the big reveal of my questions for next week, let’s get back to our discussion. This week’s questions come from Asheley at Into the Hall of Books:

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? 

The idea of a husband beating his wife is appalling at best and unforgivable at worst. In this case, I certainly felt Claire’s humiliation and loss of control, and it was not pleasant to read. That said, this was not a case of a man beating a woman simply to exact punishment or keep her in line. It’s much more complex than that. As Jamie said, if any person had done that, there would be a severe punishment to follow. Claire was not being treated differently than anyone else. Had she gone AWOL while serving as an Army nurse, she would have been punished. How is this different? Sure, we’ve moved beyond corporal punishments in our time, but back then, they hadn’t. I do wish, however, that Jamie hadn’t enjoyed it so much. Ick.

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 _____? 

Once it started moving, I was pretty sure it was a bug of some type. The way Jamie was so casual about it was pretty unsettling. I despise the thought of creepy crawlies on me while I sleep, and this aspect of living in the past would gross me out. I spent a week in rural India a few years ago, and always tucked my mosquito net under my bedding to form a shield that would keep the bugs from crawling under the net and onto my bed. Ugh. I hate bugs. 

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. 

My first instinct would be Claire’s – to help the poor, innocent, obviously sick child. I understand Geilie’s pragmatism, though. It’s dangerous to interfere with people’s ancient beliefs, particularly as an outsider. As much as Claire wanted to help the baby, there probably wasn’t much she could do for it, and certainly not without risking an entire town full of people coming for her head. These people used these beliefs to find comfort during the death of an ailing child, and even though I don’t understand how parents could put a baby alone in the woods just because it cries a lot, you have to respect the way of the world in areas that are not your own. I could probably write 10 entries on cultural interference and globalization, so I’ll just stop there.

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 think it goes without saying at this point, but SPOILERS AHEAD. 

I got a weird vibe from Geilie from the beginning. I never liked her, despite Claire’s insistence on befriending her. Kudos to Diana Gabaldon for implanting negative impressions through subtext. Geilie is always full of surprises, between murdering her husband, revealing a MacKenzie pregnancy, and publicly claiming she was a witch to save Claire, but absolutely the biggest surprise was the reveal that she had a small pox vaccination scar. That was one of those game-changer moments for me that hooked me into this series for good. Another time traveler? Will Claire find more? Will she see Geilie again? Will she find answers about the stones? That was a reveal to beat all other reveals – unexpected and majorly impactful. SO AWESOME.

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

With all of his big brute manliness, it’s so easy to forget that Jamie is young and inexperienced in love. Sure he’s in his twenties, which is well into adulthood in his time, but much of his life has already been spent fighting and working and in hiding or captivity. He hasn’t had the blessed idleness of modern living, where you get hours to dream about your first love. I thought it was really sweet and touching that he revealed that Claire was really his first love, in a way. He married her because he wanted to be with her and because he was falling in love with her. Twue wuv! Swoon!

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


Chapters 29-35

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?

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?

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? 

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?

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?

Don’t forget to link up your discussion posts for this week!

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