A little late in the game, but at least I’m playing! It’s Monday and as I was going through my Google Reader, I started to get jealous of everyone who was participating the Outlander read-a-long! I read the book a few years back and absolutely loved it, but stopped after reading the first three books of the series (to no fault of the books — I just started reading other things and never picked up where I left off).
When I saw Jess’s post over at Gone With the Words about the read-along, I thought I wouldn’t have the time, but it’s around 7 chapters per week, which is totally doable! Of course, me signing up on the Monday where we’re supposed to post our answers to the questions on the first 7 chapters means I’m in a bit of a scramble, but I still managed to get the chapters read. I’m so happy to be participating!
1. Outlander is a well-known book. Before you cracked it open, what were your expectations or assumptions about this story? Or did you jump into it with a blank slate?
I had read Outlander a few years ago after reading really good reviews about it. I remember absolutely loving it and moving on to read the next two books in the series, but then I stopped after the third one. I’ve been wanting to continue reading the series, but felt I should reread them to see what happened.
I’m pretty sure when I picked it up the first time, I had finished reading The Time Traveler’s Wife and was looking for more books like that one. Outlander looked like it was full of time travel AND romance — my two favourite things! — so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. I remember being quite put off by the length of it (my copy is 850 pages), but the first time I read it, it seemed to take no time at all.
2. Claire’s husband, Frank, is fascinated with learning more and more facts about his family tree, which extends back pretty far. Do you or anyone in your family keep a family tree? How many years/generations back does it go? If not, have you ever considered or attempted to create one?
I wish my family kept a family tree! One thing we do have is a huge Bible where you can find birth or death certificates from long deceased relatives, or even some news articles on some of them. I’m definitely interested in creating one, but I have no idea where I would even begin. My memory of even my grandparents is quite shoddy — and I really only ever knew one grandmother. It would take a lot of digging to get to the past!
3. How did you find Claire’s initial conclusion as to her surroundings after waking up from going through the stones? Did you think that was a reasonable conclusion?
That she was part of a movie set? I think it made sense. I mean, going through the stones and waking up to a place where people are wearing what look to be costumes, talking in the dialect of many years passed — it’s enough to make anyone make up some kind of reasoning as to what’s going on. And seeing as Claire’s husband Frank is a logical, scholarly person, always dealing with facts and dates, it would make sense that Claire would want to put logic and reason first — I mean, to hear, clearly time travel can’t exist!
4. How about her composed, rational way of dealing with the fact she’s traveled back in time. Did you find it believable? Do you think you would have acted the same way?
If someone told me they’d slit my throat if I would escape, I probably would’ve acted in the same way! It’s funny how we only really know what happened in history through books, and like they say — the winners write the war (or something to that extent). The history we learn in school and throughout our lifetime — that is, the history of lifetime’s passed — is learned through books. There are plenty of things that are NOT written in these books. Much like Frank though his relative Jonathan Randall was a heroic figure, he also did many, many bad things that do not seem to have been recorded in the history that Frank has read.
So, I do think that the way Claire acted — in her composed and rational way — was very believable. I think part of her is still in shock, too, from all of a sudden being transplanted from a world of convenience to one where the conveniences have yet to be discovered.
5. At this point in the story, what are your feelings or expectations on Claire and Jamie? Is Frank still a factor for you?
Frank is definitely a factor for me. I can’t help think the same thing Claire is thinking — what will he think when she doesn’t return? Or will it be like in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe — if Claire were return to her normal time (I can’t remember what happens!), would only a few minutes have passed? Or would years have gone by? We just don’t know! Though, the fact that the book is 850 pages long means that things are bound to happen and Claire will probably NOT make it back to Craigh na Dun anytime soon.
And really, since Claire has already met the acquaintance of one of Frank’s long deceased relatives, Frank will always be a factor — with Claire back in time, will things for the future change? Who knows!
Bonus Question: Frank encounters a man outside of the inn where he and Claire are staying. He is afraid it might have been a ghost. What do you believe it was? Do you have any predictions or suspicions on what that was about?
I have NO idea what that was about (read above: I’ve already read the book years back. My memory is not a sponge.). The man was in kilts which were not swaying with the wind that was moving everything in sight, AND he disappeared into thin air, according to Frank. He could’ve been a ghost, or maybe someone from the past who knew Claire would be going back? Maybe he wanted her to go back? I’m eager to find out!
Tune in next week for my answers to the next questions for Chapters 8 – 14 …
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