Dagflabit! I didn’t look. I didn’t check. I just assumed all of the books written in The Outlander Series were done~! I strongly dislike reading series that are not finished because I am too impatient to wait on the next one to be written. I did that with the Harry Potter books, and one or two Nora Roberts trilogies….Grrrrrrr!
Actually, I can’t stay mad at Diana Gabaldon for too long because she created two characters that I have come to dearly love and feel invested in after reading her books. Jaime and Claire Fraser’s love story in so poignant, so passionate, so timeless, and their story is wrapped in so much 18th Century history that I was completely hooked after the first book. Fortunately, there is a bit of a distraction as I and ALL Ms. Gabaldon’s MILLIONS of fans wait with as much patience as possible for Book 9 to be written and published. The first book has been taken from pages to the small screen thanks to Startz!
Whew~! There are some very passionate scenes as we watch Jaime and Claire discover each other. While the series on Startz is incredible to watch, I urge you, as every card carrying English teacher should, to let your mind first be teased by the words of the book before you let your eyes be teased by the characters on the screen and the cliche but very real question, “What is under that kilt?”
Taking us to Scotland in a rich painting of words, Ms Galbaldon plays on a theme that intrigues many of us, “What if we could go back in time?” This is a time shifting book; several major characters travel from 1945-1980 back to 1700’s Scotland and America. Growing up with the Star Trek series and Back to the Future movies, I sometimes, silently, cringe at the many ways these jumps in time might screw up the time continuum. People are saved thanks to Claire’s strong capabilities as a nurse which she passes off as being a healer. Because she saved Jaime’s life, many enemies who cross his path after the Battle of Culloden do not have the long life spans they might have had.
I kind of made the whole Star Trek to Outlander connection in this post about working ground in the spring.
This concern for changing history plays a big part of the angst between the characters, Jaime, Claire, and Black Jack Randall. For reasons I will let you discover, Black Jack is a hated enemy of both Jamie and Claire, but he is also the ancestor of Claire’s husband, Frank Randall, back in the 1940’s. From Frank’s investigating of his family’s ancestry, Claire knows when Black Jack dies, but as the story plays out, she has a desperate moral struggle to keep Jaime from killing him before his time. Black Jack is perhaps the most evil of villains, but if BJ dies before his time, will there be a Frank born in the 1910’s?
Ms. Gabaldon promises that the 8th book is not the last, and I should certainly hope so because too many loose ends are still, well, loose! She is letting her followers on her Facebook page glimpse snippets of Book 9. There is also a whole inner series of novellas and short stories that I have yet to read. These cover background stories on a major character introduced in Book 3, Lord John Grey, and Jaime has reoccurring roles in many of these stories. My plan is to reread the books I have and work in these newly discovered works in the correct order. To see the entire collection in chronological order, click HERE.
As you pack your summer vacation bag, I urge you to sneak in a copy of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. You will not be disappointed! And if there simply isn’t room, you can watch the series on your device of choice. I have to admit, Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe have brought Jamie and Claire’s characters perfectly to life…..and there several opportunities to find out just what is under those kilts.
Happy Summer Reading!