Discussion #7: Outlander Reading Challenge 2012

The seventh discussion post for the Outlander Reading Challenge is up! As noted, I will be posting monthly meme’s/discussions for both reading challenges I am hosting, Outlander and Game of Thrones.These are meant purely for fun and by no means required to participate in the challenges. I will post five questions for you all to mull over and I will answer one of the questions myself to start off the discussion. I also invite you to post your favorite quote or passage from the book as well.

Remember to link your responses or reviews back to your blog using the Mr Linky on the corresponding Monthly Meme page or you can simply leave your response in the comments. The goal is to have some fun discussions and talk about the books.

Challenge participants I hope you are all making progress in the series, but if not no worries we do have all year. No matter where you are in the book or series, you are more than welcome to discuss the book right along with us….

Discussion Questions

  1. At times in the series it seems like Roger is more in love with Brianna than she is with him (for me anyway), do you think Roger wears his heart on his sleeve a little too much? How did you feel about Brianna and Roger (and the kids) returning to the future? How do you think their relationships will change?
  2. Ian always seems to get the short end of the stick throughout the series. Discuss how he has changed. Do you think Ian’s true love is Rachel or is it Brianna? Do you think that Brianna and Ian should have ended up together?
  3. How do you feel about Ian’s homecoming and Claire/Jamie returning to Scotland? Do you think the homecoming was important? Do you think any of them will return (dead or alive) or are they all ‘Outlanders’ now?
  4. How did you feel about Lord John and Claire having sex? Did that change your perspective of Claire or Lord John? Were you upset by this? How did you feel about their marriage? Do you think Claire has betrayed Jamie by marrying Lord John? How is Claire’s marriage to Lord John different than her marriage to Frank? Do you feel that one or the other or both marriages are a betrayal to Jamie? Why or why not?
  5. What do you make of Claire’s comment about the hero never dying “There is a reason why the hero never dies…when the worst happens someone still has to decide what to do” (32). How would the story change if Jamie died or was no longer the hero? Who would take his place? Are any of the other characters ‘strong enough’ to take his place as the hero in the series?

The Lit Bitch’s Response 

Question #2:  One of the most interesting character evolutions for me has been Ian. In this book we really get to explore Ian’s character in greater detail. In this book we really seem to see how his life and life decisions have effected him…..his marriage, the murders, the wars, the loss of identity and loved ones…loss of family.

I feel like poor Ian is constantly displaced and tormented and I just want him to be happy already!

I loved how Gabaldon makes a special point to explain how ‘one can never go home again’. I think it’s important to remember how much has changed and taken place in the previous books….for me, Ian’s homecoming was necessary, I felt like it marked a turning point for ‘Young’ Ian….Ian just seemed so tormented by all his choices and I think being able to come home and ask his father’s forgiveness, make amends with his family, and have his mother and father recognize him for a man was critical in his over all development. I have always seen Ian as this little fifteen year old wild child who lives recklessly and is so much like Jamie….obviously the relationship between Jamie and Ian mirrors the relationship between Jamie in Dougal (minus the murder part).

Until this book in some ways I felt like Ian was there simply as a means for Jamie to find redemption after murdering Dougal but now I can see Ian is that but he is also the son Jamie never had and Ian is his own unique character. Had Ian not returned to Scotland and made peace with his father and have both parents wish him to find love and happiness with a wife I don’t know that he would ever have moved on or truly turned over his heart to Rachel.

With his first wife (though we don’t know much of their relationship) Ian admits he held back a piece of himself and never gave his heart to her….much like Claire and Frank……but now that he has his parent’s ‘blessing’ he can now move on and love Rachel fully…more like Claire and Jamie do. It was like all of a sudden Ian became a man and became a ‘real’ character to me perhaps the series’ most tragic character in some ways.

Some people have said they feel like Frank is the ‘Byronic hero’ or tragic character of sorts…..for me that is not that case, Ian fits that role in my book. It will be interesting to see how the relationship between Ian and Rachel turns out….I feel like the only woman Ian has ever truly loved was Brianna and of course he can’t have her so he lets her go, but it seems like Rachel will become his pillar of strength and ultimately give him reason to live (or so we can only hope)….I think Ian has finally come to terms with his life now that he is able to share his life, future, and pain with someone rather than bear the burden alone.

Favorite Quote/Passage

The body is amazingly plastic. The spirit even more so. but there are some things you don’t come back from…true the body’s easily maimed, and the spirited can be crippled–yet there’s that in a man that is never destroyed

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