I have been deceived.
I was deceived into thinking this was simply a romantic time-travel novel between a woman who finds herself magically transported to 17th century Scotland and a young Scots warrior.
I was deceived into thinking this had just a little bit of angst and that the biggest conflict would be whether Claire chooses Frank in the future or Jamie in the past.
I was bloody well deceived into thinking that this would have a relatively happy ending all things considered.
I should have known by the heft of this book that not everything is as it seems.
Warning: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS
The book started out innocuously enough. I enjoyed reading about how people lived life in Scotland during that time period. I really liked how the relationship between Claire and Jamie developed. I even understood that scene where he “punished” her as befitted the norm of that time when a woman is basically considered a man’s property. That I can handle.
I understood why some women were outraged about it because reading something like that in this day and age is like taking two steps back for feminism but I thought to myself, hey get a grip guys, consider it from the historical context in which its intended to be placed.
I was not as sanguine during the later half of the book.
I think they can hear my scream of rage all the way to the Scottish Highlands as I skimmed through the last 300 pages of this f**k**g book.
In a way, the innocence and purity of the love between Claire and Jamie made what happened in the end worse for me. To take something so good (and so freakin’ rare!) and use it as an instrument to torture a man to the point that he would prefer death is just unacceptable. Unacceptable. UNACCEPTABLE! There are a lot of things I can stomach when reading a book, but brutal rape is not one of them.
Was that really necessary Diana Gabaldon?!?
Was the violation and complete destruction of Jamie Fraser’s soul really an integral part of the plot? Would the story not have progressed to its inevitable conclusion without it? I know you’re fond of having your female lead play Florence Nightingale but other plot devices SURELY would have served just as well. Have him suffer an infection or heck, have him shot in the leg with her having to amputate him to save his life. Anything but that.
And to have Jamie recount what happened in bits and pieces, with increasing detail, finally culminating in the revelation that his torturer used Claire to finally “rouse” him – that was just the final straw.
I could not read any more after that.
I’m sure there are people who will think that I should be more open-minded about this and I tried, I really tried to understand where the author was coming from and I told myself this whole thing served to strengthen the bond between Jamie and Claire.
But there are just some things I cannot stomach, I’m sorry. That does not take away from the fact that this book is well written (if a bit too detailed), the plot is good and the characters are engaging. I am almost ashamed that I do not have the stomach to read the rest of the series. But its just not for me.
I refuse to watch the series either. I do not need the visual to go with what I have just read. I honestly feel like I have been violated alongside Jamie and I would like Diana Gabaldon to take that as a compliment. I fully concede that those scenes were so powerful that it affected me on a visceral level. I now feel like I need to scrub my mind with a good old-fashioned regency romance that will not throw curveballs like this just when I thought we were nearing happily-ever-after.
If I wanted death and violence I’d read a crime novel. I do not need it in my romance novels, thank you very much.
I’d love to hear what y’all think even if you feel the need to criticise my opinions because you disagree. Just, you know, be gentle with the comments.
Also, if you want to buy the book click on the Amazon link below and help me earn some money. Lol. Cheers!