A nice thing about a book is if you don’t like it you can stop reading it. Certainly, if the leading male character is not your type, if you are offended by his mannerisms, the reader can “dump” him. But it is not so easy to cut ties with characters you have grown to love, especially male leading characters. We, as women, tend to become emotionally attached to the leading male figures in our imaginary world, at least I know I do, and hence the difficulty in abandoning them. You follow them and continue to read, even though they are stubborn, arrogant, and completely infuriating. But in the end, their redeeming qualities captures your heart, and you are obligated to read the next book in the series, knowing that this will only lead to many sleepless nights. The in between stage of waiting for the next book is quite dismal if not downright depressing. Seriously people, there were times I wanted to just throw the book because it was the end. I never did though. I have difficulty dog earring my books, let alone throwing them against the wall. But I’m sure you folks can understand my frustration.
I was thrilled to write this post. But in retrospect, I was reluctant. The subject of book boyfriends is a bit touchy (Really, they are more like book husbands to me, and yes my husband is aware of my issues, and I am quite relieved that he still loves me despite them). You see, it’s been awhile since I read the series, and my apprehension stems from falling in love with the series, and this unbelievable character, all over again. There are seven book total in The Outlander series by the world famous and awe-inspiring author Diana Gabaldon, with the eighth book to be released Fall of 2013. The Outlander, first published in 1998, is an intricate and mesmerizing tale woven through two different time periods. There are 650 pages in that book and just as many if not more in the books there after. Readers, however, should not be alarmed at the quantity of pages, because it is in fact a fast paced read. Nonetheless, reader’s should be warned that James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, the leading male character, is an extraordinarily strong and appealing figure in this series, a force that will no doubt captivate those fans who love historical fiction and time travelling to boot. Hence, the insomnia after-effects.
If you haven’t read the series, here is an excerpt from Diana Gabaldon’s website.
In 1946, after WWII, a young Englishwoman named Claire Beauchamp Randall goes to the Scottish Highlands with her husband, Frank. She’s an ex-combat nurse, he’s been in the army as well, they’ve been separated for the last six years, and this is a second honeymoon; they’re getting re-acquainted with each other, thinking of starting a family. But one day Claire goes out walking by herself, and comes across a circle of standing stones—such circles are in fact common all over northern Britain. She walks through a cleft stone in the circle….and disappears. Back into 1743, where the first person she meets is a gentleman in an 18th-century army officer’s uniform. This gentleman, Jack Randall, looks just like her husband Frank—and proves to be Frank’s six-times-great-grandfather. Unfortunately, he also proves to be a sadistic bisexual pervert, and while trying to escape from him, Claire falls into the hands of a gang of Highland Scots, who are also trying to get away from Black Jack Randall—though for other reasons.
In order to avoid being handed over to Captain Randall, Claire is obliged to marry one of the young clansmen. So she finds herself trying to escape from Castle Leoch and her Scottish captors, trying to get back to her husband Frank, trying to avoid being recaptured by Captain Randall—and falling in love with Jamie Fraser, the young man she’s been forced to marry.
They are equals, Jamie and Claire. One does not dominate the other and there is a mutual trust and understanding that grows between the two, and of course, eventually there is their steadfast love that transcends two different centuries. Jamie is chivalrous and compassionate, and accepting of Claire despite the oddities of her compelling and independent nature. They are balanced partners throughout the series, solving problematic and often life-threatening issues that ferries them to many different locations, battles and adventures. He has a soldier’s strength and bravery. He is highly intelligent and also good-humored. Jamie has no doubts of Claire’s capabilities and many times encourages it. They are, I believe, two formidable characters that will stand the test of time. So if you fear the high divorce rates in the latest demographics, become Claire for a little while and marry Jamie Fraser. I guarantee, you’ll never need a lawyer.
“I will find you,” he whispered in my ear. “I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you – then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest.”
His voice dropped, nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me.
Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well.”
Ugh, that line kills me! Now I’m going to have to reread them all over again. Sleepless night, here I come.