Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber – Diana Gabaldon



So I have a picture size problem, oh well. I’m a reader, not a tech pro. (Yes I realize it is quite easy to find matching pictures, but I don’t have time to put the effort in.) Moving on.

I read about five or six books over my Christmas break, which means more posts for you guys coming soon!

Last weekend we had a break in weather here and it was not -40, so I went skating with my best friends Kendra, Kelsey, and Tom. Which was great, since I don’t see them as much as I would like (which if I had a choice would be everyday). We were in the middle of nowhere, and all of a sudden the smell of fresh baked bread was so strong we decided the next day we were going to The Forks (which if you don’t live here, is a historical site where the Assiniboine River and the Red River meet that was used as a settlement and trading site during the Fur Trade and Red River settlement days. Now it’s basically a tourist spot, they’re building the Canadian Museum of Human Rights there, and it is home to some great little stores and local bakeries and markets and such) to get fresh cinnamon buns from Tall Grass Prairie. Ridiculous name, ridiculously delicious baked goods. So my weekend was awesome.

Also, miss Sophie Bowns posted the last chapter of her book Theodore recently, and it’s awesome! She is a great writer who draws readers in, even though she only posts individual chapters at a time. Theodore is great, and she just recently started a new story! Sophie also posts poems, and has published several full books previous to Theodore. I really enjoyed Pixies and Pickles, but it wasn’t finished. Sophie if you read this, I really loved it. Please finish it. Anyway, go check her out! Links will be below.

Now, to the bookshelf!

I read Outlander at the suggestion of my wonderful, beautiful, mother of my two favourite kids ever, cousin Leanne. She knew my love for Game of Thrones and suggested I read the Outlander series. At first glance they don’t really have anything in common, but as I got into the book I started to understand why she recommended it. Game of Thrones and the rest of the series is full of golden literary moments, like when Jon brushes snowflakes out of his half brother’s hair as he is leaving, thinking that this would be the last time Jon saw his brother. Then when he joins The Wall, he has to say goodbye to his friend Sam, a new sort of brother. And as they are saying their goodbyes, Jon brushes snowflakes out of Sam’s hair, thinking that he would never see Sam again. These two incidents happened with at least three books in between them, so I was really impressed at the writing quality it takes to return to such a small moment like that several books later. I didn’t notice anything as direct as that, but there were small moments, imagery, and foreshadowing abundant in Outlander and A Dragonfly in Amber that reminded me of George R.R. Martin’s writing. 

I found the story to be imaginative and if not innovative, at least somewhat original. I have read plenty of time travel books, but these were different. The ideas of going back in time, falling in love, trying to change history; these aren’t new. But the characters Gabaldon introduces, they are what make these books special. The love Jamie and Claire find in each other, the convoluted relationship between Jamie and the MacKenzies, the relationships Claire cultivates with the people around her that protect her and help her adjust to life in the Scottish Highlands in the 18th century, these are the things that make these books noteworthy.

I really loved the evolution of Jamie and Claire’s relationship, from complete strangers to devoted spouse. I realize this is how every relationship works at some point, but they had a very limited time to accomplish this. They married out of necessity in order to prevent Claire from being arrested by the English, and at the end of Dragonfly in Amber had saved each other’s lives so many times I lost count. They were completely ready to sacrifice themselves for the other, and did several times. Both Jami and Claire had to make several very hard choices, like Claire choosing to stay in the past with Jamie instead of going back to her husband in the present, or Jamie putting himself at risk by going to France to try and prevent the exiled Prince Charles from restoring himself to the throne in Scotland. Through all of the politics, family drama, danger, and physical abuse they suffered, Claire and Jamie made choices with the other in mind, and to me that is the main message in the books. Although they weren’t able to change history, to complete their mission, they had each other. Everything they did, they did for the love they held for the other. Their love was what drove them, what motivated them. Love for each other, but also love for their families, love for the people who they were responsible to, love for the people of Scotland. Also, Jamie is a cheeky, sassy, delightfully naughty ginger goofball who is impossible not to love. So there’s that. Also, Claire is pretty badass. She was a nurse in WWII, but after the war and after she gets back to the present (it happens, you’ll just have to find out how), she goes to school to become a doctor. She saves Jamie’s life about a dozen times, as well as those of her friends, his family, his tenants, his uncle’s tenants, etc. She’s a rockstar.

I found out recently that there is going to be a t.v. series based on the novels, of which there are more after Dragonfly in Amber, I just haven’t read them yet. So I’m super excited for that.

Up next, Ender’s Game!

Sophie Bowns: http://sophiebowns.wordpress.com/

All chapters of Theodore: http://sophiebowns.wordpress.com/theodore-all-parts/

All chapters of Pixies and Pickles, not finished: http://sophiebowns.wordpress.com/pixies-and-pickles-all-parts/



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