Wednesday, December 23, 2009

When it comes time to die...

"When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home."        
~ Chief Aupumut, Mohican. 1725

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished DRUMS OF AUTUMN. 

So I've just finished DRUMS OF AUTUMN. Wow. I don't even know where to begin. I had a terrible time with Ian joining the Mohawk tribe. I don't mean a "got a little bummed" hard time. I mean a "called my mentor at 10:30 PM, sobbing profusely" hard time.  I just have to say it; WTF??????? Why? WHY? (screamed like Nancy Kerrigan). I don't know why that had to happen. I just know that they TATTOOED HIS FACE. I canna get past it. I try - but I canna do it. Even if he were to escape with his new little wifey and unborn child, and come back to Fraser's Ridge - and grow his hair out and dress in his plaid and breeks - WHAT THE F*CK are they going to do with his TATTOOED FACE????? Unless Claire comes across some miracle herb that will slough off the top 4 layers of his skin, what is the stupid, wee nephew going to DO with that FACE???  NOTHING! That's what he'll do! Because he's NEVER COMING BACK!!!!! It was like a death to me. Sitting there... reading it... suspecting Ian would offer to stay... but never, EVER expecting James Alexander Malcom Mackenzie Fraser to LET HIS WEE ASS do it. But when he walked in all mohawked-out and TATTOOED - I knew that was it. That was the end of Ian. Even if we see him in the future - warning them - helping them - visiting them - FIGHTING AGAINST them... he's NOT IAN MURRAY anymore. He's Brother of Wolf or whatever the hell they're calling him. And I'm pissed off. OH YESSIR I am PISSED. OFF. He's been nothing but good to these people. He's helped in every instance he's been asked to help. He's gone out of his way time and time again to do for others and never asked for SHIT in return. The boy was RAPED by Geillis Duncan for christsake!!!! And what does he get for it? I'll tell you what he got for it: THEY TATTOOED HIS MOTHER FRIGGIN FACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK I'm just going to move on to more pleasant topics before I lose my shiz and have to go lie down. (Did I mention my FIVE YEAR OLD'S name is IAN??? No, I bet I didn't. Find a happy place. Find a happy place.)

Moving on... I have done a complete and utter 180 on Lord John Grey. Ho. Ly. Cow. I love him now. My mentor kept telling me this would happen - but I didn't know how. It's not that I didna believe - I did. But I just couldn't see how I was going to take a liking to that pompous, arrogant, Claire-I'm-in-love-with-your-husband-and-there's-nothing-you-can-do-about-it ASS John Grey. God even now I think about Jamie embracing him and saying "Oh John" and my skin crawls. But....BUT... this was before. Before he helped Bree... before he shared his feelings with her... and BEFORE BOYFRIEND VISITED THE SLAVE QUARTERS FOR A LITTLE SUMP'IN SUMP'IN!!!  I LOVED that. Once he did that - and told Bree he digs her dad's scene....well, then all bets were off. SHE'S A BIG, FAT QUEEN named JOHN GREY and I love her!!! Tell me you couldn't be best girlfriends with Lord John??? Once I saw him in that light - I wasn't threatened by him anymore. All I wanted to do was hug him - discuss our Prada pieces and visit the Lancome counter!!! Seriously - I've said it before, I'll say it again: The best girlfriend you'll ever have is a gay man. Doesn't matter how masculine he is, either. My friend, Dave was on his local fire department and loves Mustangs. And yet he can tap into my feelings better than anyone I've ever met. THAT is what I needed from Lord John... and THAT is what I got. So kudos to the almighty DG for giving us that gift; I really needed it.

I canna give a complete reassessment of the entire novel; it is too lengthy and detailed. But I can tell you how I feel about it. LOVED IT. And I can also tell you that I still canna pick a favorite. I'm 4 in now - only have 3 left to be current - and am so thrilled that I love them all for different reasons.  Sure I suppose if I had to choose, I'd say Outlander will always be my favorite (you never forget your 1st) but each book is just so good - for entirely separate reasons. What I loved about this was in the earlier part of the book, it was so magical to watch Claire and Jamie relate to each other and fall in love all over again, really. They have such respect for each other and I think that's what makes their relationship so profound. I loved reading about Bree and Roger, though, and I really never expected to. There was a time or two, earlier on in Drums, where I'd actually get annoyed when the story went back to Jamie and Claire. ANNOYED! About JAMIE! That's how I knew I'd be OK with the story evolving into a family story - and not just a love story between two people. But please, oh please, DG, please keep the hot-and-heavy scenes coming with Jamie and Claire. I don't care that they've got a AARP cards up on the Ridge - they're still HOT!!!

OK that's all. I'm exhausted. And I need to go check Amazon and see where the freak "The Fiery Cross" is!!!

26 comments:

  1. See a few posts above this for my commentary on my faux boyfriend/gay bestie John Grey. Good GOD I love him. The Blackmail chapter was possibly, pound for pound, a top three chapter of the entire series. Bree, girlfriend, if you know what's good for you, you don't 'mail the 'mo. EVER.

    Ian. [SOB] I weep for him and I'm proud of the man he has become...all at the same time.

    OK, here's why Drums doesn't rank quite as high as Voyager and Outlander for me....it's obvious that the series has now become a story about the Fraser family rather than Claire and Jamie--and unfortunately, I have not taken a huge shine to a specific Fraser named Bree. Is it just me, or does she come off as spoiled more often than strong? It's like she has the worst faults of both her parents and none of the best qualities. And since we the readers didn't really get to know her before she was thrust front and center in these books, I'm not nearly invested in what happens to her.

    Overall tho, Drums was yet another amazing read. Kind of a slow start, but the last 2/3 were a complete page turner.

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  2. Agreed about Bree... but I think it's because we don't really know her. We're getting to know her along with DG. I loved Drums from the start though, I have to say. Jamie and Claire were just so content with each other... I want to go back and read it again. On my new KINDLE! One thing Bree has that's good that she got from Jamie (both parents, really) - the need to help people who are more weak than her. Look what she did for Lizzie. Who, by the way, had the potential to be an interesting character, but really kindof fizzled by the end. I so wanted her with Ian. I wanted them to fall in love. I really, really did. Maybe since she's so meek, she'll be the only one who will be able to love him when he comes back with TATTOOS ALL OVER HIS FACE!!!!!!

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  3. But...but...but what about POOR ROGER?? Poor sweet Roger?? Gah!! :( I was so frustrated with all the Roger Wakefield/MacKenzie confusion and what happened as a result of it. Oh my poor wee noggin!

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  4. I know how you feel about Ian! I only have 70 pages of Drums of Autumn left, but I was so so so sad to read the part about Ian. I started to cry and had to re-read it several times again. I can't believe that they would do this to him, he had so much heart and love for his Uncle and yet he gets torn away.

    As for Bree - SPOILED!!! She's so annoying and unappreciative. I hope that she gets better in the next novels.

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  5. so those of you who don't like bree. she's the only one, and i'm looking at you claire, who is kind of real. and acts like a 20 year old who was born in the 20th century. holy crap, if i traveled back in time, even to someone like jamie, i'd be so annoyed, pissed off, frustrated, confused, exasperated, you name it, i'd be all those things. and not just because i couldn't take a proper bath. holy crap. the smells alone would make me want to throw things. i seriously don't know if i could do it even with mr. wonderful.

    i just had my courses (heh) the other day and the cramps were so bad, i thought, what would i have done without my ibuprofen?

    anyway, all to say that she's maybe supposed to be real. and by 1770 standards she is spoiled, she's a young modern woman thrown into a primitive life and her reactions are the closest to being honest.

    anyway, i'm almost done with drums -- i read ahead -- i hate it when i do that -- and still obsessed.

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  6. Maryse: Very insightful comments re: Bree. I find that I'm liking her more and more as I make my way through the series. And looking at her through the lens you lay out here, it's easier to understand the motivation behind some of Bree's actions: it's more like, "This is the way it is in 1972, it's not that hard to make/do whatever that way, so why not do it like that now?"

    I think DG's discussion of Bree in the Outlandish Companion really helps in understanding why it's so hard to like her at the start--DG herself admits that she had no idea who Bree was in the early stages of her character. I think it takes until ABOSAA to see Bree for who she really is--strengths AND faults--and begin to relate to and like her character.

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  7. Maryse - I'll tell you one thing - you're right about Claire. I constantly find myself making excuses for her because she was raised like a little banshee child and dragged all over the globe and lived in huts made out of reeds and chewing gum. You finally get to the point where you're like "aww c'mon, Claire. You know you were loving your Aston Martin and your mod 60s furniture from JC Penney and you were probably drinking Earl Grey out the wazoo! Who are you kidding? You hate the way Jamie's oxters smell just like any other woman would had she spent the last 20 years in some tony neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts! Get real!" ;)

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  8. hi i'm back. still reading drums. so was anyone else kind of taken aback when jamie assaulted bree? as soon as he started, i understood why he was doing it, but i thought it was excessive. are they both so bull headed that the only way they can understand each other is if they break each others necks?

    also, why does it take 4 months for bree to even describe roger. seriously? if you're handfasted to some guy don't you talk about it him more? there are holes here people. holes.

    i want to take jamie, bree, and claire and put them all in a timeout.

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  9. I just finished D of A and I have to say that I loved it!!!! I too am now very fond of Lord John Grey and am now seriously contemplating side tracking to his novels before diving into Firey Cross!!

    I am not however feeling the love between Brianna and Roger. I realize that Claire and Jamie have an exceptional relationship, but I just can't get that passion there for them. I have to say that I felt more Between Brianna and Stephen Bonnet in that last scene when he flees to his ship! Can't explain it...

    Jamie and Claire were of course, a pleasure to read about and watch their relationship age and sink into a sort of domestication in this book. I know most of you have read more books and I am sure something is going to happen to them soon, but it was nice to enjoy that lull, and focus on their daughter's turmoils a bit.
    Another great book!!!

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  10. I'd like to chime in on the whole time travel bit - I accepted more or less that Claire was able to "fit in" to the 18th century because of her nomadic and rough childhood. But you never really see scenes where Brianna (or for that matter Roger) struggles with the lifestyle back then. Brianna lived in jeans, probably wore makeup, hot showers with shampoo and conditioners, etc. It just didn't feel right to me how easily she sort of settled into life in the cabin. And like Northernlove said, I also didn't connect with the Brianna/Roger relationship - I think there just wasn't enough buildup to it or something. Can't put my finger on it, but something was missing. I wonder if we're ever going to discover who the baby's daddy is.

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  11. This site has been very helpful for me as I am a huge fan of the first two books and happy with the third, but DOA has me wanting to end my readership of DG novels. These people can't be this retarded?!? The worst is Jamie. How can a man like him, who has be wronged by so many do what he did to Rodger? Did not even give him a chance to prove himself, just beats the crap out of him and then sells him into bondage? How can Claire, who professes to abhor slavery condone his actions? And Bree? She forgives her "Da" who has all but driven her lover away with his snide remarks and open hostility to the man. I just don't get it?!?!

    Everyone keeps telling me to "Endure" this one and the next is better, but I am not so sure. It takes a lot of time to read epics like this and I hate to feel like I am wasting my time. I will finish this one and hope it gets better. Right now I am wondering how long it will take for Rodger to come back. Bree has had the child and he is still no where to be found. Perhaps Jamie was correct and he is just a wastrel, because if he really loved Bree he would just have gone straight back and been with her when she had the child.

    At this point he is unforgiven by me, and as for Ian, I never cared for him after his involvement with Rodgers beating, I was happy to hear he was banished to the Indians a just punishment for his wanting to murder a man without proof of crime. The boy lacks any form of morals.

    JMHO

    thomas;)

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  12. This post was hilarious, especially with Ian- I laughed out loud and cried inside at the same time. I can relate 122%.

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  13. I finished Drums and boy what a rollercoaster. It wore me out all the miscommunication but that is life. They all thought Bree was raped by Roger so I can see Jaime not giving him a chance and getting rid of him. Ian giving himself to the Mohawk so his family could go was something his Uncle would do. How many sacrifices for family has Jaime done. True to the Fraser character if you ask me. The part where Bree and Bonnet see each other and he helps save Lord John and he gets away is classic "maybe this guys not so bad. LOL I think the relationship between Bree and Roger is sweet. They are just finding their way around each other after what has happened. The Gathering is so great! I love the calling of the clans. I cry everytime .I could go on by WOW 3 more to go. I only have until June 10th. I am a wreck!!!!!

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  14. I loved this book! I like Bree and Roger. I can understand why Roger told Caire to go ahead and leave with Jamie after they got him back from the Indians. He had been through so much, over 9 months of hell. Jamie tells him about Bonnet, the baby, blames him for everything, demands he make a decision right then, jumps on his horse and demands they leave now and they're off! Roger had to have time to process everything. (I'm that way). I think he made the right decision to take his time and think everything through. He loved Bree. He knew he wouldn't leave her.

    Now for a change of topic. The only thing I really didn't like was at the gathering Jamie asked Claire to choose when he offered her Frank's ring back. I was astounded that she immefiately slipped it back on her finger! I could never understand why she didn't take it off when Frank died and give it to Bree. He was not the love of her life Jamie was. She did love him but I thought it was more from obigation than deep feeling. They weren't close. He was a good father to Bree and I thought she would've been comforted to have the wedding ring.

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  15. what a book.... at the end of every other chapter I was calling the author a bitch for not getting to the point of what is happening or reading the next chapter only to find that we were still hanging on the cliff hanger from 2 chapters previously... I bet Diana's ears were burning a bit while I was reading this book.

    To be honest, I get irritated quite a bit reading this series... far too many little things... then I think I am reading a work of fiction about time travelling through stones with a far fetched story and I am grumbling that nobody would be drinking German Hock wine in a French Abbey. The books are just full of these little irritants that grate on my nerves for spoiling a good story... They are really well written in terms of getting you to keep turning the pages for what happens next... they're funny, they're full of adventure, full of romance and drama, and the overall story is pure escapism but the little things that bare no relevance to the overall story can be as irritating as hell.

    How can someone with a PhD do all this research for the books and still get so many basic little things wrong? Glen Morangie instead of Glenmorangie, you will be lucky to be able to smell a field of clover if you had your nose right up against the flower - let alone a single clump at your feet, no English woman in their right mind would eat Hershey's chocolate in the UK if other brands were available - even as a last resort it would be pushing it, travelling from Inverness in Scotland to France in one night on a sail boat would be pushing it with a Northerly wind behind you - despite the weather that would bring with it, syphilis was around in the Americas before Europeans arrived... etc. etc. grrr.... how can this rattle me in a story about travelling through time via a stone circle... I think it is probably because the books are so well written and obvious research has been conducted that I am irritated at the sloppiness of these little things.

    Bree does not bother me, neither like nor dislike. Roger sometimes irritates me but he didn't deserve what Jamie and Ian did to him. But then Jenny irritates me too... just don't trust that woman. I was disappointed in the last book in the portrayal of Geillis as this super villain... she was a favourite of mine in the original book.

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  16. OMG! I felt the same way about Ian. WHY? I just finished this book. It's wonderful I get to experience, now, what you experienced in 2009 reading this book. Love it.

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    1. Miz - this may be my favorite post of all time. I am getting chills just thinking about it. Ian haunts me. Keep reading. Lorddddddddd keep reading. :)

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  17. Yes I was devastated that wee Ian joined the Mohawk after seeing what they did to the priest! Tattoos are nothing compared to ritual sacrifice - eurgggh.

    My other annoyance was having to wait 5 chapters for news that Roger hadn't been rendered dead or permanently infertile by Jamie giving him the Jack Randall duel treatment. I'm still recovering from 5 chapters of hating Jamie.

    Can we have Fergus back now please? I have cast Emun Elliott as adult Fergus and would like to see more of him. The last 1/4 of this book was far too serious so I'm hoping the next book has a wee bit more humour.

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    1. good choice on Emun Elliott as Fergus.. I actually can see him a bit as Roger too since he is Scottish, not French... I do love Emun and think he must have a place in this show!!

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  18. I am confused about Roger's lineage information at the end of the book and not sure what it means. I suppose I could start the book all over again to get clarity, but it was a long enough read as is! Can anyone clarify for me? Love the series. Thanks!

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  19. I am confused about Roger's lineage information at the end of the book and not sure what it means. I suppose I could start the book all over again to get clarity, but it was a long enough read as is! Can anyone clarify for me? Love the series. Thanks!

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    1. Eeeek I'm sorry - I don't know how I missed this...but ask a question if you have a specific one (I don't want to give you spoilers!) and I'll try to answer it! :) And if I can't, I'll get Tracey on the case. :)

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    2. Yes, please answer this question. I have finished the book, so based on the end of Drums, what should we have taken away? Is more of this answered in the following book(s)?? If so, then I can wait, I just hated finishing the book with a "what the heck" feeling.

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  20. So I have a question about something I didn't understand. Frank essentially placed Jamie's tombstone at Falkirk or wherever (can't go back and check now). Why did he do it? To allow Claire to begin searching for him again or to make Claire believe he had died?

    What is great about this twist though is that it opens up a world of possibilities for how, where and when Jamie dies, and Claire can't fear Scotland too much anymore. I don't buy that they really die in a fire. My theory is they had someone spread that story so they could go into hiding but that's where Roger and Bree stopped looking.

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    1. If I am recalling this correctly, Frank placed the tombstone there so that if Claire ever went looking, she'd find it and realize he hadn't died at Culloden. Very odd way of going about things, right?? :)

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