Sunday, November 29, 2009

Honesty is such a lonely word...

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read unless you've finished page 773 in VOYAGER.

When I'm deep inside of me don't be too concerned. I won't ask for nothin' while I'm gone. But when I want sincerity tell me where else can I turn? Because you're the one that I depend upon.  ~Billy Joel
Jamie Fraser is flawed. And I'm having a hard time with it, Sassenachs.

I am going to post an email I just sent to Tracey - my sister and Outlander "mentor" - and Jenn M who is reading closely alongside me - page for page - as I read the series. Why? Because I'm just that spent from the emotional events of this evening's chapter... and I just can't write it all down again. Follow along if you will, keeping in mind that it was I who defended Jamie Fraser to the death when both Tracey and Jenn were so mad at him for not telling Claire about Laoghaire.

I am on page 774 - the first page of Chapter 60. Just got finished the gut-wrenching section of Mr. Willoughby (possibly?) killing that woman (I don't believe it - and now how is Jamie going to travel by boat again???)  - and Claire seeing Jamie with John Grey - and Claire hearing the truth about Willie, first from John and then from Jamie.

I have knots in my stomach. 

When there are sexy parts, the thing that makes them so great is that I feel like they're happening to me.

But finding out the truth about Jamie's past feels like it's happening to me, too. 

I feel betrayed. I feel like he should have told her so long ago. I feel like he wussed out - again. And all of these times of wussing out are adding up to one, big non-trustworthy guy. I totally disagreed when Claire told him "because you're an honest man, Jamie Fraser." I don't feel like he's so honest right now. I feel like there is too much I don't know about him and honest to god - if I were Claire, I'd need to get away from him for a while. I'd need space and I'd need to sort out my feelings and see if I even was able to be with him on a permanent basis. He's just so full of crazy stories right now - I can't even breathe around him.

The knots have been in my stomach ever since Claire saw the embrace between Jamie and John. I literally felt sick for pages and pages, not knowing wtf was going on with them. I guess I can get past it - because, honestly, if I had a friend who was in love with me - and she showed me a picture of my son who I wasn't able to lay claim to - one whom she was raising for me - I'd hug her fervently, too. And I'd think nothing of it. So why should the fact that they're men make the situation any different?

But - Geneva. Sigh. I'm so upset. Why didn't he tell her everything? I am sick over the fact that he didn't use the phrase "only one night". That would have helped. For all she knows, he was screwing her for months. All the while not even being in love with her. Why didn't he tell her she blackmailed him? I don't get it. I really don't.

I just... need a break. I need a break from Jamie Fraser. So help me god I want to put this book down right now and not pick it up again for a while. Because I'm hurt. And I'm sad. And most of all I feel like I don't know him; and that is the scariest part of all.

(Drama Queen, party of 1????)

It has hit me after sitting here thinking about it. Claire should not have had to see that embrace. Jamie put her in an awkward position by taking her to that house, knowing John Grey would be there, and knowing she was in the dark about everything. He should have told her. And I understand that he didn't know JG was going to give him the photo... and it was emotional for him. But still. That doesn't make it right. I'm pissed. He. Should. Have. Told. Her. She did not deserve to spend her evening feeling sick after seeing her husband emotionally embracing someone else.


  1. Here is my response to said email:

    OK, random thoughts:
    • Now remember--I was the one who said to my mentor way back during the Wee Ho days that Jamie better fess up about Jamie Jr. and soon. THAT SAID, I actually sort of understood why he didn't say anything. Remember, he hadn't even told Jenny--which was a big deal, as Claire thought too. And the fact is that he DID tell her in the end. I actually really like that scene--there was really no reason for Jamie to tell anyone anything about it, because it was his impression that he would never see Jamie Jr. again.

    • The whole Jamie/John Grey embrace definitely threw me for a loop at first. But I thought it through the same way Claire did--I though there is NO way that something is going on with them, and eventually I figured that it had to do with Willie in some way, so it didn't bother me that much.

    • The Jamie/John body offering/kiss thing. Yeah, I hear you. It was a bit disconcerting. But again--THINK OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FAVOR JAMIE WAS ASKING. He was asking Grey to be the father to his SON, for crying out loud. This was the most important, critical thing anyone could do for him. If he was willing to go that far to save Claire's life, of COURSE he'd be willing to go that far to ensure that the life of his son was safe and well-taken care of. Re: the kiss: like I emailed earlier, I think it showed how far Jamie had come in terms of homophobia. He was able to appreciate the depth of the other man's feelings--and even more, to realize that there was no cruelty or freakiness behind them, that they were genuine and destined to be unrequited always. And also, this was a HUGE thing that this man was doing for his son--something that Jamie knew he would NEVER, EVER be able to do himself. And lastly, like I said, I think the Highlanders are on the whole more demonstrative in general with people in that regard. There are at least a couple of instances of people kissing others on the mouth that they're not involved with, but are just based on strong feelings of the moment. I didna see the kiss as sexual, really--I saw it as an expression of depth of feeling. It really said something that Jamie was able to give Grey that gift, given everything that he had been through previously with Randall.

    • I don't necessarily think he mentioned Wee Ho/Geneva/John Grey b/c they were the only ones he had effed/kissed/whatever--but they were the ones that Claire had seen or heard about directly. I think Jamie probably did it several other times besides those people and Mary McNabb, quite honestly. (For example, I'm wondering if he did one of the prostitutes at the brothel in Edinburgh.) At one point, he does tell Claire that he's been with others when it got too hard to stand the loneliness--and she understood that.

    • The issue of "why doesn't Jamie tell her stuff"--yes it's frustrating. But remember their vows at the very beginning of their marriage--there's room for secrets, but not for lies. I was FURIOUS about the Wee Ho incident, but it was more because it was so DUMB--you dumbass Fraser, if you're not ready to tell Claire about being married to the Wee Ho, DON'T BRING HER TO FUCKING LALLYBROCH, YOU DUMBASS!!!! The Jamie Jr. thing was slightly different, IMO--again, he hadn't told anyone about it, and probably didn't intend to, since he never intended that it would be a part of his life in the future. Kind of dumb, yes, but not an unforgivable mistake, IMO.

  2. Claire has her secrets...there is a reason to "just keep reading"...Claire is not a wilting flower. I think you have to keep in perspective that neither one of them ever thought they would see each other again.The minute J & C are together they are always on the run and I think Jamie, as most men, can only handle what's in front of their noses. Not an excuse, but he was afraid she would be gone again and I don't think he realized how miserable he was until Claire came back. Laoghaire who?

  3. I am bothered that Jamie didn't tell Claire more about Geneva. I mean it got ironed out in the end but I would love for Claire to know what that was about!

    All I can say is that is typical for men to leave out the important details so I guess I forgive him due to innate genetic lapse in sensibilites!

  4. Ya know - here I am on Echo - and I STILL am bothered ("I'm BOTHERED!" yelled like Jimmy Fallon pretending to be Robert Pattinson) that he has never told her about Geneva (in more detail). And I think I'm more bothered by the fact that Claire has never asked or thought about it (that we've seen, that is).

  5. Ok, I know I'm posting late in the game (but I've been reading all your old posts because my husband is out of town, the baby is taking a nap, I'm bored and your posts are hilarious and right on the money!) Anyway... after all the books have been read I am annoyed also that things just don't seem to get said or communicated in these books sometimes! And, they are really, really important things that get omitted in the conversations!!

    While I'm reading Outlander again, I keep thinking about how, if anything else, Jamie and Claire promised each other honesty, and there were some definite omissions happening on Jamie's part fo' sho'. But maybe that falls under the "secrets are allowed" clause...? Also, I have to remember that Jamie confides in Claire that he has changed (OMG how he's changed!).

    It's just hard; I totally understand how you feel like its happening to you. He does have a lot of baggage when Claire returns to him. But she just needs to remember this Jamie is better than no Jamie.

  6. I just keep telling myself "hey man, they were apart for 20 years...20 years! and now they're together for what? like 2 months tops and are once again running from and towards [and when the hell are they going to just settle down? and would that then be the end of the fun? eh] their next adventures... besides, she's almost 50! I don't think I could remember every detail of the past 20 years of my life in a span of 2 months (or however long)...unless of course someone had written it down in a book! hah" so that helps me maintain some sense of sanity...that and remembering that I'm not reading my memoirs...thank gawd (except for the "kissing" parts, those I am making my memories!! sad ..hehe)

    oh and again, sorry these posts are like ancient, but I was introduced to the Outlander series I think this past August (can't remember..that being over 50 bit gets in the way) and have read 2+times and now look for anything Outlander/Scottish-ish (because if it's not Scottish, it's crrrap)

    1. I'm so glad you found the blog, Jane!! Welcome! No such thing as ancient; Outlander transcends all time. ;) And IF IT'S NOT SCOTTISH IT'S CRAPPPP! :)

  7. I think Claire is a chicken too because she does not ASK Jamie about what women he's been with. They are both chickens, but just because the they can bear the possibility of losing each other again. I think it makes them flawed and human.
    I love that John Grey is an honorable, kind gay man that Jamie can respect, unlike that evil BJR.

  8. I viewed the Outlander TV programs and got to the 3rd episode when I had to download Outlander to my Kindle, then the next, and the next, and so on till I finished all 8 of them, anxiously waiting for #9. Then I reread them again and again.
    Jamie spent 7 years living in a cave, a dark damp bug or rodent living cave, all alone. Then he goes to jail for some odd years, put in chains for most of his time enduring very long hours of work plus very little food or warmth. For God sakes he needs some nurturing and love. He is not himself, he is not the Laird in person or soul, he feels displaced without a place to be. Claire is not to be seen on the horizon now or ever, what is a man to do? Along comes Leghair, a member of the McKenzie clan, a kinsman so to speak. They have history a connection from before. Why Claire didn't tell him about Leghair is a mystery to me. But, now Jamie sees that this could be OK for him, Jenny at least thinks it's OK and that means it's OK. When Claire does return he does hesitate, not at the first inquiry, but the next time Claire says that she can leave as he must have other life plans now. In his mind he was only married to Claire, because as he said, it is forever. I believe he was frightened to tell Claire that he was remarried as she might leave and he couldn't survive that again. Jamie has flaws but he is an honorable man, his omission of facts was to him avoidance from the facts. This man has 2 children that he has not participated in their lives. He has heartache up his gazoooo. I'm giving him some slack.

  9. Hi everyone, i totally agree with Peggy, in that we make choices that are hard and we have to deal with the consequences, we make mistakes that defines us and build us. Also that how we know our friends who accept us. That makes me think now of Frank when he accepts Clair when she returned.

  10. Late to the trial but here's a summation by lawyer for the defense (of Jamie).

    Jamie never lied to Claire unless people invoke "lying by omission" which pardon me isn't that the same as "secrets" that Jamie and Claire allowed each other? And it was a temporary omission as Jamie tried desperately to get legal advice about untangling himself from Laoghaire before confessing to Claire. Haven't all of us avoided giving bad news baldly, hoping to be able to deliver good news at the same time or at least pick the best moment to deliver the bad stuff? Delay of the inevitable is not lying.

    And how does Claire get to play pure victim here? Everyone's angry at Jamie for not immediately telling her every sordid detail of the life mostly forced on him. But there's Claire, banging on about what a good father Frank was to the daughter Jamie could not raise. She let him assume the good father had also been a good husband, arousing jealousy. It's not like Claire told him off the bat that she had been miserable for all the 20 years did she? And if we're comparing misery, what's working at a career you love with every luxury and the joy of raising your daughter compared to Culloden carnage, losing friends, family members and one's country, catatonic cave dwelling, eating rats and being flogged AGAIN shackled at Ardsmuir prison plus years of indentured servitude to your English enemy?

    Lastly, Claire had months to prepare herself for the reunion, imagine every eventuality. Jamie was gobsmacked, still operating under shock in many ways, not thinking clearly because his mind was trying to come to grips with Claire's return and how his life could accommodate her while his heart was overwhelmed with all the old feelings PLUS disbelief, anxiety, fear of losing her again.

    A loving wife should have cut him some slack recognizing that their two experiences while apart were very different in hardship. And book Claire did so except on Laoghaire until she thought about Jamie's burdens as she was slowly and reluctantly heading back to the stones. TV Claire was a cold narcissist at this point in the story for far too long and acted as though her doctoring was more important to her than love and worry for Jamie. They wrote her as foolish and illogical, hardly the traits of a first class surgeon. And with all her mad skills and supposed maturity, she had less guts than 27 year old Claire, easily discouraged by a snippy sister-in-law, a brothel and illegitimate second wife whom she'd slapped silly on her first go round.

    I rest my case for the defense of James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser.

    1. JAMMF = NOT GUILTY! I'm finding this blog WAAAAYYY too late, but this is a gem. And you hit the proverbial nail on the head with this post, especially regarding TV Claire. I was pissed at her at the end of First Wife with her Idon'tknowifthiswasagoodidea BS - verra astute on your part teasing out the issues. Brilliant

  11. Hear! Hear! I agree with everything you wrote Laine!

  12. I see both sides. Through Claire's eyes I am hurt and angry but I think you have to look at the arguments Peggy, Laine and Vered bring up in Jamie's defense.

    Something else, in the years since Claire left, Jamie has lost the better part of himself. I mentioned some where else that losing Claire, children, friends, the clans, freedom, culture, identity as a warrior, wearing kilts, speaking his native tounge...enen his name. He lost everything and I described it like going from a whiney brass object to a tarnished one.

    The best parts of him were gone hidden, destroyed. And I think it took some time for Jamie's arch to swing back to polished Brass again. He spent 20 years keeping secrets, not exposing himself to others to protect himself and others. It became a part of who he was. Opening up again so someone who had the power to not just leave him but go to a place he couldn't follow must have been terrifying. Having gone through years of grief, how does one survive it a second time?

    I also think Jamie's self worth and self esteem was suffering at this point he worried into later books that he is enough for Claire....this even when they have gotten to know Each other again and cemented their relationship. So, this early in the game must have been very confusing for him. He constantly worried and felt so inadequate that he could not offer Claire a comfortable life, one he felt Frank provided her and he could not. A middle aged ma with no home no property, no money,no profession-other than outlaw, smuggler, sedicianist, bigamist, servant, prisoner and convicted/pardoned criminal.

    His best years were when he was young. The one shining star in his life is Claire and keeping her is like holding sand in your hand. That kind of fear along with feelings of inadequacy and don't forget twenty years of hiding things....who can wonder?

    Should he have told her? I give him some slack? that embrace....not so sure about it.