Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Another Great Outlander Chat!

Spoiler Alert: Dinna read unless you've read VOYAGER. 

Thanks to everyone who came to the chat last night. Once again - what a great discussion!  I love hearing everyone else's point of view... and also being educated about what Diana is saying on the Compuserve forum!

Here's my question for the day:  Do YOU think Frank cheated? Apparently Diana says he didna necessarily cheat and that it's just implied? Can anyone confirm or deny?

What do y'all think?? (I vote "HELL TO THE YES". But that's just me!)

OH and PS - My friend Mercedes is reading the series and is well into Voyager right now. I am going to arrange a chat for her (where we only discuss up to parts of Voyager) because she is verra committed to the series and needs some discussion! I'll keep you posted!


  1. DG has said we are seeing Frank from Claire's POV and that may not be accurate. So, believing that DG is not just stirring the pot but is trying to give us a hint of the true facts, I tried to come up with a reason for Frank not denying Claire's accusations in their last argument.

    If he didn't cheat, then what did he accomplish by telling Claire he thought he had been discreet when she told him she had known for years, thereby leading her (and the readers) to believe her accusations are true? Frank told Claire if she really cared she would have confronted him years ago and it was obvious he was hurt that she didn't. Letting her believe he cheated was his way of getting back at her, especially since he seemed to believe the rumors about her and Joe Abernathy.

    If DG is nudging us in the right direction, it occurred to me Frank may have flirted many times over the years, leading some of the younger and more impressionable young women to believe they had a future with him. He may have gone beyond flirting, but no sex. That brings up the question of what someone considers as cheating. Does it have to be sex or can it be flirting or somewhere in between?

    Add to that someone pouring out their heart to someone of the opposite sex about how unhappy they are in their marriage. Playing on someone's sympathies and receiving reassurances that he is worthy of love.

    I mean, picture it. You are a young student or woman acquaintance/friend. A very good looking man, your professor or your friend, that you may have a crush on anyway, decides to confide in you that he is unhappy in his marriage because he feels unloved, yet loves his wife and has sacrificed for her. He probably enjoyed the attention he got from the women, they made him feel he was wanted. I believe all of the above is being unfaithful and wouldn't like it, but others may not agree.

    Right now, I tend to believe he was unfaithful, in some way. He had to have been doing something to have these women call Claire over the years. What, is the question.

  2. I vote yes, too! I think it was in Dragonfly, but my copy was loaned out and I never saw it again. (sniff) I think I remember Claire being asked more than once by Frank's girlfriends to release him. And Bree found the suspicious phone number in his wallet.

  3. I agree he was not completely faithful.

  4. Ah, yes, the "Endless Frank Debate".... <g>

    If you have some extra time, browse through the "What do you think about Frank?" thread on Compuserve. It's over 1000 posts, but the vast majority of the discussion took place before ECHO came out. Which means it's totally safe even for those of you like Carol who haven't finished the series.

    Also, there's a lengthy post from Diana from 2005 attached as a text file to message 968 of the above thread (here). I don't know if it will change your mind about Frank, but it might give you some new things to think about.

    Hope this helps!


  5. I've never thought that Frank was 100 percent wrong or that Claire was 100 percent right--they both fall into gray areas, just like life, which is part of the brilliance of DG's characters. :-)

    Random FWIW thoughts....
    • I believe Frank had a few on the side during the "after" portion of his and Claire's marriage.
    • I believe they both had "incidences" during the point when they were separated by WWII (Claire says as much in Outlander, at least regarding her own wandering lips during the war).
    • I think that living with Claire in the "after" period was no picnic.
    • I think Frank had started to build a new life in the years when Claire was gone, and to return to life with her, despite the circumstances of her disappearance and return, is something that a lesser man might not have chosen to do.

  6. Ooooh Karen - I am like a kid in a CANDY STORE on that forum! But I am still a little nervous to look at it (I know, I know, I'm silly, I know). I love the person who says Frank was a "butt head". LOL!!! Thanks SO MUCH for these links. I'll be looking around quite a bit. I can't WAIT to chat with you when I'm finished Echo! I can't even imagine what it will be like to peruse all these sites with no fear!!!

  7. PS - To all - I sometimes feel like "eff Frank - he didn't have to take Claire in when she came back" But then I remember it was the 40s and he was being such a stand up guy by taking her back. (That, and he loved her and was probably secretly ecstatic to have her back again). I suppose Frank deserves a little more credit for being honorable; not just Jamie?

  8. Karen you are SO my favorite person today. This Compuserve forum is spectacular! I am ONLY looking at the link you have provided - and it's absolutely fascinating to watch people ask Diana questions - and then in turn to watch her answer them. At length, no less!

    My only other blog (for now ) is a Twilight blog. And (not that I judge or blame her) Stephenie Meyer has a one way line of communication with her fans. She blogs (well actually her brother, Seth, does) and we read the blog. That's it. She disappeared from the internet soon after I started my blog... because she says she can't write with all these voices in her ears. I get that - and I respect it. Totally. (And if it means she's writing Cullen back-stories, or Edward deliciousness - I'm all over her silence.) But what I REALLY respect is Diana Gabaldon being so unbelievably in touch with her fans. It's absolutely amazing to witness.

  9. Carol - I'm so glad you enjoyed that! I can't wait till you finish ECHO (have you started yet??) so you can come join in the discussions on Compuserve. I think the people there would really enjoy your comments. :-)


  10. Sometimes I feel like there are several books: the first set is the books themselves; the second is the massive backstory and connecting info in the Lord John series, the story of Roger's parents DG has written, and the awesome Outlandish companion. And the third is the incredible amount of info on the internet that Karen pointed out. It's AMAZING how much stuff there is out there, and beyond that, it's so special that DG is so accessible and interactive with her readers online. It gives me the sense that the books are a living piece of work, instead of written 18 years ago (in Outlander's case! I can't believe it's that old!).

    So, about Frank, I always felt that Frank's fatal flaw was simply that he wasn't Claire's soulmate the way Jamie was. I DO feel that he had dalliances at least - maybe he wasn't the serial cheater Claire imagined, but I don't think he saved himself for her. I guess I can imagine he might have hinted at some things to try to get a rise out of his wife - after all, it would be a sign she cared.
    Frank behaved nothing but honorably toward Claire in taking her in, considering the times. I think about the life he would have established in her absence, when she first disappeared, and that her return - traumatized, pregnant, maybe mad (for all he knew!) - was as wrenching and destructive as when she first disappeared. And then to support her over the years - as she headed to med school! And no matter what, he was a magnificent dad. I didn't even begrudge Frank his affairs if he had them. I felt sorry for him. I only ever "hated" him a little when he threatened to take Bree away from Claire. What was that about? I think he was so drained and hurt he just lashed out. It couldna have been easy sharing a bed with Jamie's ghost :-( even if he didn't know they had already met on a rainy night in the Scottish highlands!

  11. Oh Karen. I canna WAIT to dive into Compuserve - but I fear I'll be way too well-behaved if I comment. Here I can say anything (it's my blog and I'll be obnoxious if I want to??) but there I will be like Cindy Brady - Baton Rouge, Cindy! Baton Rouge! You know this one!! ; )

    Sirena - I think I always thought of Frank as a control freak... and it bothered me. And the fact that he wanted Claire to be (remain?) the "Little Woman"... but I suppose that was the times and I really canna blame him. I dunno - he's such a complex character - more for what we DON'T know about him. I've gone through periods of "Ugh I can't STAND that guy" and periods of "pooooor Frank!"