Saturday, May 29, 2010

Outlander Reread: The Rest of the Story

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have finished An Echo in the Bone. 

OK so here I am again... not liking Frank. I didna like him much the first time around... and I like him even less now. He is ALWAYS ditching Claire! It's their 2nd honeymoon and he leaves Claire to go and chit chat with historians about god knows what. Jack Randall? Um EW. And here's something else. How about how Claire is all "oh I'm going to brush my hair and use my L'Heure Bleu and Frank dahhhhhling is going to come back and want to make love to me and isn't it so divoon?" BLECH. Dude you have JAMIE FRIGGIN FRASER'S GHOST wandering around outside - WATCHING you ("WATCH damn you!") - and you dinna even KNOW IT. That makes me throw up in my mouth a little, I'm so sad for her. Frank? FRANK? Oh Frank pleaseeee come back from your two glasses of sherry with boring Mr. Bainbridge and give me some sugar. Meh. I'd be quickly brushing my hair - and jumping into bed with NO candles lit so I could feign sleep. I'd be snoring my ASS off when Frank got back so he'd just go to bed and shut the hell UP about the water missing from the ewer. "Um, Frank dear... maybe if you'd get off your 1940s ass and DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN TALK ABOUT HISTORY, there'd be some water left since YOU were the one who used it all up in the FIRST place. Perhaps I should have your SLIPPERS WAITING BY THE DOOR when you get home, too???"

OK so I didn't cry when Jamie showed up outside, terribly upset about something. This is surprising since I usually cry about anything DG writes that involves the 20th century and Jamie being worm food. One thing I DID notice (now that this is the third time I've read that part) is this:  Frank knew Jamie was in love with Claire! He could feel it when he saw his ghost. That's why he asked if Claire tended to any Scots in the field hospital. He could tell just from Jamie's GHOST that he loved her. How is THAT for eternal love and longing??? That really grabbed me and wouldna let go, lasses. I just have to know what happens to him at the last. And Claire. And yet - I dinna want those answers to be in Book 8. I want this series to go on and on and never end. I don't want to know Jamie was a ghost, pining away for Claire and wanting her to go back through the stones. And why is Jamie ALONE as a ghost?? Why is Claire not WITH him?? That's what *I* want to know, damnit. It hurts me in my bones. It makes me verra sad. Why is his ghost alone? Riddle me that.

Questions to ponder:

Frank wanted to ask Jamie where he got his beautiful running stag brooch. Did Jamie give that brooch to Claire at one point? Or Bree? I remember it being mentioned.. I just dinna remember in what context. '

- Why are DG's Scots "terrible cowards about injections?" My hub is a (partial) Scot and he isn't a coward about anything. I swear he would have survived the Titanic. Even if he were one of those poor souls depicted in the film who were bouncing off the deck into the water at the end.

- Is Frank's telling Claire it would make no difference if she had been unfaithful...somehow related to the fact that she was unfaithful to Jamie?

- WAS Claire even unfaithful to Jamie?  Survey says "NO". Stupid in his absence... yes. But unfaithful? Not in my mind.

" 'The quality of mercy is not strained,' " I quoted. " 'It droppeth as the gentle dew from heaven...' ". 

Well isn't THAT Outlander quote interesting, now that we know what Claire did with Lord John. Hmmm.....

PS - Well now we know why Frank eventually believed Claire about Jamie and took him seriously. He saw his GHOST. Once she showed up pregnant and told him the story about Jamie...and he did some snooping with his boring historian friends (not that all historians are boring; just Frank) he must have pieced together the story with the ghost and realized she was telling the truth. Might I say I am DYING for more Frank backstory from the 40s/50s/60s when Claire and Frank were raising Bree. WHAT  did Frank do to research Jamie?? You KNOW he did. HOW did Frank know Bree would be dangerous and in danger all the time??? I hope Book 8 is chuck full of this Jamie-research goodness. Maybe I'll like Frank a little better once I know "the rest of the story".


  1. I have always wondered the same about Jamies ghost. Why is he alone? And why did he look upset? What made him upset? Jamie had a "vision" in one of the books, I dinna remember which one, of watching Claire, but she was not brushing her hair, I thin she was sitting at some light, writing, so it was at a different time.

    To ease your mind about the whole thing, though, Carol, DG has said that the series WILL have a happy ending. To me that would be them dying in each others arms. Don't get me wrong, I don't want the series to end either, but for them to be together when and if they die, that would be the best ending under those circumstances.
    Oh, just remembered...The brooch. Didn't Jamie give that to Ian when he went with the natives? I'm pretty sure he did. I know he gave him a piece of his tartan, but whether I am mixing those two things together or he actually gave him both, I don't know.
    If the brooch made it back to Jamie somehow, I don't remember.

    OH, and I completely agree. Second time I read Outlander I absolutely hated Claire getting herself all ready for Frank with the L'heure Bleu and other nonsense. I am so with you on that, Carol. I was like, "run for the stones, woman, Jamie is waiting for you!"

  2. I think that Frank was telling Claire that it would make no difference if she had been unfaithful during the war because HE had been unfaithful to her! He wanted to make it okay to ease his guilt (that's what I think anyway). Because once Claire came back through the stones and was seen as "unfaithful" -in Franks eyes perhaps, didn't Frank freak the eff out?

    Frank was continually unfaithful to Claire throughout the rest of their "marriage" once she returned through the stones. He is a scum bucket in my book. I hate when people cheat on one another. It even totally icked me out when Jaime was with those other women whilst Claire was away.

  3. I have to say that while Frank is not really my cuppa tea, I don't hate him--I do think he's made some strange choices and he's certainly not the one that Claire was meant to be with, but when you think about it, he certainly drew the short straw in terms of a lot of the stuff that went down in his life.

    And just playing devil's advocate here...remember that Claire herself admits to not being so squeaky clean... "I had kissed my fair share of men, especially during the war years...." ????? Wassup with that, Claire? Are we dancing around some cheating of our own here?

    Re: the ghost--as you will see in the new videos (which I am still editing), we have a verra interesting theory about that that I am more and more obsessed with every day!!!! (P.S. Carol read the paragraph starting on the last line of p. 239 of Drums of Autumn. Does it make you squeeee a little bit? It did me.)

  4. OK here's the thing, lassies. Yes Frank was unfaithful to Claire... but I'm just once again going deeper and looking at the fact that Frank told Claire it wouldn't matter if she had been unfaithful because he loved her so much. And all I can think is "Hmmmm.. wonder if Jamie will feel that way?!"

    And hasn't Diana said Frank didn't necessarily cheat? How that is possible I've no idea since it certainly seemed like he was a BIG FAT CHEATER LOL.

    Jamie and other women... hmmmm. I never really looked at it like that since he never thought Claire would/could come back and even thought maybe she was dead. So in that way, there's almost a slight (and I do mean "slight") similarity between McNabb and Lord John. They were both "comfort do's". And I'm one of the only ones in my group here in NJ who was OK with Jamie marrying the no-longer-wee ho aka Laoghaire. He thought Claire was either dead or gone forever.

    Oh man could I not go on and on about this? Anything involving Jamie, Claire, possible cheating and eternity can make me yap for days...

  5. Apparently the comment section rejected my first attempt. I'm going to try again!

    First: I just read the part in Fiery Cross where Roger tells Jamie and Brianna about Frank's letter. Frank believed Claire because after she came back through the stones, he researched Jamie and found out that Jamie had survived Culloden. He didn't tell Claire (the resulting jerkiness is debatable), but to try to ease his conscience, he put a gravestone in St. Kilda's (which Claire later found and freaked out about).

    Second: the quote about mercy is from Merchant of Venice and is said to a character who needs to forgive a grievous wrong done to him, so very appropriate, indeed.

    Warning: possible Lost spoiler

    Third: As for why Jamie's ghost is without Claire's ghost, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that in that present (1945) Claire is still alive. However, since I have Lost on the brain, maybe DG's version of purgatory is similar to the Lost version of purgatory. How great would THAT be?!

  6. OMG Jo - WAIT til you see the videos we did. We totally touch on that LOST comparison (gingerly since Tracey hasn't seen it yet!)

    I knew Frank believed Claire eventually...and that's why he planted the gravestone. (Dick move; he should have just TOLD HER and been a MAN about it.) But I've always been verra interested in the catalyst there, ya know? He had a ton of info... but *something* made him eventually decide to believe it all. When I reread the part about Jamie's ghost in Outlander, I realized Frank could feel Jamie's love for Claire... and thought "Hmmm... I wonder if that chance meeting stuck with him so when he found out about Jamie not dying in Culloden - and other factual stuff - maybe that encounter is what drove him over the edge to actually believe."

  7. I don't hate Frank. Or didn't until he tried to take Bree to England and stick her in a boarding school for her senior year of high school the night he died. (I wonder how many of his lovers came to his funeral.) Frank loved Bree and wanted to love Claire. I think Claire always kept him at arms length after she came back to the future. When someone does that you feel it.

    I think Frank did a great amount of research and if Claire and Bree had bothered to read his books and look in those 46 boxes the Rev. had they might have learned something. (If Roger was such a great historian why didn't he get excited about all that stuff the Rev.had?)

    Frank made sure Bree had the skills she needed to go to the 1700s - shooting etc. He did that because he KNEW Bree had gone back because he found her during his research. And I bet all of his research is right there if anyone looked. I don't blame Frank for keeping it a secret.

    Yes, Frank was a cad but I don't hate him. I think Frank had an interesting life. I would love a book about Frank's life while he looked for Claire and while living with Claire. It would be good if it was from his POV. OOh a book with chapters that could be read between the appropriate chapters in first three books would be fun.

  8. I don't like Frank, either.
    But I still respect him, because he was able to raise Bree, knowing that she wasn't his.
    That much, he did right.

    And I still enjoy reading about Claire getting ready for him, because that shows me how faithful she really was. (is?)

    Like, she gave her entire heart to Frank. And then, when she finally admitted that she loved Jamie, she gave it to him. She's such an EXTREME person.

    And I think DG was introducing us to a bit of that personality, by showing us how devoted she was to Frank (despite his scumminess).

    1. Bree was Frank's only chance to raise a child who would believe he was her father. Back in the 1940s, most adopted kids were not told about their birth parents. Frank wanted kids, he and Claire had tried to start a family but had not succeeded. The second honeymoon was basically a baby making expedition though Frank seemed more interested in researching his ancestor Black Jack. In the interim of Claire's disappearance Frank had himself checked out medically and found out he was sterile. That meant no kids for him until...Bree came along. So being there for Bree was not all altruistic on Frank's part but a wonderful gift to himself concurrently.

      Was Frank a decent enough person to feel some gratitude to Jamie for providing him with a daughter? As Jamie was man enough to send Claire and his child-to-be away for safe keeping by Frank?

  9. I like the Lost idea, too.
    Or maybe some how Jamie willed himself to take a look at 1940s Claire to ease his mind, that it was okay that he took her from Frank because things weren't so great between Claire and Frank to begin with.

    Or maybe it was when he was near death after Culloden, only a partial ghost sort of, then ended up living.

    Also didn't at some point Jamie tell Claire he felt he willed her to come? I thought he was refering to to first time through the stones. Like he willed his soul mate to him through time.

  10. I want the Jamie and Claire saga to go on and on, too. As for Frank, he gives me the creeps because he reminds me of my ex. Asking every day if I was pregnant yet even while he was looking for other women. Ick, indeed. At least Frank was a good dad to Bree.
    Off topic: a sign of my obsession was when I heard Indians and Pirates, I thought of J&C, not major league baseball.

  11. Oh, God, jamie's ghost! I am so happy to read comments from people reminding me that DG said the series will end happily (which yes, to me, is Claire and Jamie, in each others' arms, at the end of a looooong life). I DO feel bad for frank, though! I remember when Claire notes that Frank never did figure out that you cannot own someone's soul without losing your own, unlike this astonishing young Scot she was falling in love with.
    And, I feel as if the stag brooch was on my mind the whole series.... that ghost an echo of the separation Claire and Jamie end up obviously going through! Didn't Jenny give Jamie the brooch? Eek, must re-read!!! Re-reading up a storrrrrmmmm...

  12. Hi All - LOVE the comments. This post made everyone really think - and for that I'm grateful.

    Here's my deal. I'm not sure if it's Frank I don't like... or the idea of men from past generations (and even some in the present - GAK!) who expect(ed) women to be subservient. True, Frank was better than some in that he bantered with Claire.. and probably found her wit and stubbornness "charming". But he left her alone umpteen times on their honeymoon. That's disgusting. He didn't respect Claire. He wanted her to be the good little wifey and live her life in his shadow. Jamie or no Jamie, that deck of cards was coming down eventually because - as we all know - Claire is a strong woman and was not going to put up with the likes of that for long. Isn't it interesting that Jamie - a man from two centuries in the PAST! - respected Claire and let her be what she wanted to be.

    I also have to say I've always found a bit of ego involved with Frank's raising Bree. Let's face it - she was dropped in his lap. Yes he tried to do right by Claire by staying with her - for which I give him a lot of credit. But doesn't that kindof fall right into his line of thinking? You can't take care of yourself and a child - you're just a meager little woman! And yes I know, I know... it was the 40s when single mothers were not the norm. But guess what? MY grandmother was a single mother in the 40s because she was a widow... and she and my mother made out OK. The one thing they had that Claire did not, however, was relatives who helped out. So yes - in that way - Claire needed Frank. BUT - as I mentioned - Bree was sortof dropped in his lap when Frank decided to stay with a pregnant Claire. Sure - after she was born, he couldna help but love her. I mean - come on - she was the SPAWN OF JAMIE FRASER for god's sake. Who could resist that?? ;)

    My thoughts? If Frank truly loved Bree - unconditionally and unselfishly - he would have told Claire about Jamie and not deceivingly planted some dumb, fake headstone that she *might* find some day. But he kept her for himself, knowing she had a father who so UNselfishly sent her mother back through the stones so she could have a life. A man she might have been able to meet if she'd only known about him. I find that kind of deceit deplorable on Frank's part.. and it's just another reason I could never warm up to him. (Never say never - who knows what kind of Frank backstory may or may not lie ahead in Book 8!)

  13. About Jamie's ghost. I had never thought of the Mrs. Baird and LAIRD having some meaning. But, that is intriguing. Perhaps Jamie was able to possess Mrs. Baird's body. Maybe that is why she kept vacuuming outside of Claire and Frank's bedroom door. Maybe Jamie's ghost knew that Frank was with her...on their honeymoon...and wanted to stop them from "consorting". So, he entered Mrs. Baird's body. Maybe that is how he "willed" Claire back to the stones...back to him, also...through Mrs. Baird. Oh, and maybe, just maybe, Black Jack Randall didn't REALLY die, but somehow went through the stones...and Frank is BJR! No, that can't be. That is just one crazy crazy thought that jumped into my head right now.

    What do you think?

  14. Why are DG's Scots "terrible cowards about injections?"

    Loved the tie-in/foreshadowing in Voyager when Clair needs the needle and Jamie is unable to give her the injection and she has to do it herself.

    Another tangent, can it be called foreshadowing when the future foreshadows the past?

  15. Frank may have not told Claire about Jamie being alive after the battle of Calloden, because he may have been trying to protect Claire, or possibly change the future himself. Another thought is that he didn't want Claire to make her own choice: between them (him and Bree) and Jamie. I think Frank loved Claire in his own way. I also feel Frank knew a lot about the past, including what happened to he died...about Claire and Bree going through the stones....Why else would Fank teach Bree to shoot and ride horses, when he really was not active in these sports?

  16. I've always felt sorry for Frank. I think Claire was the love of his life, and his trust in her was broken when she came back and was obviously still in love with another man (and pregnant with that man's child). Maybe some men, not wishing for scandal, would have taken Claire back and claimed the child as their own; but most men would not have given a father's love to that child, which Frank did, especially since Brianna resembled her biological father so much. It was wrong of Frank to plan to take Brianna away from Claire; but I think Frank was burned out on constantly being second place in his wife's heart, and wanted a life with another woman who would love him whole-heartedly, and he (selfishly, I'll admit) wanted Brianna as well. It could be that he would have seen how much his taking Brianna from her mother would hurt her, and he might have let her stay with her mother - but we'll never know.

  17. I LOVE the first book! Seriously...I read it cover to cover in 2 days. That is the honest to God truth! I could not put it down!

    And I can't like the others.

    Claire goes back to her time, raises her child with dull, dull Frank, and grows older without Jamie...
    Meanwhile, he is making babies out of wedlock, and marrying the little b!tch that betrayed his "true love". Claire is out of sight, out of mind...
    Look ya'll, in the real world, life goes on...marriages bust up, spouses' abandon one another, and I get that.
    I read books to ESCAPE the depressing reality of, well, REALITY.
    When Jamie replaces Claire, he becomes common and average. I don't really want that feature in my dashing dream man, yanno?
    Anyway, that's my 2 cents. I KNOW my opinion is in the minority, and DG has some devoted, committed, and sometimes RABID fans, and that's cool...
    I'll just reread the first book 7 times instead.

    1. You GO, Anon. I dinna agree as I read all the books and blogged about them (although I did like some more than others) but I love that you have a different opinion and aren't afraid to voice it! :)

  18. I am reading Voyager and loved it until Aire went back. Then too much busy busy plot. More important: why isn't there a scene where Claire tells Jamie that Frank is dead? Why doesn't he ask? It felt like a big emotional missing piece. Other views???

  19. I am new to this world of OutIander. I have a question that has been reallllllllly bothering me. In the first book Jamie's ghost appears and gazes up at Claire. Does this mean she has already been in his world before and he wants her to return. Yet, we are led to believe this is the first time Claire travels via the stones and falls in love with him. Or, has Claire been in his world before and does not remember. Please help............l

    1. Those are great questions and unfortunately, we do not know. Diana Gabaldon has said she will answer this by the end of the series...but for now, we are left wondering and waiting for the answer!!! :)

    2. Thank you for easing my least I am not the only one out there wondering (sigh).

  20. OMG I have been rereading the whole series and all the novellas...the third time now and I have a theory

    (Spoiler alert)

    So in the little novella where we learn about what happens with Roger's father...Good ol' Frank goes and searches him out and had him fly this special mission over the rocks where he disappears into the past.

    My theory is that frank KNOWS something is up with those stones. claire tells us her history, he miraculously shows up in Africa and finds Claire and marries her (then is interrupted by war) but the first chance he can...he takes her to the stones! Okay, he didn't lead her directly there but dude knew something was up. Even brings her there at the right time of year and all.

    I think he knew...and if he didn't know, he suspected. And he sent her out there. I don't think he loved her (everyone forgets his cheating on her for the rest of their marriage) and (in my eyes) the only redeeming quality he has is that he teaches Brianna how to shoot/hunt/etc to help her survive should she to go back.

    1. Oooh Hethr...that's a good one! Tracey and I have come up with some outlandish theories over the years...but I don't think we've ever considered that angle! My dream would be for Frank to show up in the 18th century and be all "Um, yeah, remember that time I took that trip to Milwaukee for work for 2 weeks? Well, actually I was trying out time travel. Here I am!" LOL

  21. Ok, so here’s my two cents..... frank is BJR’s great great .... grand nephew, genetically he’s a bridge for a reincarnation of BJR. Isn’t the point of rotting in hell waiting for the chance to come back and redeem yourself? I’m thinking his redemption comes from being the guy to deliver Claire to jammf via the stones and then to make it up to Jamie by taking care to raise the bairn that is Jamie’s key to immortality. AND since frank is sterile it his last chance to get it right since the will be no more genetic bridge for frank/BJR to come back on. BJR is always touching Jamie over his heart. So on some level the sick twisted (not enough words to describe this dude) ratscallion does love jammf. And really who wouldn’t I mean he is the sexiest and fiercest man virgin of them all.

    Ok so some of my other theories are that Claire is jammf’s great great ... grand something maybe from lady dunsaney? That would explain why they needed to be apart, Jamie wouldna had it on with the lass if not to protect his family and in the absence of Claire. I mean everyone’s family tree has been gone over, Bree and roger are related in much the same way (Roger is Jamie’s great great ... grand nephew). And J&C keep having it on about what it is between them that they can’t put their finger on, a genetic familiarity perchance? So maybe back in Claire’s family tree there is a 9th Earle of ellesmere who is the bastard son of our hero jammf?? And how does it all come back to the silkie Brian Fraser and his hot red headed wife Ellen?

  22. I have always seen Frank as one of those types of men who like young, albeit smart, naive girls. They are much younger than he and look up to him in an almost "worship" way. (Like my made up word I invented?) Anyway, after the war, Claire was not the wide eyed girl he knew but had matured from teen to woman with a much more mature outlook in life. (It happens to us all.) That "thing" that was missing was Claire not needing Frank in the same way she had before. Frank felt it and struggled to find a way back to the old Claire. He probably did not feel he was enough for Claire anymore. This is something he struggled with the rest of his life.