Saturday, June 18, 2011

Questions for (85 Year Old) Aunt Helen - Outlander Lover!

Here are previous commentary from the famous 85 year old Outlander lover, "Aunt Helen".   Have a look at these and think of some questions you'd like her to answer...and post your comments by 3PM Eastern Standard time!

1. I would have called you earlier in the week but was too busy reading the book to take the time.
2. I was good how she (DG) made it so Frank is not the descendant of BJR.
3.I am so glad they cut Sandringham's head off. He shouldn't have been sneaking around trying to hurt Claire.
4. The part that made me really sad was when Furgus wanted Jamie to kill him for not protecting Claire from the attack.
5.I have been letting my housework go all week cuz I don't have time to do it.
6. I like the way the story changes from Claire telling us the story to it being told in 3rd person. (I do too)
7. I went ahead and started Voyager cuz I couldn't wait until after I called you.
8. I was sorry Jamie had to kill Dugal, but Dugal was a fanatic by then and couldn't be reasoned with.
9. (I asked her what she thought of Roger.) She said she REALLY likes Roger - but not quite as much as Jamie. quote "I'm a big fan of Jamie Fraser."
10. She (DG) must really plan ahead and have detailed outlines to keep everything straight and weave the story lines like she does.

11. I really liked the nun at the hospital, but I loved her dog. (Aunt Helen has always loved her dogs)
12.It is funny who we make into heros, Bonnie Prince Charlie was a disaster yet he is made out to be a hero. (Then she went on about Hitler and a woman she knew who had admired him)
13. Can you imagine the smell! I read about King Louie and remember he only took a bath once a year. If the weather was bad he would skip that year, (she was feeling sorry for Clair having to boink him) No wonder they had to invent so may perfumes in France.
14. Then Aunt Helen talked about a trip we took to Scotland and said she was so disappointed that we didn't see any men running around in kilts cuz she would have liked that.
15. She remembered a large painting we saw in one of castles we visited of a large man in a kilt. She said she thinks Jamie probably looked like that.
16. "You know, those men don't wear anything under their kilts." OMG

Aunt Helen called with her report on Voyager.

1. (first thing out of her mouth) I have misplaced Furgus’ wife? I haven’t been able to figure out where she is. (I assured her that she would find out)
2. I started this book and wondered where was the story was going if Claire didn’t go back. I wanted that Jamie back in the book.
3. Poor Jamie, being in prison was worse than anything. (Then she went on about the bad conditions in prisons from that era, she knows a lot about history)
4. Then she talked about what happened after Culloden – what the British did to the people and about a mini ice age that hurt the crops.
5. It is hard to know how to judge Frank; sometimes I think they (he and Claire) had a decent married life.
6. Why didn’t Claire take more back with her? I would have made a coat with pockets all inside it and filled them up. I would have taken more pictures of things back too.
7. I thought it would take forever for Claire to find Jamie after she went back but no; he was just standing right there in the shop.
8. I question the time-line and the ages of Leghair. It doesn’t seem like she is the right age in this book.
9. I was surprised Jenny fixed Jamie up with Leghair. If I had been Clair I would have told Jamie about Leghair.

10. Campbell was a real slime ball. He sounded like Jack the Ripper.
11. I was surprised John was gay.
12. ( At the governor’s ball) I really wanted to see Jamie all dressed up in his high heels. I liked that picture in my mind. No wonder all the women have a thing for him (pause) and the men too.
13. Geillis really turned out to be a really bad person; she is like a black widow spider.
14. It is a good thing Jamie let Ian go with that prostitute because it saved him from whatever rights Geillis was going to put him through.
15. Geillis must have been really crazy with syphilis. (Then she told me about when she was in college taking a psyc class. She went on a field trip to a VD ward and they let the college students roam around with the patients. And that some of the other patients were in for epilepsy or hyperactivity.)
16. She (DG) is really getting rid of the villains in this story; she must need room for some new ones.
17. She (DG) is a good story teller.
18. When Jamie locked the British Solders in the hold of the ship, what happened to them? I don’t remember them getting out.
19. (Laughing) After the hurricane, and all the other things they went thru they happen to wash up next to a nice house with people in it.

October 15, 2010 8:14 PM

My Aunt Helen called with a report on her reading of Drums of Autumn. 
Here are some of her comments.

1. I want Ulysses to stand around and put things in my hand. (Aunt Helen is almost as blind as Jocasta.)
2. I have noticed that Jamie does something first then thinks about it later.
3. I am glad Ian didn’t shoot Roger – I can just see Roger’s name with a line through it.
4. I got to the part where they gave Roger to the Indians and I just about fell off my chair – I just couldn’t go to bed.
5. I wonder if there really is a henge in South Carolina.
6. How could somebody (Roger) raised in the city go around barefooted? First he lost his shoes then he had them – maybe the Indians gave them back to him.
7. They (Jamie and Claire) always have misunderstandings. Claire’s main way to solve problems is to have sex.
8. I am wearing clothes that don’t have to be ironed because I don’t have time to iron them.
9. It was cute when Ian got dressed up with bear grease and asked Bree to marry him.
10. Jocasta sure had a hard time getting an heir.

11. I wondered about Jocasta and Ulysses, in real life you just wouldn’t be so familiar.
12. DG really has trouble with ages and dates or maybe I can’t keep up.
13. How will Roger and Bree get back together after all they said to each other?
14. Did I miss something? What happened to Willie and Jamie? One minute they were on a trip to see the Indians – the next minute Willie was gone.
15. I am tired, it was nice to leave that book behind.


  1. Well, after reading through all teh comments the first thing to come to mind was... What was she hoping for Ulysses to put in her hand? Bad I know, and please feel free to delete... LOL

  2. 'I want Ulysses to stand around and put things in my hand.'
    I am laughing so hard I need Ulysses to put a tissue in my hand... The husband certainly came in the room to figure out what the sam hill was going on! That has got to be my favorite line EVER! (Clay, you are a very naughty boy, aren't you??)

    Oh, that and the 'Claire's main way to solve problems is to have sex.' Truer words were never spoken, Aunt Helen - just ask Lord John!

  3. Ohhhhhhhh, I wish I had an "Aunt Helen"!!

    How about:
    1. Would you have left your children behind and gone back through the stones for Jamie?

    2. My friend has a "problem" with Claire and Jamie getting older. How do you feel about Jamie and Claire's ageing?

    3. Were you surprised when Claire and Lord John "comforted" eachother when they thought Jamie was dead?

  4. Christie... i just think you are mad I beat you to it...

  5. Aunt Helen,

    If you read "Echo" ... do you think William will pull it together and have a relationship again with Lord John and maybe want to know Jamie in the next book? Do you think diana will give him a love like Jamie's or like John's (not gay, but unrequited)?

  6. That was so much fun! Aunt Helen really enjoyed it. She really liked the Skype and wants to get it for herself!

  7. Now for some more serious questions... though inquiring minds still want to know the answer to my first question.

    - What did her husband think of the books (If he is still living)?
    - Is this the type of book she's always liked reading? Would she have liked it 50 years ago?
    - Who does she relate with most in teh books?

  8. We loved Aunt Helen too!! Hope to have the video up tomorrow at some point. Slight snafu in that the image of me was frozen the whole time, but Aunt Helen looks like a media pro!! :-)

  9. Jennier,
    When I asked Aunt Helen if she would leave her children to go back to Jamie, well.. she just couldna say. She said she would have to think about grandchildren but it would be a hard decision.

    Aunt Helen's husband is no longer with us.

    She said Outlander is not the kind of book she usually reads. She usually reads nonfiction either history or science. She really likes books about space. She also likes biographies. When she reads fiction she likes mysteries and some science fiction if it is believable - like Outlander.

    She most related to the parts of the books at Fraser's Ridge. She said she knew a lot about the history of that area and she remembers when the local people spoke with more of a Scottish influence.

    She just asked if I thought if J and C would ever go back to the Ridge - she doesn't think so because of the war.

    Several times tonight she said how fun the interview was. I think she is lonesome for people to talk to about books.

  10. I'm LOVING Aunt Helen!!! Thanks for posting that. Can't wait to see the video.

    I've said this before, my 73 year old mom read Outlander. I was soooo excited to talk to her about it. The first thing I asked was, "How did you like Jamie?" Her response: "Who's Jamie?" Needless to say, Mom and I have had no further chats about the Outlander series. I'll check in with Aunt Helen instead. :)

  11. Hildy,
    too funny! Sounds like my conversations with my sister (re:Outlander). She's just arrived at THE scene after the wedding.........she started the book at Christmas.

    I'm honoured you asked AH my question! Canna wait to see the video!

  12. We are sitting, eating breakfast and discussing our Claire. AH thinks Claire dinna have a direction in her life before going through the stones. That Claire didn't appear to have to a thought of her own and if it hadn't been for Frank pushing her into botany she wouldn't have had the skills she needed make her way in the 1700's. AND if Frank hadn't pushed her into going up to the stones for the forget-me-nots she wouldn't have found her Jamie.

    AH says she is going to start her rekilting of the books and she has told her son that she wants skype. Maybe we can all check in more often :)

    LMAO, she is sitting here writing dialog for Jamie at the end of Echo, "Why? You couldn't have me so you took my wife?

    I so wish I had the skype camera on right now cuz she has been talking about the books or 20 min!

  13. Verra entertaining and verra insightful! Thank you Aunt Helen and keep those comments coming!

  14. L,
    is AH a Frank fan? I'll admit I MAY be warming to him after "A Leaf..". Before I read that, I wanted to kick him.

    Now Jenny is a COMPLETELY different matter. I don't think DG can ever make me like her again. Seriously, I hate that chick.

  15. Sorry I canna ask AH tonight cuz she has gone to her daughter's house. I do know that she does not care for Frank and didn't from the start. We didn't talk about Jenny but should have.

    She was so excited about her interview and even more excited to see the finished video. She said when she starts her rereads that it would be good to skype after each book. What have I started?

  16. AH... I don't recall Frank pushing Claire into botony.
    I really enjoy her take on the books.
    @Jennifer - I'm curious to see in book 8 if Jenny doesn't shape up to Clair. It is depressing how she turned her back on her.
    I've just got my daughter started reading the series, she's just into Voyager. EVERYDAY I call and ask her where she's at, what she thinks. I really have to stop asking every day. I'm afraid she'll change her phone number on me!

  17. Yay! Aunt Helen is adorable! I love to hear her insights;-)L-thanks for sharing her with us;-)

  18. Aunt Helen - you are too cute!