It took me three tries to get through the first 20-30 pages of Outlander.
Once Claire made it to the past, I was pretty hooked. There were a few long internal monologues that bored, but I was promised hot sex and hot romance, so I persevered.
And then, the wedding. The “honeymoon”. The disappointment.
I think with genre fiction especially, there are some novels you read that simply grip your heart and never let you go. The story and the characters meet you at the right age/time/place in life, and that is it. I can totally understand why Outlander is like that for so many people. There is a lot of swoony love between Jamie and Claire.
But this book is not for fucking me.
Obviously, the first strike: the first romantic/sex scenes between the two main characters and they all fade to black. Waste of time!
But also: 3 days locked in the motel with highlander virgin and she never once says, “no honey, more like this”. She even climaxes. She gives him like 12 blow jobs and he never reciprocates (!!!).
And also: The way we know she ruminates over her bigamy is because he notices it and asks her.
In fact, honestly, the more I thought about it, the more put out I felt about Claire’s bigamy. She is constantly imperiled, constantly at risk of all kinds of sexual and bodily harm, and eventually, has not one other valid choice but to pick bigamy (and sex and love). All of the gray, the moral/ethical uncertainty has pretty much been taken out of the equation for her by the plot! There isn’t that much choice in her choice, and therefore very little meaningful internal conflict. It’s True Love Winning Out Because True Love Wins Out. Is Claire an empowered agent of her own fate? Why do I even have to ask? Blech.
So I skimmed to the end and nope nope nope (spoilers)
- More attempted rapes and other assorted villainy against ladies (I know, I know, I’m describing like every other romance novel out there. But everyone burns out sometimes and this was it for me)
- Attempted burning at the stake for the witchcraft (ladies! so dangerous! rape em or burn em!)
- Wife beating, which just.. why? WHY EVEN PUT IT IN THE NOVEL? Because it is historically accurate? SHE TRAVELED THROUGH A CIRCLE OF STONES IN A FIELD TO THE PAST.
I will say this, however, there is a great deal more sex and it is fairly explicit. And as stated previously, the love is swoony and nice.
But Outlander kinda sucked (for me).*
*I’ll still watch the show tho, whenever i can get my grubby digital streaming hands on it.
*I still didn’t find a reciprocal oral sex scene in my all skimming. Unacceptable.