Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
Here is the summary from the goodreads:
“Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her… and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.
“Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and pain awaiting her…the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland… and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite or forever doom her timeless love.”
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*** Spoilers to Follow ***
It has been a year since I read Dragonfly in Amber but the need to know Jamie’s state sparked back to life as soon as I pulled this baby off the shelf.
If you remember in the second book of the Outlander series, Jamie sent Claire back to Frank and intended to die at the battle of Culloden and his life was very much at stake. Of course, he lives. Otherwise, what will the next six books be about? But I was still afraid for him and Claire.
Coming into the third book I figured Claire would make it back to Jamie, but I was hoping for a young Claire to go back. Kind of like the old Claire went back to tell the young Claire Jamie is still alive and she can take baby Brianna back to be with him. Also, the old Claire would go back and be with a younger Jamie and that would be a bit awkward. I was OK with the timelines living parallel so 20 years passed for both of them. Although, it kind of sucks considering the lifespan of 18th-century people. I was also hoping Brianna would go with Claire, but there is still hope of having that in a later book. This is my first read through of the series, so if you know what happens please be a peach and don’t spoil it for me?
While reading there were a few things that bothered me:
#1 Joe Abernathy – here’s an educated black man in a different role as a doctor in a white hospital in the 60s. The way he speaks is all wrong. Educated black man of that time took pride in their education and strive to make white people see them as no different from their white colleagues. Joe Abernathy speaks as though he’s in the middle of some jazz joint instead of someone who has something to prove every day of his life. It’s something a black man would not have done in front of the white woman no matter how “close” they may seem to be. It is rare and highly unlikely a man like that would be anything but proper even at home. At least, I have never met a highly educated black man of that time who didn’t make being a well-spoken and well-mannered member of society as the very core of his being. Joe Abernathy seems like a caricature by comparison. It really makes me wonder if he was based off someone Diana Gabaldon knew or if he was someone she created for the page?
Edit: I’m so glad they fixed this in the show.
#2 Claire meeting one of Joe’s ancestors was eye-roll worthy as well. She goes from Scotland to the West Indies and just so happens to meet an ancestor of the man who lives in Boston. Not to say the connection between a West Indies slave in the 1700s and a doctor in Boston in the 1960s is impossible; I am just questioning Claire running into him and making the connection based on his voice and a missing brand. Do you know how many people sound the same? I’m told often I look like someone or sound like someone to whom I have no connection.
Sure, there’s a theory that people who have a strong connection will find that connection no matter where they are, but this situation seems like complete bologna and forced.
#3 I’m a little upset Claire didn’t read much about Jamie before going back. I can understand not wanting to know when he dies, but to not know where to find him when she went back… well, it didn’t sit well with me. With the guess that the timelines are parallel shouldn’t she have known what Jamie was doing at the time she expected to arrive? I would have wanted to know if I were going back to a dangerous time with Claire’s penchant for trouble. Perhaps that’s just me though.
#4 Murtagh’s death – at the beginning of the book it’s mentioned that Murtaugh died at Culloden. I did not believe this based on the “show me the body” rule in the books, TV, and film. If you don’t witness the death or see the corpse, then the character is still alive and will make another appearance. Well, it took 700 pages, but I really got my body. Now, I can safely mourn the loss of a character we get to know better through the TV show. I have a feeling that Murtaugh’s death will be changed in the show. At least, I hope so.
#5 It took so long for Jamie to tell Claire about Willy. It was ridiculous. He should’ve come out with it when Claire told him about Brianna. I guess that would have ruined John’s blackmail bit. I don’t know. I guess I just wanted Jamie to be upfront from the beginning despite the drama it added to the story.
#6 Last, I would like to know if there is anyone out there who can explain the scene between Jamie and John Gray at Jamie’s departure from Hellwater? I can’t wrap my mind around it. I just don’t understand Jamie’s thinking considering his dealings with Jonathan Randall.
There is one thing I am rather pleased with, Geillis Duncan. Finally getting a conclusion to her story storyline was a relief for me. I think I spent the entirety of Dragonfly in Amber waiting to find out what happened to the woman we left to burn. I was not surprised to find out she was in Paris. I hoped Claire would find her there. I was surprised to see her in the West Indies though. Again, it was just like “Damn Claire! Back at it again with the random run-ins!”
I’m still not sure why she wanted 12 Scottish boys or a virgin boy. Why? I need answers. It seems like she could have used anyone for the blood in the time travel ritual. Her husband, Edgar, wasn’t a virgin boy after all. She also could have used virgin boy slaves and she didn’t seem to care about them. Why 12 Scottish boys? The world may never know. Unless you’re one of those super-smart people who has already figured it out. Then I would be most grateful if you would share your wisdom.
I think I’ve run out of words or my thoughts on this book are so jumbled at the moment they will not straighten out enough to be put to be written down. If you have read Voyager, I would like you to leave your opinion in the comments below, be my guest. Have at it. I will definitely enjoy reading them and maybe, just maybe, we can get a conversation started. I would love that.