This week we read Chapters 1 to 7. The Questions were provided by Gone With The Words.
If you visit Stalking The Bookshelves you will find the questions for next week and a list of links to this week’s answers.
1. Outlander is a well-known book. Before you cracked it open, what were your expectations or assumptions about this story? Or did you jump into it with a blank slate?
Although I had heard of the book I did not have much idea about it, so I guess I fall into the ‘blank slate’ category.
2. Claire’s husband, Frank, is fascinated with learning more and more facts about his family tree, which extends back pretty far. Do you or anyone in your family keep a family tree? How many years/generations back does it go? If not, have you ever considered or attempted to create one?
I am English and genealogy is much more of an American fascination in my experience, although it is starting to be more popular in the UK these days. I believe one of my uncles has done some research into his side of the family, but I do not think that it has gone back very far. My grandparents came from a wide area and their families are dispersed across England and Wales, which means that any research would take a lot of travelling about, so I have not attempted it. Also, due to family disagreements, many of my great uncles and aunts, and their offspring, are unknown to me and I am not sure that there is still a way to find them.
3. How did you find Claire’s initial conclusion as to her surroundings after waking up from going through the stones? Did you think that was a reasonable conclusion?
Assuming that it was a film set seemed reasonable to me, although I am not sure that many films were made on location in 1945: I have a feeling that they were all shot in studios because it was so much cheaper. But I can understand how Claire would jump to the only ‘possible’ explanation for what she was seeing.
4. How about her composed, rational way of dealing with the fact she’s traveled back in time. Did you find it believable? Do you think you would have acted the same way?
Considering that she has just lived through World War 2 and experienced air raids and combat situations, I think that she has developed a very focused, controlled way to deal with unpleasant situations. This mental toughness makes her very resilient and pragmatic, so she does not succumb to hysteria and panic. I found this quite believable and consistent with the way she had been portrayed before her time shift. I have no idea how I would react, but hopefully I would manage a little dignity.
5. At this point in the story, what are your feelings or expectations on Claire and Jamie? Is Frank still a factor for you?
I am not sure what to think about Claire and Jamie at the moment. In some ways it seems a little too obvious for them to develop a relationship, but there does seem to be an underlying sense of acceptance between them. I think the fact that Claire had suddenly realized that Frank might have been unfaithful during the war could make it easier to ‘forget’ him. However, Mrs Graham’s palm reading suggests that he has been faithful. It seems like Claire is not thinking about Frank very much at the moment, which is probably a coping mechanism as she tries to keep a lid on her emotions. Also, she has spent long stretches of time apart from him, so this is not such an unusual separation for her.
Bonus Question: Frank encounters a man outside of the inn where he and Claire are staying. He is afraid it might have been a ghost. What do you believe it was? Do you have any predictions or suspicions on what that was about?
It seems like the stones might be a conduit in both directions and this is Jamie or some other clansman who has travelled into the future.