Week Four: Chapters 16-28
Not sure what this is all about? Here’s the deal…
The read-a-long is going to go from June 11th to July 23rd on Mondays and more information can be found here.
Whewww these chapters were LONG this week and I feel like SO much happened! Not that I am complaining, I enjoyed most of them and they certainly gave me a lot to think about! I love the introductions of the new characters and I fell in love with Ian Murray, Jenny and Grannie MacNab almost instantly.
1. How do you feel about Claire disobeying Jamie and the resulting punishment he brings forth on her for this? Do you feel that Jamie's punishment was justified by the fact that everyone was put in danger by Claire's actions? Finally, did Jamie's vow with Claire's dagger do anything to sway your thoughts or change your mind on how you initially feel/felt about his punishment?
I read ahead last week and my first thought upon reading the part where he "punishes" her was conflicted. Part of me was like "THAT'S RIGHT WOMAN, MAYBE NOW YOU'LL STOP BEING SO DAMN STUPID!!" Upon further thought (and re-reading) I have to say that overall I don't agree with the beating as punishment. I actually think that it might have worked to a point with Claire but the fact that Jamie "lost his temper" and beat her A LOT is not okay. That being said I do have to mention that I can count on one hand how many times I was beaten with my dad's belt, I can also tell you exactly what I did and that I never, ever pulled any of those stunts again. So again, you can see, I am conflicted with my answer. For the sake of the story, I agree with what happened and I can see that it is fitting to the times, however, it is not something I can condone.
Jamie's vow at the end of this section proved to me that he knew that he did wrong and being that he doesn't ever go back on a vow means he won't do it again. I believe I can forgive him but as I stated before it is a little unsettling that he lost his temper in such a way.
2. Just for fun, what was your reaction to the suspicious black spot Claire spotted on the floor near the area where Jamie was sleeping? Did you have any theories to what it might have been before it was revealed to be a _____?
Honestly, I just kept thinking "Can you kill the damn bug, Claire?!"
3. With regard to the 'changeling' baby Claire and Geilie spotted in the wild - if it were you back then and you happened upon a changeling baby in the wild in a circumstance such as this, do you think you'd have reacted most like Claire or Geilie? Explain.
Okay, I read A LOT. My favorite author is Juliet Marillier and celtic lore is one of my favorite things. Therefore, as soon as Claire was all "Geilie, there's a baby!" I was thinking, "Don't do it!" and of course, SHE DID. I am a compassionate human and of course there would be a part of me that would wonder about this poor baby being left alone. However, the other parts of me would be taking in the whole picture here, including the time in which I am currently living. Therefore, I think I would have walked the other way as soon as I saw what was going down. I can tell you that I am ONE HUNDRED PERCENT positive that once Geilie explained the situation to me I would not have argued and gone BACK! This is the kind of stuff that makes me utterly loathe Claire. She is written as this strong and intelligent character and she is utterly ignorant and juvenile. I really barely even felt bad for her when she was being tried as a witch because she is so STUPID! I wouldn't trust Laoghaire further than I could throw her AND Jamie told her to stay AWAY from Geilie. She deserved the whole thing.
4. Share your thoughts on Geilie Duncan. Is there anything that surprised you about her story or were you suspicious of her from the beginning?
I was a tiny bit suspicious of her from the beginning, she had this side to her that seemed not so nice and at dinner when Claire asked if his stomach was better and she was all casual about it I was like "Yeah, she's definitely poisoning him." I do have to say that I was extremely surprised by the mark on her from the smallpox vaccine. I actually can't really stop thinking about who she is and where she came from which is pretty marvelous because really this book has yet to blow me away. I was also pretty surprised at the whole twist with Dougal, THAT I did not see coming!
5. Your thoughts on Jamie's LAST REASON for wanting to marry Claire - the one he had been so secretive about. GO!
Jamie is nearly the only redeeming quality for me at this point and I love, love, LOVED this moment between Claire and Jamie. I loved that she was surprised by his affections and I love that he managed to tell her how much he loves her while still being a little bit of a jackass. I have a soft spot for this sort of affection as my boyfriend told me he fell in love with me the moment we met. Funny, all I remember is asking him why the f he kept staring at me like he'd never seen a woman before :D
But I digress, this scene was entirely endearing and as mentioned, Jenny is one of my favorite characters. I fell in love with her at this moment:
Returning to pick up her embroidery basket, Jenny sailed in at this point and stood eyeing her brother with some amusement. "And what are you up to, young Jamie me lad? she inquired, one eyebrow up.
"I'm makin' love to my wife," he panted, breathless between giggling and fighting.
"Well, ye could find a more suitable place for it," she said, raising the other eyebrow. "That floor'll give ye splinters in your arse."
This whole scene kind of redeemed Claire for me and made me see that both Jamie and Claire have flaws (one maybe more than the other) but they compliment one another and that there really is love between them.