Diana reminds me again why I love these books…Jamie and Claire love that lasts.


Like many in the fandom, I’m experiencing an Outlander hangover.  So much to see and watch in the last few days! My pre-occupation has been ratcheted up to walking-zombie status!  My head hurts from excessive goodness imbibing. I’m thinking, my sister-in-law might have had the smarter and more sensible approach. She just didn’t watch anything!  A moratorium on all things Outlander till August 9th and then they will feast! Literally. That girl has a great pre-premier Scottish/Outlander spread planned!  I’m sort of envious of her restraint, but…I…can’t…stop…watching….and…listening. Sigh.

Fans have been soooo generous with their pics and tweets! I’m grateful to them! Really. You guys were great!  In addition to the fan reports, I watched everything Starz posted and linked.  How cute was Sam taking over Instagram and Graham’s Scotch Talk (loved the laid out on the floor pic)! But, per usual for me, there is one tidbit I can’t stop thinking about. It’s toward the end of the Comic-Con panel and Diana is discussing writing the books. There seems to be a lot of discussion about the book’s romantic elements. Is it a romance? Is it an adventure? Will men like it? I loved Ron’s response that he thinks PEOPLE will like it because it’s a ripping good yarn!  In addressing this issue, Diana comments that there are a lot of story lines about falling in love, so SHE decided to write about staying in love…for 50 years. God, I love that woman.

Unlike a Romance novel, Jamie and Claire’s love story doesn’t stay in the falling in love honeymoon phase. Thank The Lord.  As some of us were discussing on Twitter, if they had, the stories would have held our interest for no longer than the time it took to read them.  Instead, many of us re-read the books over and over and never seem to tire of what is revealed between those pages.  Herself writes about what happens after people fall in love. She writes about the dynamics of enduring love, complicated relationships and the irony of life. This is what truly engages her readers. She gets deeper. As a fan tweeted, ” She gets that life doesn’t end at 20″.

I chuckle when I think how little luck she might have had if the books had started at Voyager.  What would the pitch have sounded like? “Well, it’s the story of a couple in their mid to late 40’s who reunite after 20 years of longing for each other”.  Knowing our youth-obsessed culture not sure how much interest that would have riled up!  But, those of us who love these books know Claire and Jamie’s age won’t matter to the reader. They won’t notice how old Jamie and Claire are because of “who” they are when they are together.  That is what attracts us.  It’s fascinating.

Diana has given us a look at a committed loving long-term relationship. If you’ve read my blog before you know how much I appreciate Ms. Gabaldon’s ability to write a poignant scene. Claire’s trip to the printer’s shop is full of those scenes.  Let’s start with the scene after Jamie realizes Claire has truly returned to him.  They are holding each other and Claire notices they are both trembling with,”…longing of twenty years streaming down our faces”.  They touch each other’s features in wonder. I believe I could barely breathe when I read this scene.  The intensity of their need of each other was palpable.  Not the intensity of lust, but of need. Deeper. She writes about depth.

I love that they do not fall into bed right away.  We get to see the delicate dance of their becoming reacquainted with their lost other half.  They are shy with one another; she lets us feel their insecurity,  “…Will ye take me__and risk the man that I am, for the sake of the man ye knew…” Deeper.

And even when they do at last come together physically Jamie lets us know that this romance isn’t just sex,

“…to have you with me again_ to talk wi’ you, to know I can say anything, not guard my words or hide my thoughts_God Sassenach” he said, ” The Lord knows I’m as lust-crazed as a lad and I canna keep my hands from you _ or anything else_ ” he added wryly, ” but I would count that all well lost, had I no more than the pleasure of havin’ ye by me, and to tell ye all my heart”.  And she replies, “ It was lonely without you, ” I whispered,” so lonely.”

Sigh…. Definitely one of my favorites.  The product of an almost 39-year-old marriage, I can relate. In my husband’s presence, I become me. I can be me because of the trust and care I know exists.  My own Jamie once said, “I know everything isn’t perfect, but people would kill to have a relationship like ours”.  I get deeper.

The rest of Jamie and Claire’s story is no less engaging. Diana continues to write about their struggles with the big things in life. She also had the foresight to know that enduring love reveals itself in the everyday. The reader doesn’t only see Jamie and Claire in the big crisis-filled moments.  The reader can come along as they build a life together in the seemly mundane activities that make up the bulk of most of our lives.  In my opinion, this is where true love gets revealed. It’s easier to step up to the plate in the big moments because there’s not much choice in the matter. However, to choose to act out of love every day?  A hero’s work. These books are more than romance; they are a monument to real love.


30 thoughts on “Diana reminds me again why I love these books…Jamie and Claire love that lasts.

  1. jomarie

    Another excellent post my dear. I agree that seeing a long term relationship through to its later years is a rare occurrence indeed, when it comes to a story that has any “romance” in it at all. And Diana has certainly done a masterful job portraying that.

    I can definitely relate to your sharing that you can become yourself in your husband’s presence. That’s me as well. It will be 30 years in December. He may not be the physical specimen that Jamie is, and he is more quiet, but he will sometimes say very sweet things. We’ve been trying to decide where to retire to, (we got married older) and I don’t like really hot locations, and he doesn’t care for the cold. He was willing to accommodate me, and when I worried about this he said “I’d rather be in a cold place with you, than in a warm place without you.” In so many ways, our relationship succeeds because of him.

  2. Love your lyrical analysis, once again, Beth. My husband and I have been together for 43 years, and will, much to our younger-selves’ surprise, celebrate our 42nd anniversary next month. An enduring marriage takes work and trust, but it contains within it, a gift of intimacy that is so precious that it can’t be expressed well by those not as verbally adept as Diana Gabaldon. Those who are blessed to have this gift in their lives, and treasure it, are rich, no matter their economic circumstance. When we were thinking of moving 6 1/2 years ago, my husband expressed concern about leaving our home where we had spent so many years and raised our children. He decided that wasn’t an issue after I told him, “You are my home. Where you are, I am at home.”

  3. Pat

    And this also is exactly why I LOVE these books and why they are no where near anything remotely related to the “romance” books I’ve read in the past. These books are about a long term relationship and is as close to an actual, real life marriage as anything I’ve ever read. I’ve been married for almost 48 years and, although my hubby is not the romantic soul that Jamie can be, there are times when he does things that blow me away — and the fact that those things are unexpected make them ever more precious to me!! We have reached the stage in our lives now where we are both retired and pretty much around each other all the time. My hubby traveled A LOT, all over the world, when he was working so I did the house stuff and the car stuff and the kids stuff pretty much by myself. He always came home to me and I can not now imagine any part of my life without him. As with Jamie and Claire, together I think we make one wonderful person!!!!

    • I am so moved by everyone’s stories. Love can last! My hubby has what I call ” blue moon” moments. And I think you’re right they are all the more precious. Wrote about one ” Jamie brings Claire a posey”.

  4. megaskins

    Oh dear God. Of course it’s a romance series. That’s why only 1% of the fans are guys. Of course Ron Moore thinks it’s for everyone. He the freaking director and his career is on the line. Look, I love Ron because of Star Trek TNG and because of Battlestar Galactica. He’s great. And if he can make this more than a romance series, good for him and everyone else. If they win a Peabody award, even better. But let’s be real: these books are written by a woman about a woman. It’s sex type specific. There’s a reason I don’t see guys reading these books on airplanes…

    • You love Ron. You love two of his other projects. As far as I know, no one forced him to take this project on. Of course there is romance in the story. If he can MAKE it more than a romance series? It already is. That’s his point. Ms. Gabaldon’s work is genre bending. Have you read her books or are you making an assumption based on the fact that is read by women, My point is that most romance novels have a very narrow perspective. Ms. Gabaldon’s characters are complex and the so are their stories. I feel her stories do not fit the “romance” genre. Neither do a lot of Romance authors. There are articles written about the topic. In fact, for one of the books in the series she beat out R.R. and King for a national award for horror. Maybe there is more to these stories than you think.

  5. amorley552014

    I absolutely love this as it is spot on. And it brought tears to my eyes because my husband died 5 years ago and I so miss that depth, not to mention the man beside me in the night. Never take it for granted because it can be gone faster than you ever thought possible.

  6. Again Beth so well said. Have been married 33 years this month to my best friend. My husband has been ill but we still hold hands! True love is for better or worse, richer or poorer in sickness and health. You are so right, Diana’s stories are about an enduring love that transcends events that occur in the best of marriages. I do not even think about Jamie’s and Claire’s ages .. they are totally unimportant. What is it John Lennon said, “life happens while you are busy making other plans”.

    Hats off to you Beth for another great review filled with insight that only you could put into words.

    • TY! At the time I wrote this so much was going on in the fandom that it kind of slipped through the cracks, but it was one of my favorites. Did you read the other comments! LOVE my readers!

  7. Linda Bouley


    I love your analysis of what’s so important about these books. Every man or woman or hopefully teenagers as well will want this kind of relationship after reading the books. Jamie and Claire are a shining example two people willing to do whatever it takes to make a relationship work. Soulmates you say? I say yes, but not because of some cosmic energy or mystical whimsy; but, because they love enough to be “willing.” I am also enthralled that the man in this couple is the one who is best able to express what it is between them. Claire holds things within more, perhaps because of her upbringing, but Jamie describes his feelings and their love in deeply profound speeches throughout all the books. I loved the scene in Devils Mark when Claire has told Jamie that she’s from the future, and he describes why he believes her – “because there is a truth between us.”

    I will be reading your posts with interest & appreciate the opportunity to interact with yu and others.

  8. Tepperson0101

    A Henry James novel tells the story of John Marcher and his lady love May. He never marries her, always searching for the elusive “extraordinary thing” that he is convinced is destined to happen to him. It is only as he is standing over her grave Towards the end of his life that he realizes that the extraordinary thing HAD happened-he failed to live the ordinary life with the woman he loved. Broke my heart. And one of the many reasons I love DG-she so perfectly captures the extraordinary in the ordinary.

  9. Dianab614

    Beth, just found this thanks to a Twitter post. Once again your writing brings me to tears—in a good way. It is marvelous. Thx

  10. Wonderful post! I simple love the ‘mundane’ parts in the books. I go back to them time again, much rather than any of the action/’exciting’ parts. And those scenes in Voyager are my all time favorite in the series that I can read again and again. I hope that Ron et al will change NOTHING of the printershop scene. It is perfect 🙂

      • Linda Bouley

        Yes and sometimes the adaptation perplexes me. There are scenes where it seems the original is better than the adaptation and sometimes I also feel Jamie has been adapted a bit in EPS-9-13 but this may only be my perception

  11. Char

    Thanks so much for this post. I’ve gotten into a stramash on another blog about the Outlander series – it’s all “wah wah I don’t care about the other characters, why is it so complicated, who cares about the Revolution, she should have stopped after book 3, wah wah wah!” Maddening.

    This series is wonderful to me because it IS complicated and messy and tortuous and hard – that’s life! Every character isn’t perfect (except Lord John, of course). Shit happens. Heartbreak and disappointment happens. The Outlander series is a story of life, and lives, and that’s why I love it.

  12. YPinonR

    “R” word isn’t that what Sam said never to use describing DG’s books? I agree with all you’ve said about Herself’s stories. They’re all driven by characters. Not plots & subplots. Jamie & Claire are arguably fiction’s ultimate “power couple”
    No happily ever after story but beautifully crafted words detailing their struggle, forging a life together. One is diminished without the other. “Romance novels” are a dime a dozen. DG said somewhere that she knew she was a story teller from a young age. But the words magically woven together require tremendous talent & gift. Your command of words in your blogs, aren’t too shabby-either.

  13. this explains my feelings for the book too. The fact that it is about how people sty in love over so many years and through everything even time travel makes it unique and one of my favorite. Next Tuesday is my DH and my 14th anniversary and in June we have our 18 years together but I hope we would have survived 20 years apart. Claire and Jamie don’t have an easy life but it is totally worth it as long as they are together. I think life is totally worth it with my hubby at my side but it is less eventful in this age. Thankfully Diana Gabaldon has created a vision worth wanting.

  14. drewallace57

    You have completely captured in words everything I, too, feel about Claire & Jamie. Just as they are soulmates, so are all of us who treasure their story. Thank you for sharing this once again – I always look forward to your posts!

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