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Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
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Voyager (1994)

by Diana Gabaldon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Outlander (3)

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Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
Whew! I kind of struggled with this one. Not that I didn't enjoy it, I was just having trouble getting really into it. I found myself setting it aside in favor of other books part way through and that very rarely happens to me. But, about halfway to three quarters of the way through, I really got invested and just plowed through the rest.

It's funny; for as much as I found myself pushing to finish, I now find that I'm eager to read the next in the series. I'm forcing myself to read something else first, though. Gabaldon's books are so huge and encompassing, that I need to take a break lest I become overwhelmed and indifferent. ( )
  Jenna.Czaplewski | Jul 3, 2014 |
Note: Voyager is the third novel in the "Outlander Series." There will necessarily be spoilers for the first two books in the series.

In the first book, Outlander, Claire, a young married English nurse on vacation in Scotland after World War II accidentally traveled back in time 200 years to 1743. There she took up with Highland Hottie Jamie Fraser, and developed her skills as a healer. Claire got pregnant, and Jamie insisted she go back to the future to save her and her unborn child, thinking he was about to die in battle.

In the second book, Dragonfly in Amber, it is now twenty years later, in 1968, and Claire has brought her 20-year-old daughter, Brianna ("Bree") - the spitting image of Jamie - with her to Scotland. They traveled from Boston, where Claire is a doctor, to find the historian Roger Wakefield. Claire wants to find out Jamie's fate, and Roger discovers Jamie did not in fact die at the Battle of Culloden.

Voyager begins with Jamie on the fields of Culloden in 1745, injured but not dead, possibly saved by the body of his enemy, John Randall, which is lying on top of him. Further improbably, he is rescued from execution afterwards by the brother of Lord John Grey, who, as a boy in the second book, pledged a debt to Jamie. [Gabaldon has a way of bringing back characters encountered along the saga’s way to play new and important roles later on in the story.]

Meanwhile, in 1968, Claire determines she must go back to the past and try to find Jamie. Bree and Roger help research what befell Jamie and where he might be, and in the process, grow more attracted to one another. In alternating chapters we return to the 18th Century to learn about Jamie's activities over the intervening years.

Roger thinks he has found evidence that Jamie was working as a printer in Edinburgh in the time it would be if Claire went back, so Claire bids farewell to Roger and Bree and makes the dangerous trip through the stones at Craigh na Dun to return to 1766. Claire walks into Jamie’s printshop, and although she is now 48, she is of course as beautiful as ever, and Jamie declares he has always loved her. So her life with Jamie begins again, complete with various instances of Jamie “mastering” Claire and revisiting his favorite places on her body (which we, the readers, have become acquainted with quite thoroughly).

All is not totally well, however: Claire learns some of the unexpected things Jamie was up to while she was gone (and has the gall to be mad over it, even though she was for all intensive purposes gone forever). Additionally, Jamie's life is full of upheaval as usual. The two end up chasing nephew Ian - who has been captured by pirates, to the Caribbean. They find Ian just as he is about to be made a human sacrifice by an unexpected old acquaintance; get waylaid by a tropical hurricane; and get blown all the way to Georgia, where they already know that in under a decade, they will be in the middle of another war yet again, if they survive that long.

Discussion: In spite of the fact that Claire generally behaves more like she is from the late-20th Century than the mid-20th, she acts positively 18th Century when it comes to attitudes toward non-Christians, non-whites, and non-heterosexuals. Although her “best friend” in her (future life) Boston hospital was a black surgeon, Claire even ascribes to him stereotypical looks and behavior that would not be likely in a man who attained his position. But people she meets in the 18th Century fare much worse. The author portrays a Chinese character - whom Claire refers to as "The Chinaman" - with every bad caricature one can imagine. There are also a couple of men who come into the story, each of whom is referred to (contemptuously) by Claire as “The Jew." One is a slime ball, and one is nice enough, but daffy and definitely not "manly." The blacks in the Caribbean are depicted as, and thought of by Claire, in what can only say is a “cringeworthy” manner.

Claire also spends a great deal of time comparing her own assets to other women of the time, being ever so thankful that she has taken care of her teeth and has not succumbed to the worst of all possible fates: gaining weight. (Her last words to Brianna before leaving her presumably forever were “Try not to get fat.” And no, don’t assume because Claire is a doctor that this obsession has anything to do with health, because it is all about looks.)

As for the appeal of this series, I think several factors come into play. One is that Gabaldon is a competent writer. I don’t imagine she will be taught alongside Joyce and Shakespeare, but the quality of the prose in her books doesn’t make you want to throw them across the room.

A second reason is that generation-spanning romantic sagas have great appeal. Many people, including me, like to fantasize about love and family that goes on forever. Her characters are good (well, at least if they are white and Christian and straight) and often quite memorable.

When you add the historical backdrop of Scotland, you win over a large number of American women. (If you doubt the popularly of this niche, check the number of books on Goodreads labeled “Highlander Romance.”)

Evaluation: If you enjoy sagas, sex, and Scotland, this is a series consisting of immensely long books that will occupy you for many days and nights! ( )
  nbmars | Apr 22, 2014 |
More Jamie, and that is never a bad thing. Three down, 4 to go before the new one comes out. ( )
  hobbitprincess | Feb 27, 2014 |
More John Grey research for Yuletide. He's a supporting character in this and interests me far, far more than Jamie, Claire, or the daughter. Gabaldon does good action-adventure and compelling m/m relationships, but her women are really annoying. ( )
  sageness | Feb 7, 2014 |
My favorite of the Outlander books so far. ( )
  bearette24 | Jan 7, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Gabaldonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Many a Highland chieftain fought,
Many a gallant man did fall.
Death itself was dearly bought,
All for Scotland's King and law.
- "Will Ye No Come Back Again"
Dedication
To my children, Laura Juliet, Samuel Gordon, and Jennifer Rose, Who gave me the heart, the blood, and the bones of this book.
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When I was small, I never wanted to step in puddles.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385335997, Paperback)

In this rich, vibrant tale, Diana Gabaldon continues the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser that began with the now-classic novel Outlander and continued in Dragonfly in Amber. Sweeping us from the battlefields of eighteenth-century Scotland to the exotic West Indies, Diana Gabaldon weaves magic once again in an exhilarating and utterly unforgettable novel....

Their love affair 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.

When she discovers that Jamie may have survived, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face what awaits her ... the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland ... and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that lies beyond the standing stones.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:41 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Two decades later, for a second time, Claire Randall travels back to eighteenth-century Scotland to be reunited with Jamie, the man she cannot forget.Time-travelling Claire Randall returns to her own time, pregnant and weary, and resumes her life, but her memories of her eighteenth-century Scottish lover Jamie Fraser will not die, leading her to a desperate decision to return to him.… (more)

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