Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: Dragonfly in Amber: Book Discussion and Show Expectations

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In paragraph rather than 140 characters:

When we left the happy couple Claire was pregnant, life was orgasmic, we were going to go to Rome to stop James, Frank was forgotten and Claire shriven by the awesome Father Anselm (did he get written out Terry? warn me now so I can mourn).

I’m trying to remember how I felt starting DiA. I guess I wasn’t worried by the abrupt shift since I already had another six ebooks in my library and knew J&C would be fine whatever happened so I just read on not worrying. I liked Roger and disliked Bree because of her attitude and her stupidity–seriously she thought Frank was her biological father? High school biology teaches about genes and where did she THINK her blue eyes, red hair, and height came from (tho’ biologically speaking she couldn’t have had blue eyes at all unless Claire also did, but whatever)?

So, then we’re in Le Havre. So is BPC and a rich Fraser cousin… some sex, funny drunk scene, Claire diagnosing smallpox–seems all like life in the day of J&C. Then it all just seems ridiculous. Versailles seems to exist in the story just to add some elegance but I find it boring. There is no idea of why BPC does what he does or cares about what he cares about. We go through all this codes and letter stealing and really why doesn’t Claire just scrape some diseased cells from someone at the Hospital and then shake BPC’s hand? It all seems overblown and ridiculous. Claire is there to stop the massacre of the Highland Clans and this is the best they can do? J&C seem so much smarter than they act in Paris. She has the magnificent Master Raymond telling her about poison and how half the Court is poisoning the other half and all they do is steal letters?! I wanted to shout “stop fucking around and grow a pair!” at the two of them for most of Paris.

So, then l’Hopital. I found the argument over Claire working interesting but then it resolved itself very quickly. I love Bouton & Mother Hildegarde Monsieur Forez & Fergus. I found the whole Mary Hawkins, Alex Randall, La Dame Blanche, Les Disciples subplot uninteresting. Then there’s the killing of BJR post hoc ergo propter hoc the death of Frank that I think I’ve already said my piece about. Then the ship/smallpox plot and I’m back to “just poison him”.

Then the miscarriage and the rage and forgiveness. It was heartbreaking, I suppose, but I’ve felt those things myself and knew that they would resolve themselves because Claire is too strong to be broken by that. I found the King’s ‘trial’ ridiculous though found the whole ‘beat me with nettles’ scene lovely (seems an odd thing to say about beating, but you know what I mean).

Then we go back to Scotland! YAYAYAY! I like Scotland! I love Jenny! and Ian! and potatoes! I liked the going off to war, and wee Lord John, and Jenny Cameron. Things were finally moving rather than just dithering around Versailles eating doves and eels. And we get back to the heart of the story with questions of family (Dougal & Colum and Claire & the Randalls and Jamie & his grandfather) and what a person owes another. And everything moves pretty quickly to what we all know is coming: Culloden and Drummossie.

The separation scene was heartbreaking. I felt like Claire and felt like I could feel my heart snap like a twig when she agreed to go.

Back to the 60s: I love Roger. I really love Roger. Don’t really care about Geilles. The ending didn’t surprise me, but then books rarely do.

The end. And I only used Latin once, I think and managed to not utter a ‘vis a vis’ or an ‘a priori’.