Thanks so much for starting this thread. It’s a great topic. The philosophical themes or themes about faith in the books are one of the main things about them that has kept me wanting to read more. Thanks for those of you who have shared your views/beliefs/background. I come from a faith that believes in the divinity of most, if not all, religions: Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, etc. (essentially their teachings come from one divine source), so my opinions and thoughts about the treatment of faith in the books are kinda informed by that perspective.
One of things I appreciate about the treatment of faith or belief systems in the books is that there’s a recognition in some way that people can express their spirituality and connection with the spiritual world through the physical in different ways. I haven’t noticed in the books that there’s an indication of one way being more “right” than the other (if I’ve missed something, feel free to let me know)…rather, spirituality and its expression works differently for different people…I think of both Jamie, Young Ian and Roger as examples of this.
As for feelings for Book Jamie, like most of you, his looks didn’t do it for me, but his honour and his sense of humour (he’s made me laugh out loud while sitting on a commuter train many times). In the later books, I’m more drawn to Young Ian’s character than Jamie and he’s not supposed to be physically “attractive” (to Claire anyway). Going back to the question about how the show (and even the books) have been marketed – of course sex sells, but there also seems to be a focus on just the love story. As Maureenanne states, the overall story is more than that…Could it possibly be because of the demographic of the audience, the sex and gender of the author, and the societal presumptions and generalizations about what women like?