Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

What's Your Rank?

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  • #7297

    Rank the Outlander books from most favorite to least and tell us why.

    Here’s mine (though I’m only through DoA):

    1. Outlander — because it beautifully introduces us to the characters and the place and because the way that Jamie and Claire’s relationship develops from nurse/patient through friendship to love is just so strong and sweet

    2. Voyager — mostly because of Jamie’s scenes during the 20-year separation. I just love the tone of them and the melancholic quality that infuses them. And ok, the reunion is pretty awesome, too.

    3. Drums of Autumn — as I’ve said before, I could read about C&J’s domestic details from now until eternity, so those elements appealed. I also liked seeing Jamie interact with both his children. And I liked Brianna’s interplay with Lord John. And I keep thinking about Jamie being in the room when Brianna delivered Jemmy. That affected me strongly for some reason.

    4. Dragonfly in Amber — this is the one I struggle with the most. I don’t hate it by any means, but I found the Paris part less compelling than anything else I’ve read of DG’s work. Plus, I dehydrate myself via tears at the end, which is not a bad thing, but oh the trauma.

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    • #7298

      1) Voyager – I may have been hyperventilating when I read the pages leading up to the reunion. I was so drawn in by the characters.
      2) Outlander – There is something poetic about the first few chapters. I thought the love story was unusual and I was very touched by the concept of the healing power of passionate love.
      3) Drums of Autumn – All the events leading up to the American Revolution and Jamie and Claire…very enjoyable reading.
      4) Dragonfly in Amber – This book caused me the greatest stress as a reader. Claire losing the baby and sinking into depression was just difficult to get through.

      • #7299

        I may have been hyperventilating when I read the pages leading up to the reunion.

        I read those lead-up pages so fast I’m not sure I even registered half of what was going on. But I also didn’t think Claire would find Jamie as easily as she did. I really thought most of the book was going to be her chasing his trail.

        You can include the rest of the books if you’ve read them, Maureenanne! I just haven’t read them so I can’t rank them. 😀

    • #7318
      Katie (@bunnums)

      I always find these discussions so interesting. There is so much in each of these books and each of us relates to them differently based on our own experiences and outlooks.

      1) Outlander – the beginning of it all. In many ways, I think Diana becomes more refined at the craft of writing in later books, but there’s something about the raw-ness and earnestness of this initial book that will always appeal. And it will always be my first love.

      2) DIA/ABOSAA/MOBY all tied, all for different reasons. DIA touches me at my deepest core in a way no other book ever has. The first time I read DIA I had a lot of trouble with it. I spent much of the book being angry at both Claire and Jamie. But the second time I read it was years and years later, after I’d suffered my own brutal round of postpartum depression. And then I understood everything so much more. Yes, it is perhaps the most emotionally wrenching, but I find the writing so brilliant and touching that I love it. ABOSAA just grabs you by the heart and won’t let go. And there’s something about the general tone and voice of MOBY I just love (no more details, to avoid spoilers).

      3) Fiery Cross/Echo/Voyager tied. FC and Echo have a bit of a tactical tone that doesn’t appeal to me quite as much as the others, but there’s plenty to love about them. And while Voyager has one of my most favorite scenes ever (the print shop) and there’s something so touching about Jamie’s years without Claire, the rest of the book is just too over-the-top rollicking adventure to me. I mean, they just got back together! I want them just have time together to breathe! And from the morning after the reunion until they wind up in Georgia it just doesn’t happy and I don’t like that.

      4) Drums. I will never be able to get past the miscommunications and lies of omission, and blame the whole cast of characters – Claire, Bree, Jamie, Ian, Roger, and Lizzie!


      • #7331

        I love how your choices are almost the exact reverse of mine, Katie! It’s so interesting how different books can resonate differently with different people.

        I will never be able to get past the miscommunications and lies of omission.

        This is very valid. I think that I tend to focus on certain parts of the books and — not quite forget, but gloss over? the parts that I didn’t like as much. Ah, selective memory! Still, I kept thinking “This is an amazing book” as I read Voyager, so no regrets.

      • #7332
        Katie (@bunnums)

        Well, different parts of the books speak to each of us in unique ways so it makes sense that we might “gloss over” some parts. I know I certainly do. 🙂

        My order of preference of the books has also changed over time, as I have different perspectives. I don’t think I would have enjoyed older Jamie and Claire, for example, if I had the later books to read when I started in my 20s. But now that I’m in my 40s, I enjoy them very much. 🙂 These books are so dense and rich that there’s something there for everyone.

    • #7333

      Oh, I love this question!

      Here’s my rank:

      1. Outlander – The starting place of this great story.

      2. Voyager – The heartbreak of their separation, the joy at their reunion. The sweet, sweet moment when Jamie finally tells Claire about Willie and Geneva. The meeting of Claire and Lord John on the boat and then again at the Governor’s mansion. The ending.

      3. A Breath of Snow & Ashes – Claire’s abduction. Jamie and Claire by the spring after Malva’s accusation. Ian (I do so love Ian).

      4. Dragonfly in Amber – Fergus! Faith. Master Raymond. Mother Hildegaard. Rupert’s death. The separation.

      To be honest, my #1 is always Outlander, and my 2, 3 and 4 move back and forth, depending upon how recently I read the book and how sappy I feel.

      The best end of one of these books, though, and the one that made me cry was Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.

      • This reply was modified 7 years, 2 months ago by khenlow.
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