Monday, April 14, 2008
I am so glad this series continues. Even though my arm gets tired from holding the sheer mass of these books (this one was 890 pages), I am eagerly looking forward to the next book.
Diana Gabaldon struck gold with the idea of a time-crossed super couple. The first chunk of this book, Claire was in her comfotable, but lonely,20th century, raising her and Jaime's daughter, when she decides to finally find out how Jaime died (it was too painful when she returned through the stones twenty years earlier to save their child and escape the Scottish slaughter at Culloden). These first hundred pages were well written, but luckily, Gabaldon realized that she needs these two together for the magic to be there. When Claire left all of her conveniences again, this time by choice, and finds Jamie in his printshop and says, "Jaime. . .it's me, Claire.", I got that warm-heart-all-a-flutter feeling. I think I may have even teared up. I'm not proud of it.
In Voyager, Jaime and Claire leave Scotland when trouble brews for Jaime and all of his aliases (he's become a smuggler, printer and seditionist now that his soldiering days are over), and travel to the Caribbean in pursuit of a kidnapped nephew. The history of slave trading, European colonial rule and sea travel are all richly detailed.
Unfortunately, I still cannot simply give a full stamp of approval to Gabaldon. She is a great writer and the historical detail and storyline are independently worthy of praise. But, in my opinion, she keeps these books from being truly great by including all the "ample bosom"isms. I don't know if there was a quota for the number of times she had to mention nipples but if there was. . .she met it.
That being said, I still loved it. It's a perfect mix of escapism and page-turning plot that truly makes reading fun.
Yes, I am still reading English Creek. Apparently, Ivan Doig just doesn't write the word "nipple" enough.