It left me feeling ill

Outlander  - Diana Gabaldon

***BTW, here is another persons take on it.***

 

picked up this book for lack of anything else to read. God, I regret that move so very much.


This book starts out fine, Claire is marry to this guy and they are out in country in Scotland having a second honeymoon and reconnecting after having been away from one another because of WWII. 

The pacing in this book is not a real brisk one, it is rather mellow and the prose is quite purple and without much action to the words. Anyways, Claire touches some magical stones and she travels back to the past... Now, here things get hairy.

She is attacked and assaulted within 5 minutes of her arrival by the villain. She is later kidnapped by some kilt wearing men and Jamie is amongst them. She gains his acquaintance because, as a former army nurse, she helps put his dislocated shoulder back into place. 

At first things are good, Jamie is a sweet guy who sort of becomes Claire's friend, he comforts her when she feels homesick and later even accepts to marry her when she is requested to be surrendered to the English by villain. He is even sweet the first time and subsequent times afterwards. This here is the reason why I feel so many women have loved this book, is hard not to love Jamie because of how tender and sweet he is but when push comes to shove he suddenly becomes an abuser of the first order. 

It's hard to accept that the man you have shared your bed with and has promised to protect you to his last breath suddenly is abusing and beating you. This plainly happens to Claire, she is trying her hardest to reconcile the man who beat her with the loving husband who was worried about being too rough with her during their wedding night. The beating is glossed over and faded to black but Claire's brief recollection of the events leaves feeling chilled.

It had been a most unpleasant night. My reluctant acquiescence had lasted precisely as far as the first searing crack of leather on flesh. This was followed by a short, violent struggle, which left Jamie with a bloody nose, three lovely gouges down one cheek, and a deeply bitten wrist. Not surprisingly, it left me half smothered in the greasy quilts with a knee in my back, being beaten within an inch of my life. 

Later Claire doesn't to leave their room she is ashamed of the beating but Jamie tells her everything will be fine. And sure enough when she goes down to breakfast their travelling companions chide Jamie for beating her too hard.

“I hope Jamie wasna too harsh wi’ ye last night, lass. It sounded as though ye were bein’ murderrt, at least.” 

Did you read that? 

She screamed like she was being murdered.

Now, I hope and pray no one will ever have to hear the screams of a woman when she is being beaten but I have have heard the howls of a woman being beaten and it is the most horrible thing I have ever heard in my life. Nothing I say can ever properly communicate how awful it is to hear the sounds of bodies hitting the walls or the sounds of fist connecting with flesh. 

Jamie beat Claire with a leather strap.

And nothing, NOTHING, can ever justify this kind of abuse. Not the time period, not the attitude "Oh, everyone beat everyone back in that time."

Absolutely NOTHING!


Why?

Because this book was written around 1990 by a modern woman who should have known better than the portray an abusive relationship and romanticize it.

There is no justification to someone hitting you. 

NO JUSTIFICATION for physical violence in ANY relationship. Physical punishment hurts the victim and leaves you thinking that violence is the answer to situations where one easily speak about what happened and try to solve it peacefully. 

I can't, being a woman myself and in all conciousness, support this book. I object to the message this book delivers and the relationship it portrays.