The Patmans of Sweet Valley: a plantation in Georgia

Previously on…

Ok, so when I realized that the next segment would take place on a plantation during the civil war. I got super excited because I thought that the Patmans would be totally ignorant and the ghostwriter would be incredibly racist. Excited of course, because I love nothing more than hating on them.

You know what? It wasn’t bad. This is actually some of the better writing I’ve read. They must have gotten a special ghostwriter for this one. And they actually did their research and included some historical info. Anyhoo, James and Sanford are the sons of Henry Patman, who, as you know, was banished from England after he tried to elope with Sophie Edmunson. He later inherited a plantation and made a fortune off of it. It’s called “Enchanted Meadows”. Bwah! And, apparently, also became a crusty racist slaveowner. Their plantation has over 250 “Negroes” and the threat of the impending war will have an affect on that. James disagrees and challenges his father and asks about the rights of the slaves, and they debate about the rights of landowners and draw parallels to the rights of the colonies under British tyranny. I’m telling you, it’s deep. Jame’s father in law responds: “It’s admirable that you have this humanitarian instincts for these poor, inferior creatures. But all this talk about education and freedom from them…next you’ll be supporting rights for ladies, like those ill-bred, bloomer-wearing Yankee women!” Noyce.

James decides he’s going to side with the North and leaves his family. Three months later, he is smuggling slaves from safe house to safe house with the Underground Railroad. He takes notice of Hope, one of the slaves that has taken the lead in helping. “Her face and hair were so dark he couldn’t see her until he was a few feet away.” WE GET IT! She’s black. It mentions how beautiful she is, and I am surprised they didn’t mention that her “dirty rags emphasized her slender waist.” Seriously.

They deliver the runaway slaves to a farmer’s house and Hope goes with him to rescue more slaves. Then boom, it says they are married and Hope’s preggers. And we missed that part of the book? That would be the interesting part. Later on, he leaves Hope at the Darby’s farm with some other runaway slaves to go and help others escape, and when he comes back he finds that the Darbys have been hung in their field, and Hope has been shot and killed inside the house. WHAT? That is some intense shit, even in an SVH book.

Wait, it gets worse! After the war is over, James heads back to Enchanted Meadows. All his family has died, his brother died in battle, and the place is in ruins. He leaves and says he is “heading west.” Oooooo, I am hoping for a story about the Great Land Race, a la Far and Away.

What does this tell us about Bruce? Ummmmmmm…that even though he and his family employ lots of servants in demeaning roles, he has a special place in his heart for them?

This has totally given me the urge to read some good historical fiction. Anybody have any recs? I don’t want mass-market-supermarket paperbacks, but it doesn’t have to be intense. I’ve read the Red Tent and basically all of Phillipa Gregory’s novels….

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43 thoughts on “The Patmans of Sweet Valley: a plantation in Georgia

  1. fshk says:

    The best historical novel I’ve read recently was Sex Wars by Marge Piercy. Good writing, well-researched, about real people, plus lots of scandal and intrigue. (It’s post-Civil War New York, primarily about Victoria Woodhull, an advocate of free love who led a very interesting life, including being the first woman to run for president.)

  2. christine says:

    i knew Hope would die. Why? Because miscegenation would destroy the Patman’s rep in Sweet Valley. Too bad. The swirl is so in right now.

  3. Jade Wu's Toe Shoe says:

    I loved Margaret George’s MEMOIRS OF CLEOPATRA, and Sandra Gulland’s trilogy on the life of Josephine Bonaparte (the first of which is called THE MANY LIVES AND SECRET SORROWS OF JOSEPHINE B.) I totally suggest both, although Ms. Gulland’s trilogy is a bit of a lighter read.

    (I would like to point out that this thread is going to yield five hundred and sixty two intelligent book recommendations, and we’re all going to be left pondering how such bright minds could be so thoroughly obsessed with SVH.)

  4. ihatewheat says:

    Seriously! I want to quit my job and read all day.

    I think that’s the irony: lots of us who read SVH as young girls were into reading and that love of reading would carry on to our adult lives…but it sucks that the “bookish” girls had to get more of a message that being blond and thin were most important.

  5. James says:

    so THAT’S how they managed to explain the hand the Patmans had in helping slaves along the underground railroad. Pretty neat.

    this story was actually very….gripping. sort of a cross between “Gone With The Wind” and “Days Of Our Lives”. thanks for the recap

  6. Jessa Fields says:

    ihatewheat, have you read any of the YA lit out now (Gossip Girl, A-List, etc)? I’d be curious what you think. Because if you think SVH had an awful message, these are unreal (yet somewhat addictive, as they have the soap opera serial element I loved in SVH, and they are sometimes very funny, albeit often unintentionally.).

    Half the time these books read like an unironic American Psycho–it’s just a catalog of name-brand items, not only clothes but food and even bedsheets, strung together in a painfully obvious way. I find it mind-boggling–do 16-year-olds (or 12-year-olds) today really care about designer upholstery or gourmet coffee? I keep wondering if the ghostwriters get paid for product placement. And while Liz “Ingalls” Wakefield might have been annoyingly preachy, almost every character in these books is Jessica, or worse.

    There is also a lot of sex, drug use, etc. That’s not really the bad part of it, though–the materialism is what gets to me. It normalizes really bizarre, greedy behavior in girls. And, of course, all the female characters are white, non-Jewish, wealthy, a size two or below, same as SVH–but in these books you hear about it even more often.

  7. Gretchen says:

    Jessa – I just read the first book in the A-List series and was absolutely appalled. Maybe that’s because I’m trying to write a feminist-y young adult novel myself, but SERIOUSLY. The only important thing in that book was this dude and how desirable he was and how all the girls in the book were screwing each other over just to be with this guy. There’s also the fatphobia, of course – one of the main characters is a size 8 (!) and hates herself because of it. Basically, the message was: do anything and everything to get a hot boyfriend, even stab your friends in the back, and under no circumstances can you be bigger than a size 2. I mean, I know SVH was bad, but it wasn’t this bad. I mean, maybe I’m just looking at it through my feminist lenses more closely now, but I’ve reread a few SVHs since I began reading this blog, and it just doesn’t seem as blatantly evil as the crap that’s on the shelves now.

  8. James says:

    YA novels now are just magazines like Cosmopolitan and Glamour put in book form. what do they all have in common? how to look “better” (based on some hollywood standard), attract men, makeup tips, and what to wear. I used to think there’s no way women could possibly be this shallow but for some reason, you guys are fed consumerism with a sexist bent (got that from one of my old professors) passed off as some sort of ideology. If i ever have a daughter she’s gonna be a hardcore feminist from day one!

    remember that SVH book where a girl made the football team as quarterback? there was quite a bit of good feminist commentary in that one. too bad we never heard from her again…but you know Ken Matthews wasn’t gonna lose his job to a girl

    and i hated how they compromised at the end by making her “unofficial third string”. wtf did that mean? Damned mixed messages!

  9. Jessa Fields says:

    Gretchen–try Gossip Girl, it’s worse. In A-List the girls are at least interested in things other than guys (well, some of them are). The thing that I wonder about is what teenage girls actually think of these books, whether they think they reflect their lives and values, whether they aspire to be like the characters, or whether they’re as amused/disgusted as we are. I mean, most of us read questionable YA and turned out fine, but then again, I did have my own baby-sitters club. And I started a Slam Book (gag).

    But these new books lay out really specific codes of behavior; they incorporate actual products you can (and apparently should) buy, actual places you can go– there’s no Lisette’s or Cam Geary here. It’s so materialistic and narcissitic, and so amazingly precise. People make a big deal about the sex, but that’s the least of the problems–these books remind me of Paris Hilton’s sex video, how she checked out her reflection and took phone calls in the midst of the act. Feelings are besides the point, it’s all about buying thing and flaunting them. Very weird, very disturbing.

    Sorry, I’m rambling…

  10. Jessa Fields says:

    If i ever have a daughter she’s gonna be a hardcore feminist from day one!

    James, if I weren’t already happily married, I’d propose to you right now!

  11. Amber Tan says:

    Ditto re: Jade Wu’s Toe Shoe’s recommendation (i.e. Margaret George’s MEMOIRS OF CLEOPATRA)

    Margaret George’s most recent book is “Helen of Troy” which I scored in the Atlanta airport bookstore back in July. I also liked her “Mary Queen of Scotts”.

  12. Count Tisiano says:

    Jessa-

    While I know that I’m partially to blame for your addiction to current YA novels (so I really shouldn’t make fun of the amount of detail you know about these things), reading your passionate entries on this forum just yet again confirm to me that my older sister, a smart, funny, creative and interesting PhD student and mother of a lovely 4 month old girl (who sadly, is not named after Lila) somehow has waaay too much time on her hands.

    That said, my current favorite YA novels are the “Private” series. It’s Gossip Girl at a Connecticut boarding school with all the requisite brand name-dropping, but with enough of a “fish out of the water” perspective (like an extremely lame “Prep”) and a murder mystery to make it a less monotonous read than the other appalling series that are out there.

    (That said, I am still too old to be reading this crap. Oh well.)

  13. Melody_Grey says:

    I might need to check out some of these new YA series, because most of the ones I’ve read lately are pretty good. I just finished the last of Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series (which officially raised the genre from YA to “Chick Lit.” Currently, I’m in the midst of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga (just finished book 2, [i]New Moon[/i]). ‘Course at 22, I’m also just out of the target range for current YA stuff, so it could be (my) age bias. I’m afraid to read Gossip Girl, though. I tried watching the show a few times (because I had heard that Kristen Bell was the voice of Gossip Girl), but it was so horrible that I couldn’t take anymore. So I shudder to think what the book series is like.

  14. James says:

    @ jessa, that’s a compliment of the highest order! many thanks. My mom was a feminist and i saw how far her no bs attitude took her in life…you wouldn’t ever catch her crying over not being a size 0

    if i may make a recommendation….for an honest look at teen life (although the genre is more teen thriller than YA), you guys may want to check out Christopher Pike books. In between the supernatural or horror elements, are teenaged women who are confident, driven, smart, and determined.

  15. maybeimamazed02 says:

    Also for good YA:

    Try Sarah Dessen’s novels (her most recent, Just Listen, is about a girl recovering from a sexual assault–dealt with very realistically, unlike SVH–and is just fantastic).

    Garret Freymann-Weyr (most recent book is Stay With Me) also has intelligent young female protagonists, who do have sex, but it is presented as a significant thing and not trashily.

    Before I Die by Jenny Downham follows a girl in her last months battling cancer (yeah, sounds very Lurlene McDaniel, but it’s way better, I promise).

    I completely agree about Megan McCafferty, the Jessica Darling books are amazing.

    And last but not least, When It Happens by Susan Colisanti is very good…sort of a modern-day Say Anything (and the author is a high school teacher, so the dialogue is very realistic).

    I know, I know, I’m a 27-year-old who reads YA, but honestly, there’s a lot of good stuff if you know where to look, AND I’m writing a YA novel, so it’s research, right? πŸ™‚

  16. 1979semifinalist says:

    @james:
    the older Christopher Pike books definitely hold up better than SVH and a lot of this other stuff that ihatewheat is gracing us with over here on Dairi Burger, but as you can check out over on my blog (i recently re-read seven Pike books in five days in a bizarre experiment) there is plenty of “gorgeous (thin) girls” and “gorgeous (thin) girls ONLY” going on in his books…and for some reason they’re all wearing tight white pants with a colorful blouse…

    http://www.1979semifinalist.wordpress.com

    @ihatewheat:
    another brilliant review. i’m glad this one was slightly less repulsive…you deserved a break!

  17. Meryl says:

    Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” and the sequels “Dragonfly in Amber,” “Voyager,” “Drums of Autumn,” “The Fiery Cross” and “A Breath of Snow and Ashes.” They’re AMAZING.

  18. tatsu says:

    For quality Historical fiction try Jean Plaidy, I discovered them when i started at secondary school, around the same time that i ceased reading SVH.
    ‘Queen of this Realm’ about Elizabeth I is especially good.

    My favourite Queen Elizabeth book is ‘Legacy’ by Susan Kay, rather more soapy but still very well written. It knocks the socks off Phillipa Gregory offerings.

    Otherwise i’d recommend the Merlin series by Mary Wesley and am smitten since childhood with the Regency romances of Georgette Heyer. They’re frivolous, snobby, romantic and witty at the same time as being impectably researched and lightly and beautifully written. ‘The Grand Sophy’ is a good one to start with for a grown up. It’s very funny and the excessively beautiful (slim) blond is refreshingly, for a palate jaded on the wakefields, a secondary character. ‘These old shades’ was my childhood favourite; dramatics abound.

  19. Jessa Fields says:

    my older sister, a smart, funny, creative and interesting PhD student and mother of a lovely 4 month old girl (who sadly, is not named after Lila) somehow has waaay too much time on her hands

    Hey everyone needs to have a hobby. And you are not partially to blame for my revived YA addiction, you are totally to blame. I had gone clean until you shoved that Gossip Girl book in my hands three years ago! Enabler.

  20. Winnie Egbert says:

    Ooh! Ooh! {waves hand frantically in the air}

    Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir was one of the best books I’ve read this year. She usually writes non-fic about the Tudors and similar and her research is so in-depth that she’s able to construct this incredibly heart-wrenchingly believable account of the life of Lady Jane Grey (grew up in Henry VIII’s court, queen of England for 9 days between Edward VI and Bloody Mary Tudor). Interesting twist – she changes narrator with every chapter, so you get perspectives from all the major players.

    The husband they force on her is a total Bruce Patman, and her mom is like Julie Cooper from O.C./Atia from Rome.

  21. Juanita says:

    @ maybeimamazed02 –

    I second the Sarah Dessen recommendation. I think her books are great. John Green is also amazing, as are Elizabeth Scott, E. Lockhart, Rachel Cohn, and Maureen Johnson, just to name a few. Some YA is really good.

  22. Jade Wu's Toe Shoe says:

    Amber Tan, I also enjoyed Ms. George’s HELEN OF TROY, but I always hold off on recommending it solely because I feel that if I wasn’t already a mythology buff, I wouldn’t have liked it as much as I did. You? I’ve found some people to be turned off by the fact that she involves “the gods” in her telling of the tale – whereas I would not have read it if she had left them out. (I almost wept at how bad the film “Troy” was a few years ago; I believe this glaring omission was the reason why.)

    By the way – ihatewheat, LOVE this recap! And forgive me for not saying so earlier!

  23. Merrie says:

    I recently read the Gossip Girl books. I wanted to know what the fuss was about. It was pure entertainment and the things Blair and Serena do would make even Jessica flip — wouldn’t you love to see Lila Fowler mix it up with those to? I do worry that young girls like my 12-year-old sister will read Gossip Girl and think that’s how her life should be, but I hope that living in the good ol’ Midwest and not NYC will bring her down to earth. Unfortunately, what’s written in Gossip Girl mirrors the message women of all ages see today, thanks to magazines like Glamour, TV shows like ‘Sex and the City’ and size-6 celebrities who flaunt their “curvy” figures.

    I read SVH as a pre-teen and, obvious from my comments on this blog, it had an impact on my life, but not in a dangerous way. I didn’t join a cult. I didn’t attempt suicide after I didn’t make the cheerleading squad. Do I wish I was thinner? Sure, but that’s me. Not Francine. Reading, for me, was and continues to be entertainment. It’s how I relax. Some stories stay with me longer, others don’t. Everything I read is for entertainment, even if some works are deeper than others.

    As a kid, I was a fan of BSC, SVH, Fear Street and the Christopher Pike books. I loved Caroline B. Cooney’s ‘Face on the Milk Carton’ series and Cynthia Voigt’s ‘Homecoming’ and ‘Dicey’s Song.’ I read my fair share of trash and of literature. I still do. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    I’m not really sure of the point of this comment. I love knowing that even though all of us read SVH and enjoyed it, we have gone on to read other things beyond it — including the Sunset Island series. πŸ™‚ That being said, ihatewheat, don’t stop what you’re doing! Also, ‘The Diary of Mattie Spenser’ by Sandra Dallas is a good fictional novel set in historic times. It’s written in diary form. Make sure you have Kleenex when you read it!

  24. tatsu says:

    Innocent traitor isn’t bad, I took it on holiday with me and am happy to say it made me feel a smidge weepy more than once and never offended me with it’s accuracy, (well it shouldn’t, should it, the woman’s a historian). On the side of recommendation I’ll be reading her next novel when it comes out. On the negative while she writes well (her historical biographies are easy to read and interesting) and the story’s a goody I didn’t really feel that she added a lot by switching from pure history to historical novel. There was just nothing extra to it.
    Perhaps a bit harsh, she’s still better than most.

  25. Katie says:

    “Then boom, it says they are married and Hope’s preggers.”

    A white man.

    Married to a black woman.

    In the Civil War Era.

    When laws prohibiting interracial marriage weren’t overturned by Loving v. Virginia until NINETEEN SIXTY-SEVEN?!

    Yeah, right. The ghostwriter needs to do more research.

    Hell, an interracial couple is STILL better off NOT living in the South; if it’s a small enough town, they’re likely to get disowned by their families and ostracised by their community, and it’s 2007!

    Jesus H. Christ on a thrice-damned pogo stick. -_-

  26. Amber Tan says:

    @Jade Wu’s Toe Shoe — Yep, fellow mythology buff here. My mom used to read Edith Hamilton to us kids as bedtime stories. πŸ™‚ Wow! You must really have a stronger stomach than I — I just couldn’t make it through “Troy”. As you say, it was truly cringe-worthy. Of course, I tend to think that the book is always better than the movie and am prone to interrupt with protestations. “THAT didn’t happen in the book! They left out blah, blah, blah….” πŸ˜‰

    You make an excellent point re: the role of gods in historical fiction — do they belong? I like to think so. Archaeological findings indicate that humans throughout the ages have always engaged in spiritual rites, stemming from a need to explain everyday occurrences beyond their control.

    In this regard, the inclusion of ‘deities’ in “Helen of Troy” accurately reflects the prevalent beliefs of a given era in that particular place. To the average Greek or Trojan, the ‘statement’ that “Poseidon causes storms” would have been a perfectly acceptable explanation for a tsunami. Because they lacked sufficient means to discover alternative reasons for such events, superstition became the driving force behind the adoption of religious observances. Rituals were formulated as a way to exert tenuous control over the larger world, a kind of “Hey, I can’t stop the wind and rain but I can sacrifice a chicken” mentality. Also, priests, priestesses, and seers were accorded a fairly high degree of status in both Greek and Trojan societies (as well as countless others), primarily because of their perceived mystical abilities.

    Frankly, the fluid intersection of “fact” and “fiction” is part of the genre’s appeal for me. In “Helen of Troy” Ms. George took a war that was waged over the rights to a highly prized trade route between opposing ‘city-state-nations’ and used a fictional (i.e. mythical) character as a first person narrator. In the book’s foreword, Ms. George addresses the fact that there’s no solid proof a Spartan Queen named Helen ever existed even though the Trojan War truly did happen.

    Ms. George did something similar in “Mary Called Magdelene” which is about Mary Magdelene and her ostensible involvement in helping found the early Christian Church. From multiple (non-Biblical) accounts, we do know some stuff re: the early Christian community and its initial organization. But did such a person ever exist? Again, there’s no definitive proof aside from a few mentions in the Greek Testament (not an authoritative resource IMO although YMMV).

    “Memoirs of Cleopatra”, on the other hand, is about a true historical figure of whom some facts are known but the narrative is fleshed out by fictional details. There’s really no way to know exactly what Cleopatra said to Ceasar or Marc Antony in the bedroom IYKWIM. πŸ˜‰ We likewise know that ancient Egyptians believed their rulers to be direct descendants of Ra the Sun God and, hence, divine. Were they really? From our perspective, no, but I’m sure their subjects would have disagreed with us.

    ETA: Thanks, everybody, for the fab recommendations! The main library on campus has available copies of Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir and several titles by Diana Gabaldon. Hooray! πŸ™‚

  27. Melody_Grey says:

    @ Katie: You know, I thought the same thing when I read the recap. But I guess that’s why they married in secret (which probably consisted exclusively of them jumping over a broom) – and why Hope had to die.

    But you are right about being part of interracial couple in the South now, depending on how big the place is. When I was back in high school, there was a Klan rally about 15 minutes away from my house. And I live in what’s considered to be a “metro” area in NC.

  28. Sarah says:

    Certain northern states permitted legal interracial marriages in antebellum America. Do we know the specific location of James and Hope’s wedding? Why am I looking for historical accuracy here. . .

  29. MaggieCat says:

    Re: Historical fiction- seconding the Caleb Carr recommendation with The Alienist and Angel of Darkness. Although mentioning those books here makes me wish I had a literary time machine so Sara Howard could show up and smack the Wakefields for me…

    Fidelis Morgan is also wonderful- murder mysteries set in Restoration England, and again with the amazing female characters. My favorite is The Rival Queens.

  30. Jade Wu's Toe Shoe says:

    Amber Tan, where were you all those years when I was huddled in a corner at recess reading BULFINCH’S MYTHOLOGY while trying to ignore the other kids’ taunting? πŸ˜‰ Incidentally, I think I was also mocked for reading SVH, so there was NO winning with those little tyrants.

    (I did read MARY, CALLED MAGDELENE, but being a devout Catholic, some the liberties that Ms. George took with Scripture hindered my enjoyment of it ever so slightly.)

  31. Amber Tan says:

    Jade Wu’s Toe Shoe – I was probably reading in the coat closet or hiding in the cemetary behind the church/ school compound while you took the heat off me — so thanks for that! πŸ™‚ And I was definitely mocked for reading SVH among other things.

    FWIW I went to Catholic school from 5th grade through Senior year of HS — an all-girls Catholic HS full of CAPs. (For those unfamiliar with said creature, picture a Catholic version of Lila Fowler.) At least I was spared the bitchy cheerleading contingency since there weren’t any boys to cheer for, and of course girls’ sports teams don’t need, like, any encouragement or show of public support doncha yanno. πŸ˜‰

    Thankfully you and I can look back now and see that despite all the mockery (or maybe because of it?), we turned out great while our tormenters are making careers out of pumping gas. Or they have umpteen kids they can’t support. (Sidebar: I grew up in a economically depressed rural area — lots of pregnant seniors at graduation; IIRC some girls didn’t even make it to senior year.) I try not to gloat but thank goodness for the Golden Rule and the “as ye sow, so shall ye reap” policy. πŸ˜‰

    And, yeah, I agree — “Mary, Called Magdelen” isn’t anywhere near to being George’s best work at all. I think she got too caught up in making The Magdelene a heroine. Her research seemed really thin, even myopic, to me. I mean, I’m not a devout anything at this point, but the Hebrew and Greek scriptures are considered part of the historical record no matter what your religious beliefs. George just seemed to pluck out what supported a flimsy preconceived storyline and left out whatever didn’t support her ideas.

    But what seemed really weird to me is that there’s plenty of other documentation about the life of early Christians that George either overlooked or ignored. OK, I’ll grant that it can be difficult to gain admittance to the Vatican’s Library and Secret Archives (i.e. the treasure trove of religious scholarship) but there are plenty of other resources readily available to the laity.

    BTW, one of my dreams is to visit the Secret Archives in real life. The virtual tour merely whets my appetite: http://asv.vatican.va/home_en.htm. All those primary resources make me drool. πŸ™‚

  32. Fraser says:

    The Age of Bronze graphic novels do a stunning job on Troy–no direct divine manifestations, but it’s good enough I don’t mind at all (unusual for me).
    Richard Purtill’s Mirror of Helen isn’t about the war per se, but focuses on Helen as a woman who’s known from childhood that she’ll never be loved for herself since every man loves her for her beauty. Also does a great job on Odysseus (love him!).
    Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series–Napoleonic War with dragons–is great.
    Georgette Heyer, yes!

  33. Fraser says:

    Oh, a friend of mine went to Troy when it hit theaters and overheard a disgruntled viewer mutter “Shit, the arrow just hit Achilles in the foot! That’s not going to hurt him.”

  34. Amber Tan says:

    Bwahaha! Fraser, your friend’s anecdote re: the Troy screening is too funny! Also, thanks for the recommendations — I do loves me some good Trojan War stories. πŸ™‚

    Oh, and I just finished reading “Outlander” — it was pretty good so I’ll start “Dragonfly in Amber” next. Diana Gorlander had me hooked by page 10. That’s the scene in which Claire Randall (hawt, smart, sassy protoganist and accomplished wartime nurse) goes to a tea with her historian husband Frank at the local reverend’s house.

    While pouring the tea, Claire accidentally spills it, scalding their host’s lap, and inadvertently yells out “Bloody f###ing hell!” (a lass after me own heart is that wee Claire). Thankfully, the good Reverend Wakefield (yeah, another Wakefield) doesn’t exhibit any symptoms of Little House on the Prairie Syndrome and tactfully steers the conversation towards a discussion of the evolution of profanity rather than bitching at Claire for her clumsiness. Now I ask you, what’s not to love in that scenario? πŸ˜‰

    Plus the action tableaux and sex scenes are plentiful and well done too — plenty of ultra-violence and quite a bit of the old in and out IYKWIM. Of course Scots men don’t wear anything under their kilts — presumably easy access was all the rage in 18th Century Scotland. πŸ˜‰

    All in all, I rate “Outlander” two thumbs up! πŸ™‚

  35. Fraser says:

    The Outlander books are good. And as someone pointed out to me once, groundbreaking when they first came out: Time-travel romance before the subgenre existed, a heroine who’s married to someone other than the leading man, said leading man being also younger than she is and a virgin to boot.

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