Voyager (novel)

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Voyager
Gabaldon-Voyager-1993.jpg
First edition cover
Author Diana Gabaldon
Country United States
Language English
Series Outlander series (Book 3)
Genre Historical novel
Published 1993 (Delacorte Press)
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 870 pp
ISBN 978-0385302326
Preceded by Dragonfly in Amber
Followed by Drums of Autumn

Voyager is the third book in the Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Centered on time travelling 20th-century nurse Claire Randall and her 18th-century Scottish Highland warrior husband Jamie Fraser, the books contain elements of historical fiction, romance, adventure and science fiction/fantasy.[1]

The heroine of the bestselling Outlander, Claire, returns in Voyager as a mother to Brianna Ellen Randall and living in Boston in the year 1968. The preceding novel, Dragonfly in Amber, ended with Claire and Brianna coming to grips with the truth of the identity of Brianna's real father, Jamie Fraser, and Claire's travel through time. In Voyager, Claire and Brianna trace Jamie's life since the battle of Culloden during the Jacobite rising of 1745. Discovering Jamie survived the massacre that heralded the destruction of many clans in Scotland sends Claire back to the stone circle that first hurtled her through time - twenty years before.

Plot summary[edit]

April 16, 1746

Voyager opens on the battlefield at Culloden. Jamie Fraser opens his eyes, thinking he is dead realizes that he is gravely wounded and has lost feeling in one leg because a dead man lays across him; Jack Randall. Jamie is carried to a nearby farmhouse where 18 Highland men have gathered. Most are badly wounded. Finally Harold Grey, Earl of Melton arrives as representative of the Duke of Cumberland and announces the survivors will be shot. As each man is led outside to be executed, Melton takes his name for the records. When it is finally Jamie's turn, Melton recognizes him as famed Jacobite “Red Jamie,” but unfortunately he can't execute him because Jamie released his younger brother, Lord John Grey, at Preston rather than kill him. In exchange for his life, John and his family owe Jamie a debt of honour. Melton's solution is to send Jamie home, thinking that he probably won't survive the journey, due to the injuries to his leg. Jamie isn't pleased about this as he had planned to die at Culloden.

With the English scouring the country for Jacobite rebels, Jamie is forced to live in a cave near Lallybroch. He visits his sister, Jenny, and her family once a month to shave, wash, and hear news. By invoking a deed of sasine, Jamie signed Lallybroch over to Jenny’s eldest son, his namesake, Jamie, preventing the English from seizing their home as the property of a Jacobite traitor. Unfortunately this doesn't stop the Crown from repeatedly arresting Ian as a potential traitor. Thanks to his red hair, Jamie becomes a Scottish legend, the “Dunbonnet,” and knowing there is a price on his head, he arranges to be turned into the English so his tenants can claim the reward. The gold paid for his capture saves many people from starving. Jamie is sent to Ardsmuir Prison and becomes the leader of the prisoners and they call him Mac Dubh. At Ardsmuir, Jamie meets Lord John Grey again as he is the new governor of the prison. Lord John tells him that he was shamed for giving what information he had to the Jacobites and losing the cannon that they were taking to General Cope. Lord John's predecessor tells him that he invited Jamie to dinner once a week to discuss the other prisoners and suggests that Lord John continue the custom, which he does. John believes that Jamie knows the whereabouts of the French gold allegedly sent to Bonnie Prince Charlie. When the prison is fully renovated, the Crown transports the prisoners to America and uses the former prison as an army barracks. However, John arranges to have Jamie sent to England to work at Helwater in the Lake District, the stud farm of Lord Dunsany, a family friend of Lord John's.

Dunsany has two daughters, the elder is infatuated with Jamie but is betrothed to Lord Ellesmere, an elderly man, and she blackmails Jamie into spending a night with her, using a letter from his sister, Jenny. Knowing Jenny and her family would be in trouble with the Crown if the letter fell into the wrong hands, Jamie agrees. Geneva leaves Helwater and marries Lord Ellesmere. Nine months later, she gives birth to a baby boy and dies the next day. Jamie takes her father and sister to see her and Ellesmere tells Lord Dunsany that the baby is not his and threatens to kill him but Jamie kills Ellesmere instead. The baby, called William, returns to Helwater with them. In reward for his actions, Lady Dunsany offers to ask Lord John to petition for a pardon so he can go home to Lallybroch. However, wanting to be near his son, Jamie thanks her for the offer but refuses for now. Jamie stays several more years at Helwater but as Willie grows older, the resemblance to Jamie becomes clearer and even visitors comment on it. Jamie realizes it is time for him to leave and asks Lady Dunsany to arrange the pardon. He leaves Helwater and returns to Lallybroch.

1968

In the 20th century, Claire is trying to come to terms with the news that Jamie didn’t die at Culloden. Reverend Wakefield’s adopted son, Roger MacKenzie, offers to find out what happened to him. She has a daughter named Brianna. Through Roger and Brianna’s research, they find that after he arranged to be given to the English, he was imprisoned, not executed. Once Roger, Bree, and Claire find evidence of Jamie writing an article printed in 1765, Claire begins to seriously consider going back to find him. Brianna supports her decision, telling her that her father deserves to know that she was born and is well, and if Claire doesn’t do it, she will. Finally, on Halloween 1968, Claire goes to Craigh na Dun and goes through.

1765

Claire makes it safely through the stones and finds Jamie living in Edinburgh under the name Alex Malcolm. She finds him in the print shop he runs but soon learns that it is a front for a liquor smuggling business. His nephew, Young Ian, runs away from Lallybroch to “assist” his uncle in the business. Claire is reunited with Fergus too. They tell everyone that Claire was with her family in France, believing that Jamie was killed at Culloden, and only just learned that he was alive.

After a failed smuggling run, Jamie takes Claire and Young Ian back to Lallybroch. The day after arriving, Claire discovers that Jamie had married again and has two stepdaughters, Marsali and Joan. Claire is furious to learn that Jamie's new wife is Laoghaire, who, 20 years earlier, got her arrested for witchcraft, because she was also in love with Jamie. Jamie tries to explain that the marriage was not a success and that is why he was living in Edinburgh. Devastated that Jamie had kept this from her, she leaves Lallybroch. Young Ian goes after her and brings her back, telling her that Laoghaire shot Jamie and he was dying. She does, and seeing him near death, sees that the gunshot is badly infected and injects Jamie with antibiotics and a syringe she brought with her from the 20th century and Jamie survives. Jamie negotiates a settlement with Laoghaire, agreeing him to pay her 1200 pounds in compensation and support her until she marries again. To get the money to pay her, he, Jenny and Ian return to the “seals’ treasure,” the French gold and jewels Duncan Kerr had told him was buried on an island off of Inverness. Jamie cannot swim, due to his injury, so Young Ian goes with them to get the treasure. Once they have the treasure, they plan to go to France and sell the jewels. However, Young Ian is kidnapped by a strange ship. Jamie and Claire go to France, where Jamie's cousin, Jared, helps them determine the ship's identity and gives them a ship so they can go to the West Indies to rescue Ian. Fergus and Laoghaire’s daughter, Marsali, go with them.

At sea, their ship is hailed by an English ship called the Porpoise, begging for a surgeon because many sailors are very ill. Claire suspects it is typhus, and knowing she won't catch it as she was vaccinated against it, agrees to go aboard. While she is treating the sick, the Porpoise gets under way with Claire on board. Again, Claire finds herself separated from Jamie again. Claire learns that the customs agent searching for Jamie is aboard the Porpoise and plans to have Jamie arrested once they land in Jamaica. Since the punishment for smuggling is hanging, Claire decides to warn Jamie and escapes, landing on the island of Hispaniola. She is found by a naturalist who is studying the island's flora, Dr. Stern, and a bizarre drunken, defrocked priest. Jamie's ship ran aground on Hispaniola following a storm, but Claire soon learns that Jamie had left them to rescue her! He is captured briefly but escapes and is reunited with Claire and the Artemis.

Jamaica

Claire mentions to Jamie that she met the new governor and he is surprised and pleased to learn it is his old friend, Lord John. Disguised as a Frenchman, Jamie attends a ball for the governor and leaves to speak to John privately. A young woman is murdered at the ball and the guests are detained under suspicion. Claire also speaks to John and he tells her that he gave Jamie a portrait of his son, Willie. John then tells Claire about William as Jamie had not told her.

Jamie and Claire set about searching for Young Ian, visiting a slave market and then the plantation of a Mrs. Abernathy, who is rumored to have recently purchased new slaves. Mrs. Abernathy turns out to be none other than Geilis Duncan. Jamie offers to help fix some machinery and Geillis tells Claire that she escaped being burned as a witch by threatening to kill her and Dougal’s newborn son if he did not help her escape. She got away, went to the West Indies, and married a wealthy landowner, Mr. Abernathy. Claire and Geilis talk about how time travel “works,” and Claire tells her that you can travel to a specific time by concentrating on a person who lives there. This was a novel concept for Geilis, who had previously used human sacrifice and gemstones as a way to make time travel happen. In the end, Jamie and Claire discover that Geilis is known to keep boys on the plantation and learn that she likely has Ian. Jamie and his men plan a rescue mission to recover Ian, by force if necessary, only to find that Geilis has left and taken Ian with her. Claire visits Geilis' workroom and finds a picture of Bree nailed to the table, with a pentagram drawn on it. After a momentous struggle in a cave on Jamaica, Jamie and Claire escape with Ian. As they sail away from Jamaica, they are chased by the Porpoise again. They hit a massive storm and the British ship is lost. The Artemis is blown off course, and when they are finally shipwrecked, they are surprised that they are in the American colony of Georgia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reese, Jennifer (November 27, 2007). "Book Review: Lord John and the Hand of Devils (2007)". EW.com. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 

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