Most of my literary crushes are transitory, lasting only as long as it takes for me to finish a novel or until the hero does or says something that annoys me, whichever comes first. I don’t remember their names a month later.
Some, such as Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre, Claude Monet in Claude and Camille, and Tom Cole in The Day the Falls Stood Still, remain with me, luring me back to their pages later so I can experience that heady rush again. These infatuations feel more like lingering memories of full-blown love affairs. The daydream dissipates soon enough, though, because I've already lived those stories. I know what he’ll do, what he’ll say, and I know how it will all end.
|Outlander series, book 8|
I've only ever had one literary husband.
I met him back in 1992, when I was 17 and he was 21. We've shared eight epic adventures spanning 22 years and over 7500 pages, with the promise of more to come. We've aged together, though he has done so at an accelerated pace – he’s 58 at the end of the most recent book – and he continues to exhilarate, exasperate and surprise me.
I refer, as many of you have likely guessed, to Diana Gabaldon’s 18th century Highlander, Jamie Fraser. I admit it, I pre-order each of the Outlander books the moment I can. When one arrives, I drop anything I might be reading or doing, and dive in. Yes, the books are “door-stoppers.” Yes, they meander. Yes, at times the object of my affection doesn't show himself for a frustratingly long time. When he does reappear, depending on the circumstances, I mentally embrace him or smack him over his stubborn Scottish head. Either way I ask, “What took you so long?”
I may leaf ahead to find out how long I must wait, but I always read every word in between.
And now, after years of wishing someone would do the obvious thing and make a TV series, it has happened. Even better, Diana Gabaldon herself has quite vocally approved of the casting choices of Sam Heughan for Jamie and Caitriona Balfe for Claire. The previews look amazing. The show officially premiers on Starz August 9th but fans can watch the first episode online on the 2nd.
I've already cleared my calendar.
Have you read the Outlander books? What are your thoughts on the upcoming series?