Diana Ga­bal­don’s Vir­gins gives the early story

Life & Style Weekend - - RELAX - with Ally El­phin­stone

If you haven’t read any of the Out­lander se­ries of books by Diana Ga­bal­don, then Vir­gins is not the book for you. This is a pre­quel, if you will, of what makes our favourite Scot­tish hero, Jamie Fraser, the man he is. It fol­lows a jour­ney he makes with his fu­ture brother-in-law Ian Mur­ray af­ter he suf­fers at the hands of neme­sis Cap­tain Jack Ran­dall. The boys are given charge of the de­liv­ery of a young maiden to her fu­ture hus­band and as is with Jamie, the de­liv­ery of same does not go smoothly. The boys are met with thieves and scoundrels, and, as sug­gested by the ti­tle of the book, the dilemma of their sex­ual ex­pe­ri­ence, or lack of. Be­ing a Catholic Scot seems to be quite the ob­sta­cle for the boys, and aside from the sto­ry­line of be­ing hood­winked and dou­ble crossed, we spend a lot of time pon­der­ing the boys’ sex­ual sta­tus. Not sure we needed this book, but at a 120-odd pages, it’s not too tax­ing of a read and it gives us more of the man we’ve grown to adore.

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