Friday, 14 August 2009

Outlander


This is one of my all-time favourite books. It is the first book in a hugely successful series by author Diana Gabaldon.

Synopsis: English nurse Claire Beauchamp Randall and husband Frank take a second honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands in 1945. When Claire walks through a cleft stone in an ancient henge, she's somehow transported to 1743. She encounters Frank's evil ancestor, British captain Jonathan "Black Jack" Randall, and is adopted by the Fraser clan. Claire nurses young soldier Jamie Fraser, a handsome redhead, and the two begin a romance, seeing each other through many perilous adventures involving Black Jack. Gabaldon describes the Highlanders' daily life and blends it with Scottish wit and humour. Eventually Claire finds a chance to return to 1945, and must choose between distant memories of her husband, Frank, and her happy, uncomplicated existence with Jamie.

My thoughts: When I first found this book I was a little skeptical and thought it was more of a 'bodice-ripper' (a genre that I don't read). The book is over 600 pages long so even starting it was a little daunting to me (who had just had my second child and whose reading time was very limited and precious!). The storyline starts off slowly but by page 100 I dare anyone to not be hooked! This book sucked me in and 8 years later I still love it.

When people ask me what genre of book "Outlander" is it's really hard to describe it. It's part historical fiction, part romance (which can get pretty steamy at times), part action, part supernatural ... The main characters, Claire and Jamie, are intense and complicated and the secondary characters are just as rich and interesting so you find yourself rooting and cheering for them and thinking about them long after you've finished the book. The storyline is fast-paced, full of action and is grounded in real events (ie. the Battle of Culloden).

I love the fact that Gabaldon has a very strong, smart lead female character like Claire. She's not a damsel in distress and can hold her own in some very intense situations. The connection between Claire and Jamie can leave you breathless and wishing that your own man could don a kilt and speak in a Scottish brogue once in awhile ;)
My Rating: 5/5

5 comments:

Nix said...

I may have to give this another try. I didn't make it to page 100 the first time I tried to read it. If I had known originally that it would get better I may have given it a chance.
Thanks :o)

Laurie said...

Nix, it definitely picks up (and doesn't let up!) once you get over the 100 page mark. I admit that the first 100 pages were tough to get through. :s

Farmer Giesen said...

I have made it to the second part in The Fiery Cross. I think I just may make it through this time. I'm determined.

Janet said...

I loved this book--the whole series, actually. It`s my favorite series. One of the few that I actually own and will never give up.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Janet, I actually re-read this book last year and loved it again! I have hopes to re-read the whole series. I actually only got through the 4th book. I have "A Breath of Snow and Ashes" signed by Gabaldon (how awesome is it to meet authors!?!) but sadly it had been so long since I had read the series that I thought I'd be missing big parts of the story if I didn't re-read it all ... a daunting task to say the least. Have you read any of Sara Donati's series? Loved it even more. Less fixated on trivial details than the Outlander series.

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