Book Title/Author: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Publisher/Year: July 26th 2005 by Dell Publishing Company (first published June 1st 1991)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy
Series: Book #1 from Outlander Series
“The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.” (Goodreads)
I had finished this book back in September 2014 and had my review only posted on Goodreads. I forgot to put this review on here. I am happy that I stumbled across this old review so that I can share it with you now:
Claire Randall, the witty and opinionated female protagonist, finds herself transported back to 1743, where she is conflicted with: (1) escaping from boorish Scottish company/captors in an attempt to be transported back to her time, 1945, and reunited with her husband Frank; or (2) giving into her heart’s desires to stay and begin a life with Jamie Fraser, a handsome and strong, red haired, blue eyed, Scotsman who at first comes across as ill-tempered, but has the sole of a passionate romantic.
Although Outlander appears to be a dauntingly long novel, I can honestly say that the story was fast-paced and entertaining from start to finish. Gabaldon’s characters are well developed and many are complex; this grand character development allows readers to have a many emotions and opinions about the various characters.
Outlander is not for everyone. You will need to be able to stomach extreme sexual violence and bloodshed. Readers should also begin the novel with an understanding that the characters are behaving in a manner that was deemed appropriate given their historical context (during the year 1743).
Readers can develop mixed feelings or even a hatred for Jamie, although he is a gentleman and sweetheart for the vast majority of the novel, there is one scene of domestic violence where Jamie beats Claire with a belt. By no means am I saying that violence is acceptable, but again readers need to be able to comprehend the scene in a 1743 historical context.
I absolutely loved this book and I plan to continue reading the series. There are many aspects of this book that made it qualify to be included in my Favourites list. However, I will not bore you with an infinite list; instead, I will give you two reasons: (1) the pace of the novel and (2) the character development.
Outlander will have you in a state where you want to just stay home with a blanket and a cup of tea, turn off the world around you, and just get lost in its beautiful tale. The pace of the novel is perfect, as each chapter has something exciting and of importance occur.
The character development is that of exemplary proportions, never have I cared for a literary couple to this magnitude, nor loathed an antagonist as much as I do Captain Black Jack Randall.
“Ye werena the first lass I kissed,” he said softly. “But I swear you’ll be the last.”
“There are things that I canna tell you, at least not yet. And I’ll ask nothing of ye that ye canna give me. But what I would ask of ye—when you do tell me something, let it be the truth. And I’ll promise ye the same. We have nothing now between us, save—respect, perhaps. And I think that respect has maybe room for secrets, but not for lies. Do ye agree?”
“Sometimes our best action result in things that are most regrettable.”