Author: Diana Gabaldon
Genre: Historical Fiction
First Published: 1991
Page Count: 627
Film/ TV Adaptation: Yes*
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Note: Book 1 of the Outlander series
An epic time travel romance that will make you fall in love with the culture and history of the Scottish highlands.
*Perfect Male Love Interest *Dynamic Plot Line
“Don’t be afraid. There’s the two of us now.” Claire Randall and her husband, Frank Randall, have decided to take a second honeymoon to Inverness, Scotland to rekindle their marriage after a long separation during WWII. While studying the plant life of the countryside, Claire’s chance visit to the mysterious standing stones of Craigh na Dun transport her to 18th century Scotland. Her jump through time lands her in hot water with the British army and her husband’s ancestor Captain Jack Randall, but she is soon swept up by Clan Mackenzie and taken under their wing to the protection of Castle Leoch. Claire must find a way back to her own time, but her knowledge as a healer, the plans of the clan leaders, and a bond between Claire and the strapping, but complicated Jamie Fraser inevitably delays her journey home.
Finally, I put my foot down and told myself to really see what this whole Outlander craze was about. I didn’t want to give in, especially after seeing my mom power through so many hefty tomes. I’d already done that with Game of Thrones, and I wasn’t too keen to start up another series where I’d have to invest that much time and effort. But I caught a few episodes of the show and was hooked, so what can I say? Outlander definitely has one of the best male love interests I’ve read in any book. He’s ruggedly handsome, humble, kind, and brave almost to a fault, but he’s not perfect; he’s got a troubling past that continues to haunt his future. Maybe it’s just me, but that combination of traits and back story made Jamie Fraser a very attractive character. The story is also very entertaining because the reader gets to really experience 18th century Scottish culture, politics, and history. Gabaldon fit so many different plot twists into the first book; it makes me wonder what she could possibly have left to write about in the next seven.
The ending of the book does have probably one of the most graphic, disturbing scenes I’ve ever read, but compared to the rest of the book, the conclusion felt strained. Once the disturbing scene is over there is a lot of healing and talking that take place. It leaves you wondering what more could take place to keep this story going. Then, in literally the last few sentences of the book, the author drops a tiny little nugget to make you want to read on to the second book. If she hadn’t have done that, I’m not sure how desperate I would have been to continue with the series.
I will, of course, be continuing on with the books. There are still lingering questions that need answers and Claire and Jaime are a great couple to read about. She’s a headstrong, modern-day woman, and he’s a headstrong 18th century man brought up with traditional Scottish family values about relationships. It’s fun and it works. Plus, the book has completely captured my interest in Scottish history, my own Scottish ancestors, and the highlands in general. Let’s just say after reading this book, a trip to Scotland has jumped to a very high position on my bucket list of future travel destinations.
*TV Adaptations: (Starring Caitriona Balfe 2014)