Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

When the heck did October happen? This weekend is Thanksgiving (for those north of the North American border) and before you know it, it'll be Christmas. Yup, this year has flow by...but I digress.

This time around I'm bringing you a book review...hence the aptly named title of this post...

As some of you know I have a paranormal book club over at my site; "Bump in the Night Book Club" focuses on the paranormal genre. And last month's selection was Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. This book is hard to put into just one genre, and rightfully so. There's romance, time travel, historic settings and some suspense thrown in there too.

When I was thinking about September's selection I didn't want to do another 'romance'. I heard a few friends talk about this Outlander book, but paid it no mind. But when the lady at the book store said she read the series every year, was on her third set of books and said that I would want to meet Jamie, I thought what the heck.

She was right.

I loved this book. Its pretty meaty at 850 pages, but worth every letter of it.

Here's what the little blurby on the back says...

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon - when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone 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 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.

Holy Smokes. I'm fanning myself just reading that.

I loved everything about this book. I don't have a bad thing to say about it, and recommend everyone read it. There's a reason it's still in production 20 years later. It's just super awesome.

Claire is a confident nurse who is trying to find her self again after the war has ended. Trying to find out what her and her husband Frank still have, and what's changed. After all, 6 years apart during a war can change a person. When she goes back in time, she thinks she's wandered onto a movie set. It takes her a while to believe she's gone 200 years in the past. But her skills as a nurse prove to help her in this strange new world. She's stubborn as hell, and the men around have never met a woman quite like her. This I like a lot. She's no damsel in distress, which usually gets her in more trouble than if she'd just kept her mouth shut.

James Fraser (Jamie) is a mystery from the get go. He has so many last names, and family connections you need a flow chart to keep it all straight. Claire views him as a very young man, but he's 23 and only 5 years younger than she. Maybe because he looks so young and she's used to seeing mass war age young men quickly. He's equally stubborn and feisty as Claire and get himself into just as much trouble. And by the end all you want to do is give him a great big hug and tell him everything will be all right.

The landscapes where eloquently written and now I really really want to go to Scotland.

I love that Diana wrote this book just to see if she could. And you bet your sweet bippy she can. It did take me a bit to catch onto the Scottish brogue, but that only adds to the colour of the book.

So, in a nutshell, because I really could go on and on, if you haven't read this tasty tale, please do. I've picked up the next in the series, Dragonfly in Amber, and can't wait to see what happens next to Claire and Jamie.

Happy Reading,


caseamajor said...

Duckie -- Thanks for the Post!

I have to agree this is an amazing book and a must read. IMO, Jamie Frasier is the best written hero ever. Galbadon tortures her characters a little too much for my liking so be warned there is a raw brutality to her story. But the love that developes between Jamie and Claire is genuine and believeable. Duckie is right there is just no way to describe how good.

Brenda said...


Duckie said...

lol...i think brenda likes it...i agree that jamie went through a little more than i thought necessary, but i got sucked right in...i'll be reading the rest for sure

Charli Mac said...

The words Sassenach will forever make me tingle. I love me some Jamie Fraser. Some of my favorite Jamie-isms:


"Does it bother you that I'm not a virgin?" He hesitated a moment before answering.
"Well, no," he said slowly, "so long as it doesna bother you that I am." He grinned at my drop-jawed expression, and backed toward the door.
"Reckon one of us should know what they're doing," he said. The door closed softly behind him; clearly the courtship was over.

"Not as dead as you look, I hope?" said the voice, coming nearer. I arched upward with an inarticulate sound as exquisitely sensitive tissues were firmly parted in a fresh assault.
"Jesus Christ," I said. There was a faint chuckle near my ear.
"I only said I felt like God, Sassenach," he murmured. "I never said I was."


Jamie shuffled his feet in the dust, embarrassed. He ducked his head shyly. "Well now, Sassenach, I'm no better than most men. Sometimes I try, but I dinna always manage. Ye know that bit in St. Paul, where he says 'tis better to marry than burn? Well, I was burnin' quite badly there."
I laughed again, feeling light-hearted as a sixteen-year-old myself. "So you married me," I teased, "to avoid the occasion of sin?"
"Aye. That's what marriage is good for; it makes a sacrament out of things ye'd otherwise have to confess."