Release Date: July 26, 2005
Genre: Adult, Historical, Romance, Time Travel
Source: Purchased paperback
Rating: 5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2017HW, #ShelfLove
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 Sassenack --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.
So, Outlander has been on my TBR - at my friend Diana's request - for something like 12 years. I think I put it off mostly because...it's a big book. :) And it intimidated me somehow. Now that I've finished it I'm kicking myself for having waited and bowing to Diana's prowess with book recommendations. Diana, I should have known. :)
Since you'd have to live under a rock not to have heard of, read, or watched Outlander, I'm not going to cover what happens in the book so much as how it affected me. And it affected me greatly. Here are a few reasons why:
- Claire - I love her. Her spirit, humor, strength...it all combines to make her this feisty, spit-fire of a woman who speaks her mind and acts according to her conscience no matter that it's 1743. As someone who has, on occasion, daydreamed of living in 1700 Scotland, Claire handles everything with grace (Claire grace, anyway) and aplomb.
- And then there's Jamie. I'm not sure I've "met" a Highlander her - or any her - as brave and compassionate as he. On top of that he's intelligent and open-minded, both valuable assets considering he ends up attached to Claire.
- The romance between Claire and Jamie is... I can't come up with the proper word. Their love is real, true and will stand the test of time. They quarrel but never stop fighting for each other. It's heartening to have been a part of them falling in love.
- The history and detail made for an even more affecting story. The brutality of life during this time period, the clan dynamics and politics, the intrigue and suspense created between the Scots and the English, the imagery of the heather-lined hills and even the thief hole - it was all incredible. Gabaldon wove all these details - even antiquated language - into and around this amazing story.
- Humor. I was grateful for the humor injected throughout the story as it was sorely needed at times. It was typically issued via Claire - speaking her mind - and Jamie more often than not.
I was seriously blown away by Outlander. I'm sorry not to have read it sooner and eager to continue the series. Oh and Dragonfly in Amber, the next in the series, became the first physical book I purchased in 2017!
This is now my favorite #2017HW read so far!