Saturday, February 5, 2011

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

(Outlander Series Book #1)
by Diana Gabaldon

Genre : Historical | Romance | Time-Travel | Fantasy | etc.

In 1946, after WWII, a young Englishwoman named Claire Beauchamp Randall goes to the Scottish Highlands with her husband, Frank. She’s an ex-combat nurse, he’s been in the army as well, they’ve been separated for the last six years, and this is a second honeymoon; they’re getting re-acquainted with each other, thinking of starting a family. But one day Claire goes out walking by herself, and comes across a circle of standing stones–such circles are in fact common all over northern Britain. She walks through a cleft stone in the circle….and disappears. Back into 1743, where the first person she meets is a gentleman in an 18th-century army officer’s uniform. This gentleman, Jack Randall, looks just like her husband Frank–and proves to be Frank’s six-times-great-grandfather. Unfortunately, he also proves to be a sadistic bisexual pervert, and while trying to escape from him, Claire falls into the hands of a gang of Highland Scots, who are also trying to get away from Black Jack Randall–though for other reasons.

In order to avoid being handed over to Captain Randall, Claire is obliged to marry one of the young clansmen. So she finds herself trying to escape from Castle Leoch and her Scottish captors, trying to get back to her husband Frank, trying to avoid being recaptured by Captain Randall–and falling in love with Jamie Fraser, the young man she’s been forced to marry. The story rolls on from there…

Clare is a content, newly married, post-war English nurse of the 1940s. She and her husband, Jack, are on their honeymoon in the Scotland highlands and while he does historical research for his Oxford career; she explores the countryside and works on her botanical hobby. Yet, upon an intriguing discovery near a circle of ancient druid stones, Claire is pulled from her modern world and thrust into the 1740s - two hundred years before. From here on out, it is a roller-coaster ride of adapting to another time while dealing with witchcraft, torture, love, murder, new marriage, etc.

WOW - I have been hearing rave reviews about this series for awhile now and I'm so glad I started. Also, really glad I got a bookstore gift card for Christmas, because now I can add a good chunk of this series to my own library! The story has everything I look for in a book: paranormal twists with the time-traveling aspect, budding romance with Claire and Jamie, suspense with Jamie being an outlaw on the run, intriguing historical facts, and oh so much more.

I was easily drawn into this story and I highly enjoyed the marriage progress between Claire and Jamie. I found the numerous twists and turns in the plot were fascinating and the overall tale not too overwhelming as a 800+ page story like this can easily become. Be warned that there are many gruesome details that add to the historical authenticity of the time, but Outlander's written style flowed very smoothly throughout that I cannot wait to begin Dragonfly in Amber (Book # 2)

Likes: Even though there was A LOT to take in from this book since the genre really goes all over the place, the ending was satisfying. No major cliff-hangers that you would usually find in a series.

Dislikes: I really enjoyed the plot development overall, but felt things were quite rushed at certain times - so much so that this book could have been broken down into smaller stories.


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