Book Review: Outlander

“Claire Randall is living a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another…”

I want to take the time and do a review for Outlander while it’s still fresh on my mind. Let’s start with the summary, shall we? I own one of the earlier prints of the book and the quote above (that is written inside the front cover) is actually not entirely accurate.

Claire Randall is a former combat nurse back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon–it’s been six years since they’ve seen each other. The year is 1945 and they’re enjoying their vacation in Scotland when Claire wanders between two ancient boulders and is suddenly hurdled back in time.

Here it is the year 1743, little over two hundred years into the past. Immediately, she has a run in with a man who looks so much like her husband, Frank and yet when she looks closer to him she knows it is not the same man. This man is a terrible, evil man that happens to be Franks ancester and the villian of this book. A clan of Scotsmen save (kidnap) her from Jack Randall (Frank’s look-alike bad guy) and thus begins her whirlwind adventure. Here she meets James Fraser; a young Scots warrior and outlaw whom she must marry in order to continue to stay safe from Randall.

I have to admit that it is increasingly difficult to summarize this 900 page book without giving too much away. The book sees Claire and Jamie face different obstacles in different settings throughout. There are chapters dedicated to Claire’s doctoring to the people of Castle Leoch where the first half of the book takes place. There are chapters dedicated to Claire’s being accused of witchcraft. There are chapters about Jamie and Claire’s journey to Jamie’s home, Lallybroch. Readers meet Jamie’s sister Jenny and her husband Ian. There’s even an escape from prison and the book finally ends in France.

Who doesn’t love a man in a kilt?

This was my 2nd time reading Outlander and I had the same thought throughout the book. Did I really read this before?Everything was so fresh and exciting for me. This isn’t just a romance book. In fact, I don’t even think I’d be inclined to categorize it as a Romance. It had romance in it, of course, and Jamie and Claire’s relationship is the main ingredient to this saga. But it was so much more than that. Action, intrigue, sex, mystery, violence, romance, heroism….and more! The list goes on.

The book itself is written in first person point of view, with Claire telling the story. In a book this large, there are always many characters but Gabaldon paints a detailed picture with every page written. Every character is incredibly well described and you feel like you know each and every one of them.

I’ve read many books and a handful of books as long as this one. Not one of them has ever made me want to keep reading on. Generally, the longer the book is, the more monotonous it gets. Not so with Outlander. Gabaldon switches the setting up frequently and is constantly changing pace.

If I go on, I may just tell you the entire story and that wouldn’t be good for anyone seeing as how you are going to have to read this yourself to find out!

Final review: 5/5 stars.

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