Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon
Published August 10th 1998
Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another…In 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’s destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning 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 passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
Almost 900 pages, and almost a month of reading/listening and I’ve finally completed this new favorite. This book GAVE ME LIFE. It completely tore me apart and then just picked up all the pieces and put me back together. I can’t believe I not only finished Outlander but that it took me this long to even dive in. I’m so proud of myself for getting through this monstrosity after a massive hiatus of reading.
I absolutely have to give credit to the way Gabaldon writes. It’s so descriptive and entrancing, I felt like I was there with everyone as everything was happening. Which kept me going, and all honesty made it hard for me to put this book down so I could feed my son or pay attention to what my husband was saying. I don’t think I’ve had a book do that to me in quite some time. I do think I had an advantage to others though because I watched the show first. And so a lot of the Scottish words were familiar, and to be quite honest, the show follows the book so closely, I was very impressed. I remembered so much happening in the show, just as it did in the book which made me very happy.
There’s just so many layers to this book, from the slow burn romance that very much picks up to a steamy romance, the battles, horse rides, witches, fairies, political intrigue. It’s all there and it makes almost 900 pages seem to fly by. With so many characters you don’t get quite bored because although Jamie and Claire are most definitely the center of all of this, you do get invested into other characters (personally, I do enjoy Murtagh quite a bit). But I have to say, I am SO SO SO impressed with Gabaldon being able to bring such a filthy and awful villain to life in Randall. “Black Jack” Randall, is the most vile human being I’ve ever read about and literally turned my stomach every time I had to read about him. And that means she did such a great job writing him.
I just can’t stop thinking about how much I now love this book. Claire being such a great main character, and Jamie *swoon* (oh my dear Jamie) as well. I can’t believe that she wrote Outlander with the intention of it being a practice book for whatever book series she was actually planning on publishing. So, although I made Outlander my main mission in life to finish it and fall in love with it like I have, I don’t think I’ll be reading book two right away. I think I need to let Outlander just settle in my bones while I read other books and come back for Dragonfly In Amber.