By Diana Gabaldon
Release Date: July 1, 2014 (originally in 1991)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 walks through a standing stone 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 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.
Review: Finally. FINALLY. Not only did I finally get the chance to pick this book up after obsessively watching the first season of the show, but I finally had the chance to finish the gosh darn thing! Coming in at 850, this definitely took awhile to read (a month between reading other books), but it was worth every second.
A former nurse, Claire Randall has survived the war and is now simply enjoying life on a second honeymoon with her husband in 1945. But when she walks through a strange stone circle, she is hurled back in time to 1743 Scotland. Claire is instantly brought into the lives of Scottish highlanders and, though she does fight to get back to her time, she finds herself forming bonds with the men, especially the young warrior Jamie Fraser. Jamie shows Claire passion and love she thought she had but realizes she never actually did. With emotions brewing, Claire is torn between her past and her present, lives with two men who couldn't be more different.
Wow. To say I was utterly freaking out the entire time I was reading this book is an understatement. Like I said, I watched and obsessed about the show before I even started this book, so I came in with some pretty high expectations. The Claire and Jamie in this book, though, are SO MUCH MORE than they were in the show. I felt more connected to Claire as I got inside of her mind and really felt the attraction and connection between her and Jamie that I only slightly got in the show. Those two are just so connected to each other, both physically and emotionally, and I loved watching them grow to learn to trust and love each other. What surprised me most, though, was how closely the show followed the book. The show stops at about the 300 page mark in the book, so from there on I had no idea what to expect.
You would think Diana Gabaldon would run out of things for Claire and Jamie to do in a novel that is 850 pages long, but, shoot, there was so much action! Seriously, they were going all over the country and getting into all sorts of trouble and the book was simply impossible to put down. There was one point that I was literally freaking out to the point where I had to look ahead to see how that part of the novel ended just to ease my nerves. I know, I know, looking ahead is horrible, but I was about to have a heart attack! Any book that gets that kind of reaction from me and is 850 pages of constant action or at least interesting dialogue is a keeper to me. Even when they spent days or weeks traveling or just going through life, there wasn't a dull moment in this book. And, seriously, who doesn't love Jamie? He is so freaking adorable and stubborn and strong and just man. I'm definitely hopping onto the next plane to Scotland to find those stones so that I can go back to the 1700s and find a Scottish warrior of my own…
I know you've all probably heard about Outlander one way or another and already have your opinions on it. But seriously, you HAVE to read it. And if you don't have time to read it, then watch the show. Both have amazing characters and truly bring the world alive of Scotland in 1743. There are so many amazing, complex characters aside from Claire and Jamie and watching their stories and relationships play out is just fascinating. I'm not sure if I'll be able to read the entire series, but I'm definitely going to carve out some time in the next couple of months to tackle book two to find out what happens to Claire as she navigates a world so unlike her own.