Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

January 27, 2015 Book Review 0 ★★★★★

Outlander by Diana Gabaldonfive-stars
Outlander Cross Stitch (TV Tie In) by Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander #1
Also in this series: An Echo In The Bone, Voyager, Drums of Autumn
on July 1st 2014
Genres: Historical, Fantasy
Pages: 850
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In 1945, Claire is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon in Scotland. Innocently, she walks through a stone circle in the Highlands, and finds herself in a violent skirmish taking place in 1743. Suddenly she is a Sassenach, an outlander, in a country torn by war and by clan feuds.

A wartime nurse, Claire can deal with the bloody wounds that face her. But it is harder to deal with the knowledge that she is in Jacobite Scotland and the carnage of Culloden is looming. Marooned amid the passion and violence, the superstition, the shifting allegiances and the fervent loyalties, Claire is in danger from Jacobites and Redcoats - and from the shock of her own desire for James Fraser, a gallant and courageous young Scots warrior. Jamie 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.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

By LilyWell if like me and you’ve been missing a certain highlander since the last episode of Outlander, rest assured you won’t go wrong picking up the first book in the series. I hadn’t read it before and was pleasantly surprised. I found it to be just as engaging as what I’d seen so far in the first half of the TV series, taking me back to the characters and the never boring Highland way of life.  Be warned, this book goes beyond where part 1 of the TV series ends.

 ‘A Highlander in full regalia is an impressive sight – any Highlander, no matter how old, ill-favoured or crabbed in appearance. A tall, straight-bodied and by no means ill-favoured young Highlander at close range is breathtaking’ 

Jamie is my new favourite highlander and Claire a beautiful, courageous feisty heroine. They say this is a long book to read but I didn’t find it dragged out at all. I will say that it wasn’t until I was about a third of my way into the book before I fell into the rhythm of Diana Gabaldon’s writing style but once I did I was unable to put this book down. I have relished reliving Claire’s journey all over again!

Claire has just returned from overseas after serving as a war nurse.  Embarking on a second honeymoon with her husband Frank, in an effort to get to know each other again with their chosen location being Scotland. This plan to rekindle a marriage separated by war is thrown into chaos when a fateful day trip finds her traveling back through time to a totally different era. An era where the roles of men and women are clearly defined, with modern amenities and medicine a mere memory.

Jamie comes across as strong and sensitive as he does on screen and Claire as a beautiful strong heroine. The story is laced with wit, humour as well as the disturbing and harsh realities of the era.

 “I am your master…and you’re mine. Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own” 

You soon forget the age difference between Jamie and Claire, with her wisdom on par with Jamie’s. Their knowledge and wisdom seems to shine individually at different times, making their reliance on each other taking an interesting twist depending on the situation. Jamie is in-tune with his people and their land. Claire reads people and this bridges most of the awkward moments she experiences. They compliment each other and their chemistry becomes increasingly apparent.

  “Gentle he would be, denied he would not” 

There is a slow burn between necessity and love. Harsh realities defy the logic Claire would normally apply. For a man of limited experience in the bedroom, he makes up for any inexperience with his strong, sensitive nature and natural ability. His joy in discovering the sacraments of matrimony are contagious and refreshing, Claire soon discovers that they are learning together, not only between the sheets but life’s lessons in general.

 “Your knowledge of the future is a tool, given to you as a shipwrecked castaway might find himself in possession of a knife or a fishing line. It is not immoral to use it, so long as you do so in accordance with the dictates of God’s law, to the best of your ability.”

Claire is cautious, guarding her knowledge carefully, using only what would be practical or humane. This aspect to the story I found fascinating, it raises so many ethical quandaries and it was interesting to see how Claire approached each situation she came across.

The good news is if you are new to this series and, like me, have started watching the TV series, this book will take you past the cliff-hanger we were left with at the end of part 1.  It hasn’t dampened my appetite to watch the series when it returns even though I’m aware of what is yet to come. Quite the opposite, I’m keen to relive it all again on the screen!

Rating: 5 Strong and Sensitive Stars

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