Wednesday, December 10, 2014

OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon - A Review

Time travel may not occur the way you imagine. . .

Beware of stone circles and places where witches like to dance. . .

Catapulted two hundred years into the past with no warning and no idea of where you are when you get there. . .here is a story of adventure, history, love and danger.


When Claire and Frank Randall visit the Highlands in Scotland, she doesn't imagine she'll end up time-tripping to the 1700s without so much as a fare thee well. In the postwar forties of the 20th Century, a nurse who has seen the injured from the fields of a world war battle suddenly finds herself in the midst of an 18th century skirmish, meeting an rogue ancestor of her husband.

Not far into this new era, Claire discovers a man who will form part of her destiny. This man, known as Jamie Fraser to his familiars, follows a path of his own in a Scotland known for its harsh times and it's even more harsh forms of government. His interaction and crossing of fates with the ancestor of Claire's 'future' husband form a thread that weaves its way through this story. Along the way are excessive punishment, greed, familial killing, witchery, and a wonderful overlapping of history, tied and secured with a love story that will warm your heart. Claire becomes a home and field surgeon and herbalist to cope and to secure her place in the times in which she finds herself. Even that can be dangerous, keeping in mind the simplistic notions about medicine that many a common man held in the 1700s.

At first I found Claire a bit annoying in her refusal to accept where she was but came to appreciate her stamina after a few more chapters. Gabaldon tells the story in her usual deft manner, retaining the attractive aura that surrounds Claire's companion, Jamie, chosen by Fate, the proper laird of his own property but exiled for political reasons.I like the character of Jamie better than Claire, as she seems to do many ill-advised things in the beginning, but due to her herbal lore, I do come to admire her. She gets her come-uppance in several ways, and she does eventually realize what a gift she has been given.  I recommend this book if you like your stories to be the kind that crosses many genres, are full of historical research and hard to put down.

Future Review to Come:

I am not reading the books in chronological order, and have begun The Fiery Cross, as I was lucky enough to get a couple of her books at a library sale.  I'm also finishing Roland Yeomans' novel, The Stars Bleed at Midnight. It's another novel meant to be savored.


Are you a fan of Gabaldon's writing? Have you read Outlander?

Please leave a comment to let me know you've been here, and I'll respond. I've been tending to family issues and have been a bit scarce.  I am posting when I can. I also wish all of you a Happy Holiday! Enjoy the family time!


Outlander, a New York Times Bestselling novel, published by Doubleday in Canada, Seal Books, 2001.