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Saturday, August 9, 2014

{Book Review} OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon

Book Title: Outlander
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
Publishing Date: June 1991
Length: 870 pages
Source: Borrowed from my mom

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 Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives

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Why did I wait so long to read this? Years ago my friend, Jen, told me to read this. I said, YES YES I HAVE BEEN MEANING TO! I even checked out the first three books from the library. But I never got around to picking it up. She reminded me again and again, and I went and bought the first three books. I gave them to my mom who raved about them and asked why I hadn't read them yet. *shrugged* I had a huge TBR and was going through them. Wasn't feeling a long series. I dunno.

*slaps self repeatedly*

So, since the show is coming out and the premier was offered for free, I decided to watch the premier. Hold the phone. God this sounds good! I should read it!

I don't have Starz, so I'm not going to be able to watch the rest until the first season is up and on netflix or something so NOW IS THE TIME. Called mom, picked up book, opened to the first page. Hissed, clawed, and growled at anyone who tried to interrupt me.

Claire Randall neƩ Beauchamp is on a second honeymoon of sorts, getting to know her husband again after six years apart due to the war. It's 1945. Claire worked as a nurse while her husband was abroad. To say that the war has changed them would be an understatement. As Frank's passion is genealogy, they are in Scotland tracing the route of his ancester Black Jack Randall when he was a dragoon commander in the highlands, two hundred years ago. And so the story begins. When Claire and Frank discover a stone circle and witness a druid ceremony, they are enchanted. Claire is interrupted before she can discover what that flower she saw was. She goes back the next day, touches one of the stones, and falls through time. She is at first convinced that she is watching a re-enactment or a movie being shot. But it becomes more and more clear that she is no where near 1945.

And so this tale revolves around Claire in the 18th century. She finds herself hostage/a guest of a scottish clan and inexplicably drawn to one James Fraser, nephew to the chieftain and a laird in his own right. Circumstances require that she marry him and suddenly she now has two husbands.

Let me tell you, ladies. From the brief description and interactions with Frank, from the get go you want her to choose Jamie. And I was SO frustrated with how she kept being a wishywashy about returning to Frank, returning to Frank, returning to Frank, when Jamie has done nothing but demonstrated that he puts her first. Not to mention, Jamie is very alpha, Frank is very not. This may be unfair to Frank as we haven't explored his character much in this book, but I'm one of those "it happened for a reason." I was so incredibly happy when she makes her decision. But then there is more heartache and danger and turmoil lurking about in the form of Frank's ancestor, Black Jack Randall.

Oh, he's hideous. He makes your skin crawl. He's vile. And you'll be brought to tears when Jamie comes to the rescue, and again when Claire comes to the rescue, and again when Claire understands and helps with the internal healing.

Wonderfully written, no grammatical errors, prose that flows, language that is salty and appropriate to both time periods, laughter as you read this romance and Jamie is asking things like "Who is John Wayne?" and Claire answers, "You." With a plot full of action and tension and anticipation, with betrayals and romance, with adorable conversations between characters, this is immediately on my favorites list, my re-readable, my kindle-bruiser, and one I look forward to reading again...after I finish the series of course.