Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Title: Outlander
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander #1
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
Publication Date: June 1, 1991
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Length: 896 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just 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 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.

My Thoughts: 
Claire Beauchamp and her husband, Frank, are taking a holiday in Northern Scotland in 1945 after being separated so long during the war. When they come across an ancient pagan ritual at the standing stones of Craigh na Dun they are entranced by the women's dance and quickly leave before taking a good look around. The next day, Claire returns to find a flower she had glanced at the base of a split altar stone but with a sudden cacophony of noise finds herself in the middle of the eighteenth century. Before she knows it, she is accosted by Frank's ancestor and is saved and kidnapped by a highlander. 

Acting on her skills as a war nurse, she patches up a young man named Jamie, is whisked away to a castle where she learns she has traveled back in time to the year 1743, and gets caught up in a war-torn country and her own emotions and desire for the handsome Jamie Fraser.

This book was so good it gave me a bit of a hangover. It has been a long time since I was thoroughly enamored with an adult book. I haven't felt so much joy, anticipation, dread, or so many butterflies in a long, long time. This book gave me 'all the feels' or rather, I cycled through emotions that I haven't felt from just reading a book in almost a decade.

I never got into the idea of "bookish boyfriends" but I completely understand why it's a thing now.
Jamie Fraser, while not perfect, is one of the most well-written, admirable, and utterly flawed characters that I've ever encountered in literature. Apologies for being unabashedly gushy but I can totally picture myself in this story and want more. Yes, I totally want my own Jamie Fraser now. 

Outlander is both dreamy and sexy and even though that is not the typical sort of books I read, I fell right into it. I don't always enjoy overly 'sexy' literature but this was well written and wasn't too graphic. The middle of the book did have some excessive intimate moments but I wasn't overly bothered by it for once. I really enjoyed reading about the 'thrust together to save their lives' sort of relationship, though it wasn't instalove, which would have bothered me to no end.

Plus, there's just so much more story than the romance. Historical fiction is always fun to read for me, as I learn so much about different times and places. Outlander is set during a pivotal time in Scottish history. We also get a good look (or listen) to the Gaelic language and Scottish dialect. 

Of course, this book has it's flaws, though they fit the time period very well. There are many mentions of rape and there are times when Jamie himself forces himself on Claire, though he didn't do it maliciously, it still reeked of rape in my eyes despite that Claire's passion and attraction to him made it seem like less. I had a hard time stomaching those parts, to be honest but they weren't so prominent that they outweighed the rest of the book. 

My Rating: 5 stars


  1. I adore the Outlander TV show, so I'm super curious about the books. I've read a couple snippets and really enjoyed them! I think I'll binge-read the entire book series when the show is over and all the books are published :) So glad you loved it! Thanks for sharing your thoughts :D

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. I just started the show this week and love it so far! The books are lengthy but I was sooo into it that I finished it very quickly. I didn't want to stop reading! :D