Monday, January 17, 2011

Book Review: Outlander

Book Details:
Title: Outlander
Author: Diana Gabaldon
1991, Bantam Dell
Genre: Historial Fiction, Historical Romance

Book Summary (from the back cover):
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.

My Review:
Whew! I've heard a lot about these novels, but I wasn't really sure what they were about. Honestly, this book is so detailed that I'm really not sure how the author keeps the readers attention, but somehow she does. Although at times I kind of wished she would hurry up with the story, I wasn't compelled to skip any parts and was really drawn into the history of the time.

I loved the love story between Jamie and Claire. They were thrown together, yet they are perfect for each other. Much better suited than her 20th century husband - boring Frank (can you tell I was never very fond of him?) I felt the author was good at showing the barbaric life of the Scottish Highlanders while still showing that they were people.

I also liked the way the author weaved in the ancient folklore of the Scottish Highlands into her version of time travelling. Beliefs about witches, fairies and other such things could somehow be explained by this phenomenon.

I would say the only thing I didn't like about this book way how much and how often Jamie seemed to get critically wounded. It seemed like he was always needing to be patched up and it started to kind of irritate me by the end. I felt that there were a few mishaps near the end of the book that were just there to prolong it (pack of hungry wolves anyone?), but other than that I loved the story and I'm very excited to start the next one.

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