If you walk into my house you will immediately notice the amount of books that I own. They are on shelves. They are stacked on top of shelves. There are stacks of books on tables which I’ve been justifying as ‘decor’ because I am simply out of room. Some of these books I have read and some reside in the category of my never-ending ‘To Be Read” list. There are so many new books I want to read and so many classics I feel I should read and as a result, when I receive a recommendation to read something I simply have to ignore it.
Towards the end of 2018, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon was recommended to me. I had honestly only ever heard of this book because it’s on so many ‘lists’ and because I LOVE lists, I decided not to ignore this recommendation and actually picked up a copy of this MASSIVE book. I was not expecting an 850 page monster so I decided to be strategic and read it as my last book of 2018. And I loved it. I fell in love with the story and the characters and I couldn’t get enough. So much so, that I devoured all 850 pages in around 6 days.
What is Outlander about?
Outlander follows the story of Claire, a World War II combat nurse who is on a second honeymoon with her husband in 1946. As they are enjoying their time of leisure, Claire brushes up her on herbalism as her husband focuses his attention on his genealogy and his roots in the Scottish Highlands. After finding a ‘Mini-Stonehenge’, Claire is somehow transported back in time to a brutish and challenging 1743. After being forced to accompany Scottish clansmen to Castle Leoch, Claire realizes the extent of her imminent danger and finds herself getting more and more comfortable in the presence of one particular clansman, Jaime Fraser. Suspected of being an English spy, Claire is forced to marry Jaime in an attempt to protect herself from Captain Randall, an English officer that is intimidating to the strongest of men. But Claire’s marriage is nothing less than steamy and her adventures with Jaime seem to be never ending.
What I thought of Outlander…
I know! I am SO late to the game on this book. It was literally written before I was born. This story may be older than I am but I can vouch that it has absolutely aged well. Who would have thought that I would read an 800 page book in a WEEK?! I was not expecting to get so wrapped up in the plot.
The plot in general is fascinating and the mystery behind how this woman was transported through time will wrap you into the book easily but there is so much more offered. There is a HUGE romance. There is historical fiction. There’s drama and action. There are characters you will hate and there are characters so steamy you couldn’t have dreamed them up yourself.
One of the aspects I found the most interesting is watching a woman from 1940’s England attempt to adjust to the Scottish highlands of the 1700’s while not drawing attention to herself. Claire went from electricity, cars, and plumbing to a world in which the fastest transportation is on horseback and women were careful not to give the impression of being a witch. Not only was technology lacking but the political climate would have been a terrifying situation to land in. But Claire perseveres and finds herself enjoying the simplicity and stillness of the undeveloped countryside.
I honestly haven’t enjoyed a story this much in so long! I am constantly reading but finishing Outlander left me with an empty hole in my stomach that made me want to immediately go out and get EVERY book in the series. I know I’ll be reading the next in the series pretty soon, but I hope I can get to all 10 of the next books in within the next year or so!