Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander #1
Published by Arrow, September 2020 (first published 1st June 1991)
Genres: Historical fiction, fantasy, romance
Source: Purchased (new)
It’s 1946 and Claire Randall is in Scotland on a second honeymoon with her husband Frank. After the horrors of the war, both are keen to rekindle their love and start their lives afresh. Frank is busy researching his family history whilst Claire is more interested in the local plants and their healing properties.
One afternoon Claire stumbles through a circle of standing stones and finds herself suddenly in 1743! After an encounter with Captain “Black Jack” Randall, her husband’s six times great grandfather, she falls in with a band of Scottish outlaws. Claire is desperate to get back to the standing stones and her own time, but circumstances and people get in the way. Will the familiarity of her life with Frank be enough to leave behind the life that she is quickly building for herself in this new century?
I truly loved this book! I am a big fan of the recent television adaptation of Gabaldon’s book series so I was really looking forward to reading them. And I was not disappointed. Once you get past the fact that the first book is over 800 pages long, it’s a great read. I was so engrossed that I read through it in just a few days!
Despite having seen the series and knowing how events would unfold, there were still plenty of details exclusive to the book. I would usually prefer to read the books before watching the film or TV series, but I don’t think this matters so much in this case.
Just the idea of being transported almost a hundred years back into the past is so brilliant and it is beautifully captured in this book. Claire’s struggles to adjust to life in the 18th century are really well portrayed, often humorously, when she has to explain her insults to Jamie for instance.
The relationship between Claire and Jamie (sorry for the spoiler, but it’s kind of obvious!) is really sweet, the way it blossoms from obligation to real affection and love. The characters are all great actually, beautifully described so that they come to life in your mind’s eye. The same can be said about the dramatic and rugged Scottish scenery which truly sets the scene for this dramatic story.
I am now desperate to read the rest of the series and maybe even watch the TV series again, just to watch out for any missing hidden gems!
My rating: 5/5