Outlander is the story of Claire Randall, a World War II nurse who travels back in time, to Scotland in 1743. Claire falls in love with a Highlander, Jamie Fraser, although she is already married, to Frank, in her present life. The premise of the book sounds rather far-fetched: Claire touches an ancient stone, goes back in time, and begins a romance with a Scot warrior, who affectionately calls her "Sassenach", which means outsider, because she is from England. But this imaginative story unfolds in such a way that I found myself suspending disbelief along with Claire, the heroine and narrator, and immersed myself in this same era. Due to Diana Galbadon's extraordinary skill as a writer, and to her attention to historical detail, the time travel works well here, and 18th century Scotland is vividly presented, reborn, a misty land of Lochs, castles, unrest and warring clans. As a nurse, Claire is an adept healer, ahead of her time in a real sense, and she puts her skills to good use in this book, an aspect of the book I found to be quite fascinating.
To me, this story is a romance above all else--a historical romance--because the love and passion between Claire and Jamie is very powerful, and defines and shapes the entire book (if not the series). Having read Outlander (at last!), I can honestly say that I didn't mind the length of this book. In fact, I wouldn't have minded reading 1000 pages of this book because it's extremely engaging (an overused word to describe books, but it really fits in this case). I was "hooked" from the very first chapter at the bed-and-breakfast, where Claire and Frank are reestablishing their marriage after a time apart (and having some fun at the expense of the owner, Mrs. Baird), and Outlander kept my attention at a high level throughout the book. It's truly an epic novel, full of romance, sex (lots of it!), fighting, and action. I recommend it wholeheartedly to fans of historical fiction and romance--or to those who simply enjoy great novels.
Outlander is the first of a series of books by Diana Gabaldon that also includes: Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, and An Echo in the Bone. I would love to read the second book in the series to find out what happens next.
Terrific news! To celebrate the trade paperback release of the seventh book in the Outlander series, the publisher is having a giveaway for An Echo in the Bone (U.S./Canada only).
- To enter this giveaway for An Echo in the Bone, simply leave a comment.
- For an extra chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or let me know that you're already a follower, or that you subscribe in Google Reader.
- For an additional chance, post about this contest on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
- If you're already a fan of the Outlander series, you can get another chance by naming your favorite book in this series so far.
Enter by 5 PM PDT on Monday, September 27. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Tuesday, September 28. Good luck!
Special thanks to Lisa from TLC for including me on this tour. For more reviews of the books in the Outlander series please visit the other stops on Diana Gabaldon's book tour.