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.
Hello, my name is Jessika, and I am Diana Gabaldon's newest fangirl.
How I am ever going to be able to put my love for this book into words, I have no idea. First, let me just say that it has been a long time since I have wanted to hug a book and have its babies.
For a book that is over 600 pages long (at least my copy is), there was never a point when I was not completely immersed in this story. When I picked it up, I had no real idea of what I was getting myself into. I knew that this series is the favorite of Sarah from Sarah Says Read, and that was about it. I never expected to fall in love the way that I did. I read the first chapter, and I was hooked.
Diana Gabaldon writes beautifully atmospheric historical fiction. Not only is her prose stunning, but I was completely able to picture everything. I mean, I was there. I'm a huge fan of historical fiction, and sometimes when you get into lengthy books like this, you inevitably run into dry spots. Not so here. I don't recall every having to struggle through.
I think part of what helped that along was the plot. As the reader, you're never settled into one place for too long. There are twists and turns and revelations galore. I was alternately shocked, finding myself in tears, feeling my own blood pressure rise with rage, cringing, panicking...oh, and swooning. TONS of swooning. Diana Gabaldon knows how to write amazing sexytimes (and many of them) throughout the book. My point is that besides being astoundingly atmospheric, this book will make you feel a wide range of emotions. Feelings...so many feelings in this book.
The best part of any book, to me at least, is the characters. This cast of has become one of my favorites to date. They are all so fleshed out--I know I won't soon forget any of them. A lot of times with books like this that have an extensive cast of characters, the focus remains on the main characters. That doesn't happen in this book. I still find myself randomly daydreaming about what these characters are up to. Also, I have said it before, and I will probably say it again--good writers write good villains. Oh man, Captain Randall. Just his name makes me cringe. I have never been so angry, so repulsed, so disgusted with a villain before. The things that man is capable of...::shudder::
Now. Claire and Jamie. Do I really need to say anything more? Claire is witty, charming, resourceful, devoted, loyal, loving, and intelligent. Jamie is much the same, and also...completely and totally sexy. I love them both so much. I loved watching their story unfold. Never fear, no insta-love here! Claire spends a lot of time agonizing about her duty to her life in 1945 and her new life in 1743. And Jamie has troubles of his own. But put the two of them together, and you've got the chemistry of the century. I won't say any more. I'll let you go and read their story for yourself!
This book gets my highest recommendation. It has easily become one of my favorite reads of the year. I will definitely be continuing this series. If this story sounds remotely interesting, I urge you to pick up this book and immerse yourself. You're in for a wild ride.
5 / 5
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Happy reading and until next time,
Also, if you are interested, there will be an Outlander readalong from June 11th to July 23rd (I read ahead because I am a slow reader). It will be hosted by Jacinda from The Reading Housewives of Indiana, along with several other bloggers and myself. We're still working details out, but keep an eye out for sign up information coming soon if you're interested!