Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - 4.5 Wine Glasses

10964Title: Outlander 
Series: Outlander #1
Author: Diana Gabaldon 
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 870 pages
Published: July 26th 2005 by Dell (first published January 1st 1991)
ISBN: 0440242940
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Kindle ($1.99!)
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Reviewer: Crystal
Rating: 4.5/5

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.

After much ado about this series and the upcoming Starz television series, I decided to pick up Outlander, if only just to see what the hype about Jamie Fraser was all about. 

I have to say that it was a slow start for me and I wasn't exactly feeling Claire who found herself in the middle of the wilds of Scotland during 1743, two hundred years before her own time. She seemed very one dimensional and I didn't feel that her love for her first husband Frank, that she left behind in 1945, was genuine. I felt that perhaps he was just a prop for the story. The circumstances she found herself in as a modern women lost in the past though were understandable. But again, I didn't feel any genuine despair from her over loosing Frank and finding herself forced to marry a stranger.

After these events though and some progression into the story's characters, is where I finally got hooked and couldn't put Outlander down. I was transported back in time with Gabaldon's descriptive writing, almost able to smell the Hall at dinner time and the earthy stables. Claire must come to terms with her circumstances and the young Jamie Fraser, her innocent yet charming new husband, helps her along  with patience and fortitude. Claire grows more as a person in the past then she ever did in her present time. And Jamie's development into the man he is by the end of Outlander is awe inspiring to say the least. 

Outlander is a long, in depth, engrossing and epic story full of adventure, fantasy, romance and history. There are dark moments that will have you gripping the pages with watery eyes and light moments that will leave your heart fluttering and a smile on your face. And there isn't a more charismatic hero out there then Jamie Fraser. The sensual scenes aren't too detailed but you can still feel the passion and love developing between Jamie and Claire at every moment. The plot kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time and up late into the night reading but I was very happy by the ending of this book and I can't wait to pick up the next one in the series. I am also incredibly intrigued by the ghost of Jamie that was seen outside Claire's window at the beginning of the story...hmm...All in all I think Outlander is a must read. Everyone should pick it up and give it a try, you might love it like I did or you might not but it's definitely worth a few chapters and little bit of your time to find out! 

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