Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
Release Date: June 1, 1991
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just 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 circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
I decided to read Outlander because I started watching the television show on a whim. I watched the first five episodes then stopped because I needed to read the novels. Outlander is a beautifully written romance that is historically accurate and will have you swooning for Jamie.
The reason I rated the novel four stars instead of five is because of Jamie and something specific he does that I will not go into great detail about because of spoilers. Jamie is a product of his time where men ruled their wives and the women were expected to obey. However, Jamie does have a lot of progressive qualities. This makes me excited to continue the series and see Jamie’s development. Also, Jamie is a as swoon worthy as they come. It also doesn’t hurt imaging Sam Heughan while reading.
Claire makes reading Outlander a rewarding experience rather than just a fluffy romance. She’s competent and thoughtful, but knows when to enjoy herself. From what I’ve seen of Season one of the television show, Caitriona Balfe is an incredible actor.
Outlander is a long novel as readers follow Claire as she must throw herself wholeheartedly into her new reality. Readers get an intimate look at life in 1743 and the politics at large that are accurate. To get such an thorough understanding of the time period, Gabaldon spends a lot of time on seemingly random plotlines. For the most part, these tangents lead to something bigger but it takes awhile for it to become apparent. So, the novel is slow in the lead up to the ending events of the novel.
Trigger warnings for rape and torture. There are other trigger warnings I could list, but these two are the ones that are most likely to cause people discomfort. I don’t use trigger warnings lightly, so be warned.
Overall, Outlander is an incredible historical romance that paints a beautiful picture of the Highlands of Scotland with fully developed characters and main characters with chemistry so hot it threatens to burn the pages.
Have you read Outlander? What did you think?