Book Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

OUTLANDERSo as usual, I’m a little late to the Outlander party.  I had never really heard much about it before but would sometimes see it here and there on different book lists.  It sounded like something I would like but I never thought much about reading it.  Finally one day, I saw it at Target and decided it was time to give in and read it.  Before I started reading the book I browsed through some of the reviews on Goodreads and was a little surprised to find what people were saying about it.  At least the negative thoughts.  A lot of people were upset about the rape and attempted rape scenes, the beatings and all of that… which is understandable in our society now.  But back in the time period that Gabaldon was writing about…. those things were just a part of life.  But anyways…. I don’t want to open up that can of worms so moving on…

Summary:  Claire Randall is on a sort of second honeymoon with her husband Frank in the Scottish Highlands.  He is busying tracking down his lineage that lived in the area in the 18th century.  A British officer named Johnathon Randall.  Claire is shown the local standing stone circle, like a mini Stonehenge and is immediately enthralled by it.  She goes back alone one day to gather some plants (as she is a bit of an amateur botanist) and touches one of the stones and spirals back through time and lands in 1743.  She finds herself in the midst of a battle and runs but is grabbed by none other than Frank’s ancestor, Jonathan Randall himself.  A Scottish man named Murtagh comes to her aid and takes her away where she meets Jamie MacTavish (the surname she believes is his until finds out later it is not).  Events continue to carry on in the 1743 as Claire goes back and forth between being happy where she is and wanting to escape the castle and try to get back to her own time.  She and Jamie are thrown together and when it finally comes down to her going back to her own time she finds herself having to make the hardest decision of her life.

I have to say that after reading some of the reviews on Goodreads I was a little apprehensive about the book.  But as I continued reading, I didn’t want to put it down.  Sure there were some pretty hairy situations with floggings and attempted rape but it does not make up the entirety of the book.  Gabaldon easily grabbed my attention and kept it throughout the nearly 900 page novel.  I am very eager to read the second, third, fourth, etc.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a romance that’s not a typical romance.  I give this book five out of five stars.

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

  1. I love that you mentioned that those things, ie, rape and attempted rape, were just normal part of life in 18th century Scotland. That’s one of the things I love about the book. It hasn’t been watered down to fit into today’s societal worldview. It’s a realistic depiction of life during that time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m new to this series too and love it. Started on book 2 as soon as I finished the first, and I’m watching the TV series too as it comes out on Netflix. The chemistry between Claire and Jaime in both the book and the film is what makes the book for me, although the plot and history and other interesting characters are a huge draw as well. While the rapes (and especially the rape/torture Jaime endured) were hard to read, I agree, you could not write a historically correct novel in that time period during war without including it. Sadly, that goes on today as well in some parts of the world. That said, watching and reading Game of Thrones, in comparison, the violence in Outlander is a notch down, and I’m grateful for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll be starting the 4th book soon and I can’t wait. I love everything about this series. Jamie is my favorite, followed closely by Claire. I enjoy Game of Thrones (both show and books) but I completely agree with you about Outlander’s violence being a notch down. With Outlander, I feel as if I can almost ignore the violence whereas with GoT it is such a constant that it’s impossible to ignore and forget.

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