Outlander is the first book in multi-genre series by Diana Gabaldon. It is a story of Claire Randall, a former combat nurse in 1945 who came to Scotland for her second honeymoon and accidentally falls through time to 18th century Scotland. Scotland is torn by war that time and with raiding border clashes. There she meets James Fraser who is a young gallant scot warrior and also a fugitive of the English crown. Due to some circumstances she has to marry James and lead a life torn between two different men in two irreconcilable lives. This has been adapted into the famous TV series by the same name by Starz Network.
This book has been often called ‘difficult to put down’ and it lives to that admiration. The whole 600 page novel was a page turner for me. There has been seldom ever in the book that I found any description unnecessary or stretched and the events in the books just keep getting interesting with each chapter. Now I have called it multi-genre series, and that is because there are so many themes in this book: historical fiction, time-travel, romance and adult fantasy. The characters of the book is well developed and well loved too. James Alexander Malcom Mackenzie Fraser, oh he won my heart. He is loyal, stubborn, sexy and devoted to Claire. And Claire, she is smart, brave and has a witty mind. Both of the main characters are headstrong and passionate which has lead to some steamy romantic scenes in this book.
Another amazing thing about this book is the beauty with which it captures the history of 18th century Scotland. You will get a closer glimpse of the Highland culture and despite the difficulties of food, hygiene, medical facilities you find yourself rooting to live in that era and get lost in the beauty and simplicity of Highlander way of living. The book also brings our attention to some of the interesting events of that time that is Jacobite rebellion, the functionating of Church, the apprehension of people towards witches and witchcraft and many others, all of them beautifully interweaved in the storyline. The author is an academic and has done her research well. And the cameo of some of the prominent figure of history just makes the story almost realistic and believable.
The author has made considerable effort to make storyline as realistic as possible, whether by thorough research or the dialogues of the characters. It will take you sometime to get used to the Scottish way of speaking and soon you find yourself enjoying it.
So, after this raving review, I think I am pretty clear that I am strongly recommending this book. I feel that this book has something for everyone whatever genre you like. However, this is not recommended for teens and young readers because there and some scenes and descriptions in the book which might be too explicit for them.
My Ratings: 5 star