“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.”
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Started: April 4th, 2016
Finished: April 7th, 2016
Wine Pairing: Bodacious Shiraz – sweet, rich, and just heavenly goodness.
The accurate and short review of Outlander:
The bumbling, but slightly more verbose, review of Outlander:
“Ye werena the first lass I kissed,” he said softly. “But I swear you’ll be the last.”
I’m going to start with a bit of imagery for you. This GIF is from episode one in the TV show (which I still have yet to watch because I wanted to write this review first but couldn’t for ages because reasons) and I haven’t heard anything bad about this show (from a female). Any book lover knows the book is always better because you don’t just watch the show you actually live it…
So lets’ be real. Whether you’re watching Outlander with your girlfriends, reading the ebook on your phone, or stalking the GIFs not-so-secretly on Tumblr,
it’s all because of Jamie.
Gabaldon has created a searing, passionate, and absolutely intoxicating love interest (yes, I am making myself sick writing this) that sucks you into 1743 Scotland so suddenly that I was lost for three days and couldn’t put Outlander down. The deceivingly short description on the back of the book gives no no hints as to what actually happens – all you know is that Claire goes back in time, meets this steamy hot Scottish bloke who is usually shot or stabbed or shirtless (oops, spoiler), and is swept off her feet into a romance that is so sickeningly romantic it makes your stomach turn in all the right ways. But it’s so much more than the initial romance because the story just kept going and going and going! Deciding to read Outlander is a commitment that takes dedication and a whole lot of time. Gabaldon splits the book conveniently into parts (there are seven in Outlander) and reading one part per sitting would have been perfect (or you can go for the weekend binge as I did, but I found the emotional rollarcoaster too taxing). Gabaldon’s writing style is absolutely enthralling – writing the Scottish accent into the narrative was a beautiful and necessary touch (and probably why it took me so long to read – you need to read it with all the accents), and her structure captivates the reader without giving away all the details. Having a good imagination is not a curse with Outlander.
“Oh, aye, Sassenach. I am your master . . . and you’re mine. Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own.”
The only reason I’m not giving Outlander a solid five-stars is because Claire’s physical weakness and indecisiveness (any loyalty to her first husband whom I don’t like) irritated me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m still young and incredibly immature when it comes to romance and relationships, but Claire’s reluctance to admit her feelings towards Jamie and her constant fight to go back to England in 1945 was grating. There was several times she would say ridiculously hypocritical and childish things to Jamie that it was always a shock to remember she is, in fact, older than Jamie by quite a few years. She was the perpetual damsel-in-distress stereotype, and while I enjoyed her wit she had too much of a complex and self-importance for me to relate to her at all.
But really, Jamie makes up for it all. Despite all of Claire’s short-comings he somehow still loves her stronger and stronger, and we poor twenty-first-century lasses are left adoring him all the more for it. And really, Jamie makes Outlander. He is the perfect, swoon-worthy male protagonist that is strong and resilient, witty and cunning, and gentle and loving all at the same time. He’s infuriatingly addictive and I couldn’t get enough of him.
Outlander is a fast-paced romance that will leave you breathless and not sure if you want to reread everything you just read or continue on with the story. There’s a bit of magic, a dash of politics, a whole lot of romance, and all of Scotland to roam (*ahem*). I have no regrets and sincerely doubt you will either.
“You’re tearin’ my guts out, Claire.”