Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Posted June 23rd, 2011 by in *Review, 3 - Hot / 12 comments

It’s 1945 and Claire Randall is glad that this war is over. Now she and her husband can start to relax and get to know each other again. The war prevented them from doing that at the start of their marriage. Frank and Claire are vacationing in Scotland before moving on to Frank’s new position. Frank is researching his family tree and Claire keeps herself busy exploring.

Then one day Claire is exploring a stone circle when she tumbles 200 years into the past. 1743 Scotland is full of everything you’d expect: chivalry, battle, clans, betrayal, family dysfunction, friendship, love and rivalry. It’s also a dangerous place for a woman who has lived in a civilization 200 years in the future where women are just as important as men.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

“Ye werena the first lass I kissed,” he said softly. “But I swear you’ll be the last.” – Jamie

I know that summary doesn’t do Outlander justice but I really am worried about giving away too much. This book messed me up! I was literally Outlander-focused for six days. Dishes were ignored shamelessly, laundry was done at a minimum and the hubs was ruthlessly ignored.

Diana Gabaldon creates such a beautiful world with her words you almost feel like you’re there. The book is a tome but the story is so fast paced (after the first hundred pages or so) that you’ll barely notice the length once you’ve dug in! I was so immersed in the book that I picked up some of the vocabulary by the end! I was dropping the “t” off of “not” and shortened did not to “dinna” with ease.

Claire and Jamie. I get it now. This couple make the top of so many top ten lists and I understand now. If ever there were two people meant to be together it’s these two. They’re put to the test over and over and over again and not only do they come through it, they come through it with a little bit more love and respect between them. Even with the odds stacked against them. It’s almost inspirational. It’s definitely swoon-worthy. Did ya see the quote? If a man talked to you like that you’d swoon too.

The secondary characters are amazing! I loved them, I hated them, and I never felt like they overcrowded the romance. If it weren’t for Murtagh, Outlander would never have happened. Mrs. Fritz, Jenny and Rupert all warmed my heart and put a smile on my face.

I could go on and on about how much I loved Outlander. I could probably fill the length of this blog. I won’t but I’ll leave you with this: Outlander is a great way to slip back 200 years and enjoy watching two people fall in love. It’s an epic romance that made me realize all over again why romance is a largely loved genre. I can’t wait to read the next one but I think I’ll wait until I have a bunch of time on my hands. If you haven’t read this book yet, it needs to be on your list!

Stephanie

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12 Responses to “Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon”

  1. Steph from fangswandsandfairydust.com

    When I first read the book in 1995 or 6 I remember thinking that Frank and Claire wouldn't work out as many of those before=you-go-off-to-the-front marriages didn't. Without the urgency of the war everyday living often proved the adage that familiarity breeds contempt.

  2. Jess (Gone with the Words)

    Last year, in about 2 months, I read all 7 books out. I was OBSESSED with this story! And it only gets more epic! Just you wait. Amazing review, Stephanie!

  3. Danielle

    I have to admit that I never read this book only because I do not like Time Travel. One day I'm hoping to get the audio of this book and read it!

  4. Anne

    The Outlander books are my favorites to read of all time. Jamie Fraser is amazing!!! So glad you liked it and I am sure you will enjoy the others in the series as well.

  5. Barbara

    I've had this book sitting in my closet for ages. The sheer size of it has been what deters me from reading it. Your review really has me wanting to give it a shot.

  6. Somer S

    I LOVE Outlander!! I just bought books 5 and 6 and now I want to dig into them after reading your review! Thanks for reminding me how much I love Claire and Jamie!!

  7. Stephsco

    To the commenter Danielle: the time travel piece is mainly a device to the get the story going (I can only speak for the 1st book) so don't worry that it's overly sci-fi because it's more historical romance than anything. Which for ME, I found disappointing, b/c my mom described the time travel as a central piece of the story. It is sortof, but it's not really explained.

    I admit, the book is engrossing. I finished that hefty volume in about a week, but I had a lot of issues with it. I'm always interested to see what people like about the book. I personally was disturbed by some of the violence and how it was portrayed within a relationship. And the torture scenes seemed a bit over-the-top. I was hoping for more of the mystical element.

  8. Stephanie @ Once Upon A Chapter

    @Steph from fangs – I felt that way too. Especially when Frank was all “I'll be understanding if….”

    @Jess – If I read them that quickly, I'd be in such a slump after! 🙂 I have to mix it up to keep from getting in a rut.

    @Danielle – I know that in the first book the time travel isn't really a big part of it mostly because Claire can't tell anyone. It's mostly about her adapting in a world that isn't her own….with the help of Jamie! 🙂

    @Anne – I can't wait to read the rest of the books. I have them all at hand to read when the whim hits.

    @Barbara – Be warned! The first 100 pages (I've heard others say 200) it is SOOOO worth it. If you do start it, just keep telling yourself there is a gem waiting for you. 🙂 If you do decide to read, please let me know what you think!

    @Somer – It isn't hard to do is it? I just hear Claire and Jamie and I get shivers. lol

    @stephsco – I find that when I go into a book expecting something else it makes the book worse (in my opinion) than had I known what it truly was. Yes the violence was disturbing BUT it is also true to the time period. I have a feeling your talking about the scene with the belt. It really rattled me too and put a bad taste in my mouth. I had to remind myself more than once that she could have gotten MUCH worse at the hands of another man. The torture also was probably something that I could have skipped over but again our history is full of things we should be ashamed of. They happened though. Outlander is definitely not for the faint of heart. It's full of swoon inducing love scenes and some gritty scenes that can be a little hard to swallow. I still say that the good far surpassed the bad! 🙂 Reading is such a personal experience isn't it? It's great to have a diversity in opinions.

  9. Jessica

    Oh man, I ADORE Outlander. I just finished the second book, Dragonfly in Amber, and started Voyager, the third book, yesterday.

    I know this isn't the Follow Friday post, but you had me at Outlander. I love your blog design!

    #FF talesbetweenthepages.com

    Jessica

  10. Jennifer Lane

    Excellent review! I canna deny that I agree with many of your points. Love the quote you highlighted, and it was such an emotional scene with Claire decided to stay with Jamie. The first 35 pages dragged for me, though when I reread them after finishing the series, the set-up was necessary. I think you'll love the rest of the series.

    • Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter

      Yes, I agree. The set up is necessary but it just seems to take FOREVER. I can't wait to continue with the series this summer! I'm very excited because I know there will be some great stories to look forward to.

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