Title: Outlander or Cross Stitch [Outlander 1]
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 4 Star
Series Review: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9
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.
Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
This was a really enjoyable and entertaining read.
I found the plot of this book to be really interesting and entertaining. The idea of a ‘modern’ woman being transported back in time to a culture that did not like hers and then working out how to survive and how exactly how much she can or cannot to do to help the people she meets there with the things she knows is really interesting. As someone who has interest/beliefs in pagan culture I loved the way that she came to being in the past was through a connection with a stone circle. The book also taught me a bit about the time and the culture and made me fall more in love. It was a place I wanted to visit before, but it has been moved up the list!
The characters I both liked a didn’t like. It took me awhile to really become in invested in what was going on with this. I think this is because while the writing was great at weaving the story and once you got into it, to start off with I found it a bit stiff and it didn’t pull me in. After this time though I found myself freaking out about a number of interactions between characters. Claire I liked but I also found her greatly annoying at times. She didn’t know when to keep her mouth shut or when to wait for something and thusly got herself or others into loads of trouble that would never have happened if she was more sensible.
Though Frank was barely in the book I really desperately wanted her to go back to him for about half the book. What really surprised me was my attitude to Jamie, it was very like, hate, love. With the three stages of his and Claire’s relationship my feelings for him changed. In stage one I liked him and thought he was cute and friendly, but I still wanted her with Frank. The second part I actually really did not like him at all and just wanted her to beat him up. Then in the last part I was so happy that she chose him. I don’t know when the transition of emotions happened between stages 2 and 3, but when Claire was there deciding if she wanted Jamie or Frank I was freaking out that she might still want Frank. Serious panic.
One downfall I felt the book had was I think it was a lot longer than it really had to be. I will say this might be because I was listening to an audio book and I zone out easier this way, but I think there was a lot that didn’t need to be and the book was rather slow paced. There were a few full on moments like the ending, but they were very spread out and you had to get a through a lot before you got to them.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction because overall I did really enjoy this book.
Till Next Time…