Book Review – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Author – Yasmin

‘Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century – and a lover in another. 

In 1945 Claire Randall is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon in Scotland. Innocently she walks through a stone circle in the Highlands, and finds herself in a violent skirmish taking place in 1743. Suddenly she is a Sassenach, an outlander, in a country torn by war and clan feuds.’

I hadn’t heard of this series of books before. Historical romance isn’t normally my thing but I have read a few books like this set in Scotland. Nothing as epic and adventurous as Outlander though!

I discovered the book through the TV series that came out this year (which I loved), and now having read the book and seeing the show I can’t decide which one I like best! The series sticks closely to the book and you get to see all the amazing story lines and characters come to life. In the book you do get a lot more information, and even though it’s told from the main character Claire’s point of view, you get to know the other characters very well.

The book is beautifully written and the story just grabs you and takes you on a whirlwind adventure.

Claire has been married for seven years, but for the past five has been separated from her husband, working as a nurse in France during World War II. They reunite and head to Scotland for a second honeymoon, and so her historian husband can look up his ancestor, who was a Red Coat Dragoon in the British army of King George II.

One night Claire and her husband Frank go to Craigh na Dun to watch a ritual dance by Druids. They go to explore the stones but one of the Druids comes back so they have to leave, and the next day Claire goes back by herself. While there looking for a certain flower she is drawn to one of the stones and when she lays her hands on it something strange and frightening happens. She wakes up on the grass in front of the stone disorientated, and goes back down the hill in search of her car. When she doesn’t find it she continues to wander until she hears gunshots and then finds herself coming face to face with her husband, or so she thinks. Scared and alone Claire tries to run and ends up a being taken by a Highlander to a group of his friends nearby, and this is when she meets war chieftain Dougal MacKenzie, who takes her prisoner thinking her an English spy. This is where she also meets Jamie who’s injured so she helps him.

From her first meeting with Jamie they form a distant yet respectful sort of friendship with each other, but the more time they spend together the closer they become. After lots of suspicion she begins to be accepted at Castle Leoch, home of the MacKenzie clan. Following another horrible meeting with her husbands ancestor, Black Jack Randall, Claire realises that the only way to keep herself safe from being taken by him is by changing her nationality from English to Scottish. The only way to accomplish this is for her to marry a Scot; Jamie Fraser. Although Claire has grown close to him and trusts him, she still loves her husband and wants to find a way back to her own time.

Claire doesn’t find the chance to try to get back to Craigh na Dun, and after spending more time with Jamie,  who is now her husband, she starts to have deep feelings for him.

There is also a very rough time ahead for the Highlanders, as Claire remembers the battle of Culloden which will happen within a year or two, in which the British army practically wipe out the clan. Falling in love with Jamie and all her friends at Leoch she becomes very worried for everyone. How is she supposed to tell them what she knows, what will come and have them believe her instead of being accused as a witch?

This story will take you on a massive adventure, it will pull at your heartstrings, it will frustrate you and it will have you laughing and wanting more. I’m addicted and can’t stop – I’m reading book 5 and still want more!!

 

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