August 3, 2010

Review of: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is 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 stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

As I have mentioned many times in many places, a friend (and future sister-in-law) has been asking me to start this series pretty much since we met more than 5 years ago. She has never steered me wrong, we have very similar tastes in books (among other things, including wine!) so I pretty much knew that I would enjoy these books once I buckled down and read them. As of now I have only read Outlander, but last night I went to the library because Dragonfly in Amber was finally in. So look for a review of that as well, probably this month.

I enjoy well-written, well-researched (if historical) epic fiction. I adore (most) of the series written by David and Leigh Eddings, Elizabeth Haydon, Stephen King and Jacquline Carey just to name 4 authors. Now I must add one more to that list: Diana Gabaldon. I just got so swept up in the story. Even before the time travel (since I knew it had to be coming at some point) I was intrigued by Claire. A strong, independent woman, she was a nurse during World War II (present time for Claire is 1945). Then when she is in 18th century Scotland... it is a little amusing watching Claire trying not to influence the past. 

Outlander is a love story too. Claire and her (20th century) husband Frank are very much in love even though they spent years apart because of the war. Claire falls for someone while in the 18th century, though she tries desperately NOT to. 

I would recommend Outlander to fans of: romance, fantasy, and just great fiction. Now I'll post some of my favorite quotes from the book.
"Does it bother you that I'm not a virgin?"

He hesitated a moment before answering. "Well, no," he said slowly, "so long as it doesna bother you that I am."

He grinned at my drop-jawed expression, and backed toward the door. "Reckon one of us should know what they're doing," he said.

The door closed softly behind him; clearly the courtship was over.
"Murtagh was right about women. Sassenach, I risked my life for ye, committing theft, arson, assault, and murder into the bargain. In return for which ye call me names, insult my manhood, kick me in the ballocks and claw my face. Then I beat you half to death and tell ye all the most humiliating things have ever happened to me, and ye say ye love me." He laid his head on his knees and laughed some more. Finally he rose and held out a hand to me, wiping his eyes with the other.
"You're no verra sensible, Sassenach, but I like ye fine. Let's go."
" I wept bitterly, surrendering momentarily to my fear and heartbroken confusion, but slowly I began to quiet a bit, as Jamie stroked my neck and back, offering me the comfort of his broad, warm chest. My sobs lessened and I began to calm myself, leaning tiredly into the curve of his shoulder. No wonder he was so good with horses, I thought blearily, feeling his fingers rubbing gently behind my ears, listening to the soothing, incomprehensible speech. If I were a horse, I'd let him ride me anywhere."
"The rest of the journey passed uneventfully, if you consider it uneventful to ride fifteen miles on horseback through rough country at night, frequently without benefit of roads, in company with kilted men armed to the teeth, and sharing a horse with a wounded man. At least we were not set upon by highwaymen, we encountered no wild beasts, and it didn't rain. By the standards I was becoming used to, it was quite dull."
"For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. It is all. It is undying. And it is enough."
"What are you doing with the child? I inquired cautiously.
I'm teachin' young James here the fine art of not pissing on his feet, he explained." 

{To those that are fans: Isn't there a scene in Outlander that mentions something like a dragonfly in a piece of amber? Or am I confused?}

Author: Diana Gabaldon {website}
ISBN: 9780385302302
Pages: 627
Published by: Delacorte Press (June 1991)
Catagories: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Part of a series
Source: Public Library
Grade: A+ What does this grade mean?
100+ Reading Challenge
2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge
2010 Chunkster Reading Challenge

Books in this series:
Dragonfly in Amber
Drums of Autumn
The Fiery Cross
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
An Echo in the Bone
**This review.


  1. Yay! Another fan. I had this book sitting on my shelves for a few months before I finally read it, and then I was definitely wondering why on earth I had waited that long.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. It's one of my all time favorite books. It's been a few years since I read it. But when I re-read it a lot of the stuff I thought happened in Outlander actually happened in Dragonfly in Amber. That's what happens with such long books, they all muddle together!!!!


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