Wow. I just finished, so it’s fresh in my mind. And it’s MASSIVE. I didn’t realize how long it was until I was about a quarter of the way through. It’s roughly 550 pages on my Kindle. I feel like I’ve climbed Mt. Everest or built the Tower of Pisa or something similar.
If you don’t know about Outlander, let me fill you in. The story is a first person narrative from Claire Beauchamp’s perspective. She was a nurse during WWII and is married to a boring, but good man, Frank. When she goes exploring in some old Gaelic ruins, she is transported back in time to the 1700s. Which is crazy, am I right?
She has many awesome adventures, but the most important part is that she marries a Scot, Jamie Fraser. It’s a little awkward given the fact that she’s ALREADY MARRIED. She struggles with the fact that she’s from the future and that she’s married to both Frank and Jamie. She and Jamie have a lot of adventures together and she eventually reconciles herself to the fact that she’s going to stay in the past.
I loved Claire. She used her knowledge of modern medical practices to save people, more often than not her husband. Jamie gets into quite a few scrapes saving her and being an idiot sometimes. I admired her courage and the way she handled many of her circumstances. She was incredibly realistic and complex. You can relate to her. She’s lost in a new world and desperate for someone to relate to. When she marries Jamie they agree to be honest. If they can’t tell each other something they say that instead of lying or skirting the issue. It’s refreshing honesty. They have an interesting relationship. I think my favorite thing was that they fought a lot. It wasn’t a perfect thing; there were bumps and awkward bits.
With all the acclaim the book had received, I assumed that there would be less…romance. I was mistaken. If Ms. Gabaldon wanted to reduce the size of her book by half, she could have taken out all of the sex. I skipped over that bit.
There were other…harsh elements of life that anyone under the age of 18 shouldn’t read. However, I enjoyed the plots twists and turns and the characters as well. They were dynamic and odd and selfish and good. I loved Murtagh. He was the couple’s silent guardian as they tramped about, making trouble for themselves and everyone else. He watched over them and won my heart.
I read this book because in the next year or so a TV show based on the book is coming out and I wanted to have background. I’m excited about it; it looks to be good. And if it’s written half as well as the book, it should do very well. Hopefully it’ll be a little more…tactful about Claire and Jamie’s relationship. Here are some pictures: