If someone asked me what genre Outlander belonged to, I’d have trouble answering. Historical fiction, of course, with a strong romantic relationship at its heart, yet also fits into the fantasy and supernatural genre with a touch of science-fiction. Whatever the genre, all I can tell you is I found Outlander to be an epic tale that swept me along for the ride.
The year is 1945. The war is over and Claire Randall has been reunited with her husband, Frank. She spent the past number of years as a combat nurse in France while Frank worked for M16. They go on a second honeymoon to Scotland, a chance to get to know each other all over again. There, Claire wanders up to the circle of standing stones and presses her hand to one of them. Her world tilts and she awakens in the same spot, some two hundred years in the past. How will she get back to her husband? How will she convince the Scots she isn’t an English spy? How will she manage in the year 1743?
Wow. I’ve fallen fast and hard in love with this book and I can’t wait to dive into the next one. I’m not sure how I would have survived reaching the last page if I hadn’t known there were a further seven books in the series! I don’t often give a book five stars, but with Outlander, I wish I could give more. It swept me up and tore my emotions apart. I loved Claire and Jamie and their relationship. Jamie is my new book boyfriend. 🙂 He’s courageous, handsome, more forward thinking than most men of his time, and he loves Claire completely. And of course he’s also got that swoon-worthy Scottish accent! And he wears a kilt!!! Claire herself is a formidable heroine. She copes a hell of a lot better in the eighteenth century than I could ever imagine I would. She’s resilient, brave and strong, a force to be reckoned with. I am still shaking my head wondering how this book escaped my attention. It was published in 1991 and I cannot understand why I hadn’t heard of it previously.
This story contains romance, but it’s not a traditional romance. Romance books for me are the journey of a man and woman falling in love and getting together, and the book usually ends with “and they lived happily ever after”. Yes, Jamie and Claire are forced to get married and be together, but this story spans beyond that. For readers who aren’t too much into romance, note Outlander is a historical fiction piece. Want to know what life was like in the Highlands of Scotland in mid eighteenth century? Look no further. Given the time period, there is much brutality in this novel and the threat of violence and rape permeates through many of the pages, a word of warning…
I read the book on my Kindle and it was long. A quick Google search and it’s apparently 850 pages, and even at that length, I wanted more. Outlander now goes in my top ten favourite books of all time.
Have you read this? I’d love to know what your thoughts on this book are.