Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Posted February 27, 2015 by Lillian in Reviews / 11 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Outlander by Diana GabaldonOutlander by Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander, #1
Published by Delacorte Press on 1991-06-01
Length: 896 pages
Reviewing eBook from My Book Shelf

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.

FYI: This is review will be more fangirling than reviewing…

For those that don’t know me, I have a soft spot for historical fiction. I love books that take me back in time and show me life before electricity and iPhones and computers. I even like books that show these things but, you know, like fifty years ago. I love the little escape from my ordinary life. Most of these historical fictions read like a fairy tale. A character stuck in time, sweeping romances, brutality, and war….hmmm…I’m pretty sure that I just described Outlander, the massive 896 page first in series book by Diana Gabaldon in ten words 😀

I LOVE this book!!! Claire Randall is on a second honeymoon with her estranged husband Frank at the end of WWII. A war nurse, she is now trying to find what normal was and how she fits into it. When fate takes Claire through the stones of Craigh na Dun, she finds herself in 1740s Scotland and in the middle of a skirmish between the Scottish Highlanders and the British Redcoats. Kidnapped by a band of Highlanders, Claire discovers a life she didn’t know she wanted.

Claire Randall is a character that I related to on many levels. She’s just spend 6 years nursing during WWII and has seen her husband all of three times during those 6 years. She feels a disconnect that is evident to the reader from the beginning of the story. She desperately wants to love Frank, but finds things difficult to say the least. It’s like there is a wall there that just won’t go away.

Then Claire falls through the rabbit hole, so to speak, and discovers a life that is so far different from her own that she takes refuge in it. Her main goal through a majority of the book is to find her way back to the 1940s, but as the plot progresses and Claire finds herself more and more attached to the people of the 1740s I rooted for her to stay!

The author does an amazing job of telling this story through Claire’s eyes. She’s experiencing the Scottish Highlands, clans and all, through the eyes of a historian and learning that not all that is written in history is as it happened. There were moments throughout the book where I wanted to yell at her because she had seemed to forget where or I guess really when she was and would use terms unfamiliar to the Highlanders she traveled with. This added humor and some irony to this otherwise stressful situation.

Then there’s Jamie Fraser, a young Scottish outlaw who Claire just can’t seem to get her mind off of and if I’m honest neither could I. Here’s Claire, stuck in a place she knows nothing of, and then there’s Jamie a laird who can’t go home. Both are outlanders in a sense and naturally fall together during the story. The romance that builds between them is natural. I didn’t find it forced. It’s more of a soul mate type story. At times I found myself feeling sorry for Frank in the future who must be worried and scouring the countryside for his missing wife, but then at the same time I hoped Claire would see what I was reading into Jamie’s actions and never go home.

Overall I loved the book. Despite it’s size I found it a fast read, though I’ll admit the beginning did drag a bit until Claire found herself falling through time. I fell in love with the characters and their plight, the writing, and the details in the historical aspects of the story. I liked this book so much that I’m a bit hesitant to continue the series. Confusing, I know but true.

Why do I feel this way? Well, Jamie and Claire’s story is so touching and sweet and endearing (at least to me) and I felt it was complete at the conclusion. I’m scared to read more of the series now because I don’t want to ruin my feelings for this first book!!! Have you read the series? Is it safe to go on?! I’m scared!!!

Review in a Gif: 


Final Conclusion:


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11 responses to “Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

    • That they are. I couldn’t resist reading the first chapter of book two last night when I finished Outlander and now I’m scared to keep reading. Not sure my emotions can take it. 😉

  1. I’m so glad you loved Outlander! I am a little nervous to read the sequel as well, but I have heard it is good. We shall see! I swoon over Jamie and I agree with you that the book was a little slow until Claire went back in time. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but maybe I should start. Great review! I look forward to seeing what you think of book two. 🙂
    Kay @ It’s a Book Life recently posted…The Bookish Report – Bookish News from Around the WebMy Profile

    • Thanks Kay! I read the first chapter of book two as soon as I finished this one and that just made me more nervous to read it! But I think I’ll still enjoy it.

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