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By: Diana Gabaldon
Published by: Delta
Format of Review Copy: Paperback & ebook
Recommendable for people who enjoy:
Synopsis (from Amazon):
Unrivaled storytelling … unforgettable characters … rich historical detail … these are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured millions of readers. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages….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.
One of the book clubs I follow chose this as their pick for this month. I normally shy away from the “romance” books because I hate them. But this one, having been listed as Science Fiction/Historical Romance (and the people arguing over its listing), peaked my interest. When I posted that I was reading it, my goodreads and twitter EXPLODED with “omg, you’re reading romance!” “Cant wait to see what you think” etc etc… So, for what it is worth my friends… HERE is what I think.
Very much to my surprise, I was sucked into this book. More surprising still was that I wasn’t turned off by the romance. In fact, I didn’t even notice “romance” until after the 70% mark!
In my opinion, this book is more a Historical Fiction / Adventure then anything else. The only Science Fiction occurs toward the beginning when our main protagonist, Claire, gets ripped from her time in 1945 back to 1743. That’s it. Science Fiction over. Historical Fiction, however, definitely describes this book. Note I said Historical FICTION not Historical ROMANCE. There is a huge difference. I found this book to be awesome in that it was historically accurate to the foundations of the society at that time. In other words… Women were treated like shit. A lot of books, especially books aimed toward a female audience, temper the stories more toward romance etc and glaze over the fact that during the time period women were treated as possessions and not people. This book didn’t do that. Its accuracy for depicting the time period, I think, is one of the main things that kept me reading.
Character wise, I am not going to lie. Claire… to me… is a Bella. *insert eye roll here*. She is very much an “right now” thinker. She gets an idea and does it RIGHT NOW without any thought toward what “might happen” if… It was annoying as shit. At the same time I wanted to see her to safety – I hoped she’d get killed off for being a dumbass. You know when you watch a horror movie, and the girl with big boobs runs UP the stairs to get away from the killer instead of out the open door 3 ft away to safety? THAT was Claire. I hated her, but I kept reading. I liked the adventure going on around her. Liked the world being shown to me. Liked the historical reality of it.
As for the rest of the characters, I loved them all. None of the characters in this book felt “flat” to me, if that makes sense. Even the most minor ones, I felt like time had been taken to flesh them out. I even loved the ones I hated because OMG they were so good to hate.
I really liked this story, however I don’t think I will be continuing on in the series. These books are HUGE and there are eight of them, I believe. As much as I would like to see how the story pans out, I just dont think I can get through the second book, what with book one ending
I enjoyed this book. I would be leery of recommending it to people though, due to the sexual violence (including violence against men). I did think it was a good story. For historical fiction, I found it to represent the time period quite accurately as disturbing as that may be – it is accurate. I say if you are a fan of historical fiction/adventure novels, then pick this one up, just be warned… women weren’t treated with kindness in the 1700’s and in the absence of a woman… a man will do.
Not for children. Contains: violence, sex, language