Friday, 10 June 2011

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Published 1991
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.


All finished. As I have been posting as I was reading I didn’t think I would have an awful lot to write in way of a review but I think I may have been wrong. We shall see I suppose.

I did like this book, maybe very near loved it. The characters were great and I loved the fact that none of them were perfect or pretended to be perfect. I can’t get enough of history so I loved that side of things and then there was the fantasy aspect and Nessie making an appearance – LOVE IT.

BUT – in all honesty I can’t give this book 5 starts. I know…I’m a terrible person. There was just far too many bits where I was uncomfortable reading and they were far too squirmy.

The sex, though not being at the 100% side of graphic was VERY frequent and at some points maybe not needed, although on some levels I can understand why it was there. I was not comfortable with Jamie’s pretty much near rape of Claire – even if she did come round to the idea. Some bits were a little too ‘and why do I want to know this’.

But, while on the subject of the … intimate moments they were handled pretty well. In many romance novels you could skip that such a scene without the risk of missing out anything to do with the story or characters and pick up the story-line two or three pages later. But this was not the case in Outlander. First, the scenes weren’t as long as that. Second, dialogue and relationship building on an emotional level(if that makes any sense) is actually interwoven into the scene.

And then there was the end and Jamie’s torture/rape. Ummm yeah…

BUT. I did enjoy this book. The fact that all the character have their own motivations and agendas made them fascinating to read about because I was wanting to know just why they were doing things and what made them tick.

And then there were the many tender moments between Jamie and Claire. Just little moments that made me go aaaaawwwwweeee, CUTE!

And then there was Claire’s constantly thwarted attempt to get back to the standing stones that ALWAYS got her into worse trouble.  I couldn’t  help but feel sorry for her – and laugh at the same time (especially when she ended up falling on Jamie in the stables).

The supporting characters were as fascinating and fun to read about as the main character which made the book all the more 3D and enjoyable.

This book had me laughing, crying, squirming, cheering, giggling and slamming it shut just to immediately crack the pages open again.

All in all, a very enjoyable read! I can’t wait for the second in the series to drop through my letter box and continue Jamie and Claire’s journey.

These are my posts as I read -

Started Reading Outlander 23rd March 2011
Frank the Twit 25th March 2011
Of Tramps and Matchmaking 28th March 2011
Randell the Git 4th April 2011
RIP MR Rochester 8th April 2011
Emotionaaaaaaaal! 7th June 2011
Callum and Dougal 7th June 2011

Narrated by Davina Porter
Length - 32 hrs 42 mins
Release Date - 13/07/2006

This was fantastic to listen to. The reader had a way of using her voice that just painted the characters in my head. He accents and voices were fantastic and seamless as she went from English to Scottish to French, men, women, children. A real joy to listen too. 

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