Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book Review: OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon

Claire Randall and her husband Frank took a well-deserved second honeymoon to Scotland to celebrate their reunion. The couple had been separated for a long period of time during their years of service to the British military during WWII. Claire served as a combat nurse and Frank was fully invested in the ultra exclusive MI-6. Both had survived the war but had sacrificed the first years of their marriage to the cause. Scotland was the perfect place for a bit of rest and relaxation while Frank the once historian researched his family genealogy.

They both became quickly immersed in the quiet ways of Scottish life. Seeing all of the sights the couple had decided to venture to Craigh Na Dun, which was similar to the mysterious Stonehenge we know today. Caught by surprise they witness a secretive pagan like celebration dance that was performed around the stones by some of the local village women. Hiding from the women’s site they knew they had witness something they should not have been privy to and they went dashing off before they were discovered. Claire decided to go back the next day and investigate the stones further.

Leaving Frank behind to work on his genealogy of his ancestor Black Jack Randall, Claire decided to head to the stones alone. Standing in front of the stones Claire felt this irresistible urge to touch them as she had seen the village women do the day before.  Once her hands were upon the stones this awful sound of buzzing bee’s overwhelmed her and she was immersed in complete darkness. When she came to after touching the stones she found she was still at the stones and had no idea where the sound or darkness had come from. Deciding to venture from the stones Claire found her surroundings vaguely familiar but not exactly the same and the car was gone. Deciding to walk back to the village Claire found herself in the woods with no clue as to what had transpired. As bad luck would have it the first person she encountered was a man dressed in a military red coat and once her eyes locked on his face she instantly called for her husband Frank. After a violent introduction this man that had the same face as her husband stated his name was not Frank but instead Jonathan Randall, captain of the English Dragoons. With her mind reeling from fighting off an unexpected attack from Jonathan Randall, Claire did what her instincts told her to do and she ran. Unfortunately when she took off from Randall she ran straight into a group of rough Scottish highlanders. Having no choice in matters the highlanders scooped her up and fled from the pursuing Randall.

Now a captive of the highlander men Claire offers her medical service to the men’s obvious injuries. One of the young men in the group was a handsome man that the others called Jamie. He suffered from a dislocated shoulder, which she quickly popped back into place and wrapped up. Her skills were noted by the highlanders and decided she had valuable skills that would be highly useful back at home because they had not had a healer for some time and were in desperate need of one. The highlanders really had no other option than to take her with them because they could not just let her go they knew she was English and could very likely be a covert spy sent to watch the highlanders.  Claire was now a liability that had to be watched at all costs.

Castle Leoch eventually loomed ahead and Claire was in the worst-case scenario. She was now a captive of the Mackenzie clan and their laird Colum and his brother Dougal. With her mind still reeling from being sucked into the stones, not know when or where she was, she began to search for answers. It was a tremendous shock to discover the date it was not 1946 anymore instead the year was 1743! Shocked to the core Claire had no other option than to try and fit in at castle Leoch and bide her time until she could escape back to the stones. She must find a way back to her native 1940’s and her husband Frank. Home was always her first thought in her mind but with time it seemed to fade and she found her heart began to grow towards her highlander patient Jamie. Her heart began to open to Jamie and after a turn of awful events Claire and the band of highlanders were on the run from the evil forces of Captain Randall. Still trying to find her way back to the stones Claire was forced into a marriage that would protect her from Randall. Lucky for her it was Jamie that had offered his protection to her but they both were on the run from Randall and only time would tell if they could escape the evil Dragoons. In her heart Claire still wanted to go home to Frank but with a new love budding between Jamie and her she found she was being pulled between two lives and eventually she would have to choose one over the other.

4/5 Loved it and I know I say that about every novel I read but it is honestly how I feel. I am starting to think that I either loved it or hated it, there really is not much in-between for me.  Can I just say that I ended up picking this novel up because I watched the first part of season one of Outlander on Starz and Jamie is so smoking hot! Before the TV series I have to admit I was really intimidated by this series because there are a ton of books in it and for a Outlander newbie it is kind of scary to see eight plus novels at over 700 pages a piece but I am glad I finally got into it and it was more than worth it. I would highly recommend this novel to every historical and romance reader because it is a unique story line and is really romantic.

R ~ Rating for violence and graphic sexual references.

FTC ~ This novel is from my personal collection. I received no compensation for this review and it is reflective of my honest opinion of this novel.

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2 comments:

Heidi said...

I have wanted to get into the series as well. Good to know that it was pretty good. I will have to give it a go if I finish my TBR books first!

Lizzie J said...

Oh Heidi I have been feeling the TBR crush lately, I know how you feel. This one is really long too, good read though.

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