“For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary.”
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.
★★★★★ 4.5/5 stars!
This book was an absolute journey to read. Don’t read it unless you intend to put a lot of energy into it. It’s not a book you can casually pick up. I actually watched five episodes or so beforehand, and I forced myself to stop just so I can read ahead. It was so worth it.
Anyway, this book was overall amazing. Don’t get me started on the characters. THE CHARACTERS. They are all complex with interworking of betrayal, intellect, manipulation, love, and more. I cared so much for them, and sometimes I was on the verge of tears in anticipation. I could also read about the Scottish setting for hours on end. How Gabaldon described it makes me want to hop on a plane.
I didn’t give it a perfect score for a couple of reasons. It took a few pages to settle into the language. Namely, the protagonist is English in the during the 1940s, and she’s transported through time to the 18th century Scotland Highlands. Because of this unique setting, the vocabulary for me (at times) was distressingly specific to those regions. I couldn’t decipher what “that” trinket was or what “this” dinglehopper was, but nonetheless it was easy to power through. Also, the book had an uneven pace. At one point, for fifty pages or so, there was a lot of action, but then a page or so later everything would calm down for another hundred pages. Better yet, I would say there wasn’t a single, linear plot. There were strands that led to multiple back story too. In some ways, though, I kind of preferred it stretched out like a television show.