Jun 11, 2015

Outlander (Outlander Series 1)

Outlander book cover

by Diana Gabaldon
book review rating 4.5 out of 5

OUTLANDER IS THE ultimate escape that reads like a dream! New York Times bestselling author, Diana Gabaldon, brings us an epic tale of two unforgettable characters, Claire and Jamie, in a spellbinding novel of unrivaled passion and exhilarating adventure set on the breathtaking highlands of historic Scotland.

Young combat nurse, Claire Randall, returns from her duties at the end of WWII to reunite with her husband, Frank Randall, on a second honeymoon in the British Isles. During a casual morning walk, she visits one of many ancient stone circles scattered throughout the landscape and is inexplicably drawn to enter through two of its standing pillars. When she emerges on the other side, she is a Sassenach – an "outlander" – in Scotland in the year 1743. 

Catapulted through time and space by forces she cannot comprehend, to an unsteady Scotland torn by war and raiding clans, she finds her life at risk and her heart divided.  For in this century is James Fraser, a valiant and stubborn Scots warrior, who will capture her heart so absolutely that Claire is torn between desire and devotion.

This is a mature story that beautifully highlights the complexities of falling in love with two vastly different men in two inconceivably different lives without seeming forced or predictable.  The storyline flows so naturally that by the end of 800-plus pages, I was ecstatic that this is just the beginning of an amazing 8-book series. However, there are parts of the story that is not for the faint of heart. Jamie will make a sacrifice so great to protect Claire that it threatens to destroy him, leaving readers heartbroken for his brutally violent encounter. Can Claire bring him back from the brink of total despair and destruction?

Ms. Gabaldon is a magnificent storyteller writing characters that will linger with you long beyond the last page. Outlander is a love story for the ages.

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