Book – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
Rating – 4/5 ♥♥♥♥
Let me start this review by saying that this is not normally the type of book that I would pick up – anyone who knows me and my book collection can verify that I tend to stay within my comfort zone when it comes to my reads, YA mostly with a little bit of fantasy and sci-fi thrown in for good measure. But my love for this story and its characters are a testament for how leaving that comfort zone can be a good thing! And after my experience with this book, it is something I intend to do more often. This book at its core can be be described as a Historical novel(with a little time travel and romance) set in the Scottish Highlands, detailing the lives of its characters in the 18th century. Diana paints a picture of her characters and their settings amazingly and I was transported back in time while reading this.
Firstly in the book you meet Claire, an incredibly strong minded and bold character. Claire finds herself up the creek without a paddle and adapts to her situation well – a lot better than most people would. She’s a very smart and caring woman who puts her knowledge to good use throughout the course of the story, mostly with her medical skills she picked up as a nurse, she also tries her best to add a modern viewpoint to many of the old fashioned traditions and laws of the highlanders.
Then you meet Jamie, or as I like to say , JAMIE FREAKING FRASER. This character has been added to my slowly growing list of top book boyfriends, he is in my opinion one of the best male heros. If you don’t swoon when you read him on your page then….. I just don’t understand you. Jamie is a very honourable man, his word is his bond kind of guy, who proves himself to be trustworthy. He’s physically strong but also mentally – trust me the things this guy overcomes in this story . There are points throughout the story that I found myself laughing at his lightheartedness and self deprecating jokes. I adored the relationship between him and Claire, it didn’t take long at all for him to become one of my favourite characters.
There are a lot of ups and downs in this novel, but both characters face them together. Diana creates a lovely friendship between both characters from the beginning of the story when they first meet and beyond, the moment you read any scenes between the two of them you feel like they’re both just meant to be. Claire and Jamie have a very honest relationship that would be the envy of most, there is just something about the two of them together that screams soulmates at you. I truly loved every word exchanged between the two, even when they were arguing! The secondary characters throughout the novel are also just as well written and lovable – excluding Black Jack Randall, but you will love to hate him! Murtagh and Dougal are two of my favourites.
There were a few scenes throughout the story that were a little hard for me to read, well maybe not hard but they definitely made for uncomfortable reading on my part – I won’t go into too much detail in fear of providing spoilers but there is a scene where Jamie beats Claire with a belt for disobedience, and endangering the rest of the men, when you read the story it does make sense and I can fully understand the reasoning behind it but nonetheless it made me cringe and recoil a little while it was happening. Then there is also the ending of the book. And what an ending it was, I recall looking at the section I had left to go and thinking surely nothing that bad can happen in such a small portion of the book…boy was I wrong. It went from lovely and happy, life is great in the highlands right now to a holy shit how is this happening eruption.
All in, I really loved this book and I’m looking forward to starting the next one – Dragonfly In Amber. Outlander is a recommended read, if you have read it or are going to pick it up then let me know your thoughts! (: