“And if I were?” I asked through dry lips.“If you had thought I were a witch? Would you still have fought for me?”
“I would have gone to the stake with you!” he said violently. “And to hell beyond if I must.”
It’s hard to do justice in a review to a book that is so long without ending up with a novella yourself. Outlander was a fantastic surprise, an epic of love, war and family. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going in and I think that made it all the more magical.
The story centers on Claire, a nurse shortly after the end of WWII. She and her husband Frank have been married for eight years, however at least six of those were spent apart during the war. The start of the book is a little slow and it takes a little time to get rolling. Frank is a historian and so there are various conversations about the past and genealogy that don’t seem particularly important at the time but later turn out to be quite important.As Frank and Claire re-honeymoon in Scotland there is always talk of the past, wee folk and ferries. It seems like a mystical place full of magic and then something truly magical happens and Claire is whisked away into the past nearly 200 years.
For me this is when the story became extremely interesting and the way the time travel was done seemed to go completely with the story, it felt natural.So much happened in the book as much as it is a character study of Claire and Jamie it also packs a lot of action. This is one of the best historical romances I have ever read. The details of the era, even ones that were uncomfortable seemed spot on. It is definitely a harsher time with different kinds of trials to overcome and Claire must go through a lot. In between all the action the author shows us some of life of the times like how medicines are made, lords govern the land, women bear children, how men treat a wife who has disobeyed orders etc…. It was all very interesting and believable.
“Oh, aye, Sassenach. I am your master . . . and you're mine.
Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own.”
The relationship that grows between Claire and Jamie now that she is lost in his time was my favorite part of the story. Her conflict with herself about her feelings for Frank and Jamie seemed genuine and never forced. I empathized with the struggle she had within herself about the two men and which time she should belong too. I forgot how long the book was as I was thoroughly immersed in the story and struggle.
If you are a fan of great epic romances or history this should be right up your alley. Even though this is a series there is no cliff hanger at the end to hook you into the next book. It is so well written though that I think once you finish Outlander you will want to journey on to see what becomes of our beloved characters.
Slight side note, I alternated this between audiobook and kindle. One reason I’m happy I did that is I really don’t read a ton of historical fiction and sometimes the language and pronunciations of names and places can get a little daunting. Listening helped in that respect and the narrator did a fantastic job with the voice of the story. The second reason I’m glad I did that is the shear length of the story, if I’d done the audiobook by itself it would have taken almost 36 hours. But it still would have been well worth it.