daylight saving times gives me so much more motivation than winter time, so I try my best to write more full reviews again. Let’s start with this one – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve read this book in German, so if there are translation mistakes with the names, I’m sorry. I tried my best in research 🙂 Also, this Review contains (evil) SPOILERS. I’m sorry, I really couldn’t help myself.
Title: Outlander – Fire and Stone
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Type read: Paperback
Published in: May 4th 2015 (first published on June 1st 1991)
Published by: Knaur Taschenbuch
Located after the second world war, Claire Randall arrives with her husband Frank at Inverness in Scotland, for a late honeymoon. Both coming from the war, remembering it fresh, the time at the Highlands is much needed. While Frank is the most eager about history, especially in genealogy, Claire loves to wander around in town, exploring it and getting to know more about Herbalism. When Claire and Frank visit Craigh Na Dun, a stone circle at a hill close to Inverness and witness a ritual from old Scottish times, she feels that something has happened there. Later, Claire comes back for a herb at Craigh Na Dun and feels a power drawing her to one of the stones. When touching it, Claire feels that something has changed. She gets raided by a Redcoat, a man who just looks like her husband Frank and is saved by a Highlander, who takes her to his group where Claire realises that she has landed in 1743.
First things first, I have watched the first season of Outlander before I read the book. The TV show is very close to the book, so if you watch or read Outlander there is a possibility to get spoilered. Just to leave you warned here.
Now, let’s start with the environment of Outlander. The book is set in Scotland in the middle of the 18th century, whereas the English invaded Scotland and the Scots hate the British. Especially if you are a wanted man and hated by the federal corporal of the English colony. This is the case for Jamie McTavish aka Fraser, who got punished for multiple reasons by Jonathan Randall, an anchestor of Frank Randall, Claire’s husband. Claire will get to know Jamie pretty soon after she gets rescued from Jonathan Randall. The historical background of this book seems very accurate when it comes to behavorism, Clans and believing in black magic and witches in this time set. Which is cool, at least for the reader since you feel like it is the real deal and nothing pulled along to fit the story.
It’s a very rough story when it comes to the characters. It gets very heavy both when it comes to hateful punishment or romance. Where in fact I was more okay with the violence than with the romance, since the romance seemed more like a rape-mance, which didn’t quite fit in the picture I have with Claire being an emancipated 20th century woman, but okay. It probably fit into the 18th century but still.
Also, after watching the TV show and reading the book, I still can’t stand Jamie, the main character next to Claire. At once, he really seems like a good and nice Highlander guy and suddenly throwing everything off by having to be the man in this marriage. And Claire pulling off an Anastasia Steele and simply going with it. He was so stubborn and he always said he had to protect Claire and BLABLABLA. He pretty much did an awful job at that by getting himself halfway killed while Claire probably would be able to carry herself blindfolded and with one hand. I’m not kidding. And then he had to punish her because she endangered herself. Why. Why. Why. Loving her but having to beat her up? That might be 18th century etiquette but Claire isn’t from that time and somehow went with it. All this isn’t getting in my head.
I mean, how twisted is it from Diana Gabaldon to make a guy the evilest of all evil men to look like Claire’s loving husband Frank? That’s super messed up and probably not good for Claire’s mind. Frank, an English Redcoat with a loving hate for Jamie, is a man that doesn’t know that he his evil and this is the good kind of villain. Reading about him made my stomach turn because ew, that man. You will be prepared but you won’t be prepared. This man gets under your skin from the first phrase he says.
Last but not least, the story
Personally I think the book could be shorter since there were passages in it that dragged on forever. The writing isn’t bad at all, I actually loved it a lot. I just recognized at some point that it got too much. I loved the Scottish scenery, since I’ve been to Scotland myself (even Inverness) and I could imagine myself being there. Still, I don’t know if I want to continue reading the books or watching the TV show, since watching it is not as time consuming as reading it (it took me a month to finish the book).
I would recommand Outlander to everyone who loves a historical romance, packed with action, a little fantasy element and a dash of mystery. That’s why I give Outlander by Diana Gabaldon 4 out of 5 stars, simply because I enjoyed it even if there are characters I can’t stand at all and even if it dragged at some points. It’s been a beautiful read.
I’ll leave the trailer for the first season of Outlander with you 🙂
Anyone here who has read or watched Outlander yet and can tell me if it’s worth to continue the series?
| Book Cover is from Goodreads |