Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander

I have it in both book and ebook form.

I’ve read each book multiple times and my favourite parts are marked.

The TV show is in capital letters on my computer.

I’ve seen every interview and panel.

I have Sam Hueghen on my phone, both as my lock screen and my home screen.

I have highjacked my boyfriends computer and the TV show poster is now the background.

From the first moment Claire Randall stepped through the stones I was hooked, which is why these exquisite books get their own page on my blog.

For those of you who don’t know the sensation that is Outlander, it was written in 1991 by Diana Gabaldon and now has 8 books in the series, along with many stand alone novellas and a subseries. Most recently it has been made into a TV series with Ron Moore (from Battlestar Gallatica) at the helm, Diana consulting and starring Sam Huegan, Caitriona Balfe and Tobias Menzies.

Diana’s story follows Claire Randall as she unintentionally travels to 1743 while she is honeymooning in the Scottish Highlands with her husband, Frank. She becomes tangled in the political, cultural and emotional turmoil that is the doomed Stewart uprising. Being a woman of the future and a trained World War 2 army nurse, she is regarded with suspicion of her origins and her 20th century healing skills. To save her own life and to keep herself safe from both the British and the Scottish, she is forced to marry highland warrior, *sigh* James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser.

(Obviously I’m on Team Jamie.)

Caught between Jamie, the freedom and simplicity of Highland life and her husband and the modernity of her own time, she has to choose between risking everything to get back home or accepting the land and people she is learning to love.

It started for me as a Christmas gift from my amazing boyfriend. I hold this over his head every time he complains about my Outlander addiction reminding him that he was the one that gifted me the book in the first place, so he started it all.

I was a student at the time, so it took me a couple of months before I got into it, as her life before going through the fairy stones is a bit slow moving and fiction novels should have been the last thing on my mind. My addiction was like a fingersnap, I was reading what I thought was just another book and suddenly was hooked. I would spend days curled up in bed plowing through as much as I could in a day before reality would set back in and I’d have to get up and go to work or go for groceries. If I had gotten this deep into it when I was studying, I would have been in big trouble.

Everything intrigued me; not only the romance Diana creates or the characters she births through her pen, but the history of the times, the personal and cultural struggles, the political intrigue and the beautiful Scottish setting. Being an academic, Diana makes the novel as historically accurate as possible; barring that whole time travel thing, so there is a rich, vibrant history surrounding Claire and Jamie as they work to survive a difficult and violent time.

Diana’s writing style is so deep and complex that every sentence intertwines to form an engaging story of love, destiny, war, loss, and heartbreak that will keep you enthralled till the very end. I think that is what awed me the most, everything in the book had a purpose. From the tiniest detail to the most important historical event, everything ties into each other in some way, whether it was on the next page or 400 pages later. This is something that the TV show has picked up on which I am very grateful for.

Diana has mentioned on several occasions that she hates when Outlander is solely categorized as a romance novel and I agree with her 100 percent. The story is so much more than just the relationships between Claire and Jamie and Claire and Frank. Claire is going on this adventure through time and history and she just happens to be accompanied by the man she loves.

Those who are new to the series are getting an amazing first look at Outlander through the TV series. Even with some additions and changes from the book to the TV adaption, the series is very well done. It is doing very well with the general public as well, having received numerous awards, both big and small in the UK, US and all over the world. Even though the fan base was huge before the series came out, the fact that it has received the acclaim it has shows the expanse of its appeal goes beyond the readership.

To Diana, I say thank you for this wonderful book and when you do decide to finish Claire’s story, I will be sad to see it end but I’ll be happy to have known her. Nothing can compare to this mindblowing and breathtaking story.

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