Outlander (Outlander, book 1) by Diana Gabaldon
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
At first I was riveted. This size of book use to be my bread and butter. All the details on herbs,the time period, and history was riveting. The treatment of women Outlander chauvinistic and cruel most of the time. Which I can totally believe. Just dive back 50 years ago into history. Heck the 70s even. Which I enjoy is addressed her. Claire’s life after WW2 seemed so modern and female had “rights”, but then comparing them back two centuries is scary. Let’s be honest women haven’t really had rights that long. Big Eyes anyone?
The thing is I eventually grew tired. Don't get me wrong I was enjoying myself right up and past the middle of the book. Then it hit me. This is what the book would be. Men treating women badly because of the time period. Claire being endanger, her “intelligence” and forward thinking putting her at risk, leading to Jamie saves her again. She's torn between to worlds. Drama. Rinse repeat. The problem is the book is so long winded (and from what I hear others). Apparently books of this size need to be epics for me to care about them. Or maybe I have limits to how long I can handle romance. Maybe if Nalini Singh wrote a PNR this long I could.
The writing is great! The information in the pages is great. This world is rich and amazing. However, there's a TV show now. And well. I like my dramas on TV! Well certain kinds. In the end it's just too much. Over the top information vomiting, “you're a woman just do it”, and the fact that it would be huge books of misery for the lead over and over again. Then a dramatic love triangle that's totally justifiable. The fact that she was tricked into getting married was annoying, even if it is to an amazing guy, and it was so the simple country folk would hold off killing her. The fact is the prejudices and sexism of the time are spot on.
What I'm trying to say is Outlander is pretty dang cool. The problem is I don't care to read book after HUGE book about it. Especially now that there is a TV show. Plus, someone needs to tell the author she needs to tone it down. I've read books just as long where the characters are spending more time journeying through the earth and I was riveted. But then I feel guilty because I did enjoy the information overload. It’s like reading Robert Jordan’s later books in the Wheel of Time. Fact is I don't want to go on with the series. What a crazy dilemma to find myself in. Maybe years and years later I'll be interested in. Fact is I don’t care for a romance this long. It’s all over the top. Boredom and “I don’t care” just kept flashing up in my mind while reading.
Sexual Content: Lot’s of it kiddies! It’s smoke’n hot. Which is what drove me through! Homosexuality, rape, and lot’s of other dark themed stuff. It gets pretty scary at many points.
2/5- Average/disappointing, library check-out 1/5- I couldn't finish it or wish I hadn't
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