Have you ever fallen in love with a book so much that when you discuss it with your friends, you feel the need to prove that you are the biggest fan? This is what happened with me and this book, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, when I was in college. At one point, I almost threatened to fly to Scotland and marry the first Jamie that came across my path, provided that he could say Sassenach correctly.
This was the first time I had ever devoured a 600+ page novel and simultaneously wished for a few hundred more pages with my favorite couple, Claire and Jamie. But at first glance, a time traveling English nurse who gets sent back to 1743 Scotland didn’t sound appealing because I’m not into time traveling novels and it’s nearly impossible for a realistic independent woman to be placed in a historical setting without coming across as foreign and out of place. However I had never encountered an amazing character like Claire Randall. The book is heavy and rich with history so you truly feel transported to Scotland and believe Claire’s medical knowledge saves her life with a valued purpose amongst the clan, as well as the actual lives of her patients.
Since there is now a successful television series on STARZ, I suspect (and hope) that there will be a new legion of devoted fans, all completely in love with James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser. Amen.
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.