Thursday, October 2, 2008

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

This book was so good that I'm actually afraid to read the sequel. To me, Claire and Jamie are literary perfection and I want them to stay that way (I've heard that the rest of the books don't live up to this one). Even more importantly is that the scottish accent didn't even annoy me. I had a hard time getting through some of KMM's Highlander books because of use of words like "wee" and "lass." Maybe it was just KMM's style, I don't know, but Gabaldon used it "verra weel."

The story goes like this: Claire Randall and her husband are on holiday in Inverness, Scotland. It is 1945, the war has just ended, and they are rekindling their marriage since they were physically separated for something like six years while they served England (Claire was a nurse and I think Frank was a soldier). Frank is a history nut and is determined to chart out and research his ancestors. Early one morning Claire goes to study plants around a henge a short hike away. When she touches one of the stones, she is transported 200 years back to the 18th century. She immediately meets and is accosted by one of Frank's beloved ancestors. Then she's kidnapped by another man and taken to a cottage where there are a group of men, one of whom is James Fraser. Jamie is injured and Claire takes it upon herself to be his personal physician and caretaker. They become friends and eventually have to marry to keep Claire safe. Claire has some major issues about this - she doesn't love Jamie yet, she's already married to Frank and loves him still but the biggest problem is that she wants to get back to her time. Being a woman in the 18th century definitely isn't the same as being one in the 20th but she can't tell anybody what her real story is because who would believe her? They already think she's a spy for England and she definitely can't tell Jamie what her real last name is since her has a horrible history with Frank's ancestor Jack Randall. If he found out, he'd never be able to see past it. I won't spoil the rest of the story, you'll just have to read it yourself. I'm glad I did.

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