Book Review: Outlander - Diana Gabaldon

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


Outlander is absolutely wonderful and overwhelming. What stands out most about this book is the impact it had on me by the time I’d made your way through it. When I finished reading Outlander I had an overwhelming sense that I did indeed get my money’s worth.  Normally, even if I’m not entirely thrilled with the book, I'm still fairly satisfied with the monetary to entertainment exchange – that it has been a fair and reasonable transaction. But with Outlander I felt like I had truly received the better end of the deal. It’s about 20 bucks for the hardback on amazon. $20! for such an in depth tale of love and passion and hardship, not to mention the historical education I feel I have obtained. I might as well have paid for a college course on Scottish history; however, this was way more fun. There is so much going on in this book I was emotionally exhausted by the time it was over.   Reading about a few years in the life of Claire (the main character) feels like a lifetime! I almost feel like I should send Diana Gabaldon a check for more money…almost. But I will support her by continuing to read the series. I can’t believe there are seven more!!! How does she do it?!!  Her writing has such a level of depth and detail that the reader is completely immersed into the story. Not to mention the amount of scheming and plotting is almost on par with the Game of Thrones series. 

I’m not sure how to talk about the book without spoiling any of the twists and turns that are a part of it… I’ll try and be very careful. The final traumatic moment in Paris made me cry like a baby. There are so many awful things that happen in this book but for some reason this one event just killed me. Maybe, the story had slowly eaten away at my emotional fortitude without me noticing and that by the time I was nearing the end of the book I was just a wreck. That could have been it, but either way my heart just crumpled and I could take it no longer! I closed the book for the evening and told myself I would take a break before finishing it. Right! The next afternoon it was in my hands again and I was back on the roller coaster ride. As I’m writing this I’m realizing Diana Gabaldon doesn’t just abuse her characters but also her readers!! Is it wrong to say that I'll be back for more?

I might need therapy now…or at least a good nap.