Marissa's Reviews > Outlander

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
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's review
Aug 07, 2008

bookshelves: fiction
Recommended for: smart women with a thing for time travel

When WWII english nurse Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp is on her Scottish honeymoon with her historian hubby, the last thing she expects is to fall through a stone circle into 1743, get hunted by her present-day husband's perverted ancestor Jack Black Randall, and eventually have to marry a hot, clever Scotsman for protection. Well, we often don't plan for this shit on our vacations, do we?

So, once in 18th century Scotland, Claire tries to get back to modern day husband Frank with no avail. The Scots think she's a British spy, the Brits think she's a French spy, and the poor don't understand why she thinks that handwashing will save them from illness.

And then there's Culloden, the disasterous 1745 Scottish uprising. Since Claire was a 20th century historian's wife , she knows that the 18th century people she's learning to love will be crushed by the English... unless she and true love Jamie can somehow alter the course of miltary history.

The relationship between Jamie and Claire is fun, funny, sexy, hot, and, above all, real. The kicker in this one is the witty pace, the excellent writing, and the characterizations. Author Diana Gabaldon introduces side characters only to have them crop up three books later and play a huge role.

Here's the reason why Outlander rocked my world. There are a lot of crappy, woosy heroines out there, especially in the Scotsman Romance field. Claire kicks ass. She's smart, well-traveled, and knows how to twist a bone back into its socket before she got to the 18th century. Claire curses, gets mad, gets sexy, tells Jamie off aplenty, and basically behaves like a normal woman, not a cardboard cutout. Don't be fooled by the neer-do-wells who lump this one into the "romance" section - this is strong, well-plotted fiction with a romantic twist, not the other way around.

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