Monday, 13 July 2015

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Started: 13th June
Finished: 24th June



Well, what can I say? Second time around, I loved this book! I recalled in this post that I'd had a copy of this book (albeit with it's UK title of Cross Stitch) years ago, but couldn't remember if I liked it or not. Funnily enough, I was looking back at an old blog that I used to write, and in the very first post I mention that I'm reading Cross Stitch; in fact, this is what I wrote about it:

I'm currently reading a book called 'Cross-Stitch' by Diana Gabaldon. It's a thick 'saga' type novel, set in the Scottish Highlands (which is why I bought it in the first place, while on holiday there myself). A woman, in 1946, steps into the middle of a stone circle (like a smaller Stonehenge) and is transported back in time 200 years, to around the time of the Battle of Culloden. It's ok, but it hasn't really gripped me. I'm wanting to read it, but only so that I can finish it and start something else, rather than because I'm enjoying it, which isn't great, is it?

No, it isn't great at all! And that was in 2009, so definitely not too young to appreciate it!

So yes, Claire Randall is a 20th century nurse who travels back in time through a stone circle to 18th century Scotland, where she is taken in by the Clan Mackenzie, who initially think she is an English spy. Her nursing credentials eventually earn her some respect, but the more senior members of the clan can never fully shake off their suspicion and doubt. Mourning for the husband she has left behind 'in the future', Frank, Claire is shocked to encounter a man who looks just like him; she comes to realise it is Frank's ancestor, Captain Jonathan 'Black Jack' Randall - 'black' refers to the colour of his soul. Captain Randall wants the Clan Mackenzie to hand Claire over to the British Army - the only way to avoid this is if she marries one of them, and with little choice in the matter, she is married to a young man called Jamie, who himself is wanted by Captain Randall, for personal reasons (Black Jack is a sadistic homosexual, it turns out) and also because he is a fugitive from the British Army.

This is a really great novel, with well-rounded characters, most of whom are very likeable. I'm usually happy to read a book and use my imagination to picture the characters, but in this case I'd just watched the first series of Outlander on Amazon Prime. However, I didn't mind that at all, as I thought the series was perfectly cast, and it really helped to picture each character as they were in the series, especially Claire and Jamie.

I was very tempted to read book 2, Dragonfly In Amber, straight away, but I've decided to pace myself and try and read some more of my 'real' books, as opposed to Kindle books first. 

(Stupid blogger won't let me change the font size back to normal)

 


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