Hello! My name is Kristen and if you’re reading this please take a moment to stop and give yourself a big hug from me. I am so grateful that you’ve shared even a sliver of your very valuable time. I am a writer and I wanted a place where I could share my love of literature with the world and that’s what you’ve happened upon. However, since there is more to life than books and writing (sigh) there will be some of that stuff too. I am the mom of three small boys so that tends to occupy a large amount of my time. If you don’t enjoy a good penis story every now and then this may not be the right blog for you.
Now that you know a little bit about me let’s talk about the latest book I’ve read, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I bought this book knowing very little about it. Honestly the only thing that I knew was that I had heard it mentioned in several of my friends newsfeeds on Facebook and that Starz had made a series out of it. I like entering into most things in life with very low expectations that way I don’t have sour feelings at then end of whatever it is I’ve tackled. This book fell nicely into that category.
I am a huge historical fiction fan, and I have a fascination with any story set in Europe, so I was geeking out a bit with a glimpse into Scotland in 1743, which is where the majority of the book takes place. Quick synopsis for those of you that haven’t read it – Claire, a 27 year old WWII combat nurse is on a second honeymoon with her husband Frank in Scotland when she encounters a magical stone circle and is transported back to 1743. She is picked up by traveling Clansmen and is taking back to their castle. She adapts to life their while trying to find a way back to her own time but meanwhile is forced into marrying 23 year old Scotsman Jamie, who she ends up falling for. I won’t tell you anymore to keep from spoiling too much.
OK, so things that I loved. The descriptions of every day life and the class system of the clan society of Scotland. I love history and it’s clear that the author did a ton of research in prepping for this novel. I walked away feeling like I know exactly what it was like to live during this time and grateful that I didn’t have to. The unpredictability. There were a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming which made this a book I hated putting down. The secondary characters. There was a large number of supporting characters in this book and they each brought something interesting and unusual to the table and were endearing in their own ways.
Things I didn’t love. The last bit of the book fell flat for me when Jamie gets raped by the villain, Black Jack Randall, and they take him to a monastery in France to recover. I can tolerate rape in a book but the scenes in which Claire tried to recreate it to heal him didn’t work for me. It was confusing, what she was doing and the reasoning for why she was doing it. Perhaps I was just reading too fast and missed some key parts but it had to have been several things that I missed.
I read a lot of Goodreads reviews of this book and it surprised me how many people were so up in arms that Claire basically committed adultery with Jamie. I had a hard time getting into this book before Claire went back in time because I wasn’t even a little bit invested in her relationship with Frank. Something about it seemed off to me from the start so I didn’t give a rat’s ass that she left him for Jamie, I would have too if I’d been given the chance.
Even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ending the book is set well for the next installment in which Claire and Jamie try to rewrite history to keep the clans from being wiped out by the English. I am a sucker for a love story and Claire and Jamie’s was no exception. There are a lot of life and death moments that up the stakes of their relationship. It’s hard not to fall for Jamie, he is written so sweet and sincere, he’s by far my favorite character in the book. I have watched a few of the episodes of the shows on Starz and I cannot rave enough about it, I thought they were amazing. Please leave comments, I would love to hear what you thought