Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

When Outlander chosen as our Gables Book Club read for September, I was quite surprised because I thought everyone on the earth had read this except me. I had downloaded it a few years ago when it was on sale for the Kindle. It was also surprising since the length of the book was much longer than our usual reads. 

The entire series has been a major player in the world of fiction literature, with each entry skyrocketing to the top of the Best Seller list. The novel opens in 1945 after WWII when Claire and Frank Randall are enjoying being together after spending the war years apart. Frank has some real interest in genealogy has found that the Vicar in the village has knowledge of some of Frank's ancestors, especially Captain Jack Randall. Claire's passion is flowers and she meets a Mr. Cook who shares her interest and who has knowledge of the greenery of the area. He takes her on an exploratory journey of the Highlands and imparts oodles of information about the local flora. On this excursion, Claire comes upon a small henge to which she take Frank back. There they come upon a group of women who seem much like witches. She returns the next day to try to identify a plant and it is on that journey that she passes through the stones and is transported back to 1743. 

Attacked by Captain Jonathan Randall, an ancestor of Frank's, she is eventually rescued by Jaimie Fraser.  From that point in time the novel evolves around the fact that Jaime is on the run trying to keep from being apprehended for a crime he did not commit. In order to protect herself and Jaimie, Claire reluctantly agrees to marry him. She feels guilty about abandoning Frank, but soon comes to love her life married to Jaimie. 

Numerous incidents ensue where Claire and Jaimie must use cunning and power to escape consume the rest of the novel. Some of these drag on through the novel and by shortening them the novel could have been shortened. Diana Gabaldon does not mince words either when she is describing battles and fights or when detailing the actions in sex scenes. 

For the most part, I enjoyed the book, but feel that in some places it dragged on and on. It seemed that the plot took a back seat to all the different episodic encounters that ended most chapters with cliff hangers. I am not sure when I will continue to the 2nd book in the series. I am not as taken with Outlander as many of my friends are, but will likely give the series another chance.