Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Why I chose this book:
I picked this book up about 5 years ago and could never really get past the first 70 pages or so. It seemed dull and boring, but after seeing that Starz picked up the rights to the books and intended to make it into a show (premiering on August 9th), I knew I had to finish the book out in all of its 800+ page glory. Since this is primarily a YA blog, I don't normally make a habit of reviewing adult books -only those that either really speak to me or those that are extremely popular, but this one couldn't be helped. I have so many emotions concerning this book and not all of them agree.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
Publish Date: January 1st, 1991
Format: Paperback
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, 
quasi-Fantasy, quasi-Science Fiction
B&N || Amazon || Indiebound
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. (Goodreads)
My Bookish Thoughts:
After three days of nonstop reading, this book has left me exhausted -but in a good way I think. Gabaldon’s story-telling and vivid historical setting is astounding to say the least. This lady knows how to write historical fiction! I’ve read only a few authors that have really pulled off historical writing, and this lady is probably the second on my list. Her vocabulary alone, just about sent me over the edge with how much it brought to the story. 

Now, her characters are my absolute first-loves! Claire is witty, sassy, and head-strong (but not in an overbearing or annoying way), and she was perfect! She kept the storyline engaging when it began to get a bit slow (though I was NEVER bored), and Claire was complemented by that of the character Jamie. Oh, Jamie. *Swoon* He was the wonderful mixture of stubborn, strong, and endearing that makes any girl’s stomach do flip-flops. 

I will say that I absolutely loved this story. It’s a 5-star rating in my book, but despite its high rating, I do have issues with this book. 

My first issue is that this book was a hard read. It had nothing to do with the 800+ pages from cover to cover, but everything to do with some of the events that happened. There’s a lot of rape, attempted rape, and a bit of sodomizing (which included rape) that left me feeling uncomfortable. As a person who knows a lot about this time period, I will say that these actions were way more prevalent and pseudo-accepted as the way of life back then than they are now. Even though these events made me feel uncomfortable and frustrated at times I still looked at it from a historical perspective. I could see many people hating this book just because of certain events like this, but really you have to take into consideration the historical context -not that it makes those actions right or permissible, but it does provide a way of understanding even though you don’t agree with it.

This book definitely has the shock factor that Game of Thrones has, so if you’re not into reading harsher books that carry with it sex, murder, war, and a few cases of abusive behavior, than this book may not be for you. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you can look past that to see the beauty of the world Gabaldon wrote about then you will be able to really dive head-first into a magical place that sometimes makes you wish that you lived in eighteenth century Scotland. 

I gave this book 5 stars on my Goodreads.


  1. I've seen quite a few people talking about this book, and I think it looks really intriguing!
    I will definitely have to check it out!

    Cassie @ Happy Book Lovers

    1. It's a good book! I really enjoyed it! Be ready for the shock-factor, but I think anyone who like adventure and historical fiction would really enjoy it! :)


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