Summer Reading 2014

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

July 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Books

Reviewed by Barb Biggs, BCPL branch manager

Let me preface this by saying that my mother has been hounding me to read this book for years.  So, like all strong-willed daughters, I kept putting it off.  I mean, really, Mom?  Time traveling romance, do you even know me? But, with a long trip ahead of me and the audiobook available for checkout, I gave it a try.  Let me just say this: Mom really does know best.

The book begins in 1945, shortly after the end of World War II, where Englishwoman Claire Randall served as a nurse.  She and her husband, Frank Randall, are on a second honeymoon, trying to reconnect after such a long time apart.  They are in Scotland, where Frank is working on some genealogy and they spend their days sightseeing.  They visit an ancient monolith, much like Stonehenge, called Craigh na dun, and when Claire touches the stone she is transported back in time to 1743.

From this point, the story is full of action, adventure, intrigue, and romance.  Claire, because of her medical training, becomes an important healer to the Clan McKenzie.  She is also a 20th century woman who is very out of her element. There are times when she goes against the tradition of 18th century Scotland and raises many eyebrows.

The focal point of the story is the romance between Claire and Jamie Frasure.  In order to be safe from Black Jack Randall (who is in her husband’s family tree and who also bears a striking resemblance to her husband), a marriage is arranged between Claire and Jamie.  Jamie is a bit younger, very handsome (and let’s face it, ladies, Scottish), but he is also a sort of outlaw, and he must also keep a low profile in order to stay alive.  He calls her his “Sassenach,” which is usually a derogatory term that means outsider, specifically when referring to the English. But for Jamie, it is a term of endearment.  They start an epic romance, one that has Claire questioning herself all the time, because really, she is a married woman.  Will she tell Jamie about where she came from?  Will Claire get back home?  Does she even want to?

This book really does have something for everyone.  The audiobook, narrated by Davina Porter, is incredible.  I highly recommend it just to hear all the Scottish words pronounced correctly and Porter’s wonderful accents.  Read it before it premieres as a series on Starz on August 9, because everyone will be talking about it.

Checkout Outlander by Diana Gabaldon at Boyd County Public Library, or place a hold on this or any other item by visiting thebookplace.org or by downloading BCPL Mobile.

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About Whitney Lyons

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