books i love: outlander series

Monday, January 26, 2015

There is a ton of talk surrounding the Outlander series ever since the start of the show on Starz network. After reading online reviews a few months back, I decided to give it a try and have not put it down ever since. For those who are new to the Outlander series, here is a little background on the book. 

Diana Gabaldon published the first novel in 1991 and there has been 7 subsequent books after that. The story is about love, war and politics. Most mostly about love. I would even dare to say it's one of the greatest love stories ever written. Yes. There is a lot of sex. However, I found it to also be deeply intimate and true, brutal, and real. Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser, while apart, are deeply attractive and sympathetic characters with a good deal of nobility about them. Throw them together in a love story? They are beautifully frail, selfish, angry, flawed. I love that statement. I really find them so incredibly touching and real. 

But the book encompasses more than just love and it doesn't follow any typical romance formula. It is a real genre bender that doesn't fit neatly into any one category. At it's heart Outlander is a historical novel with incredible details of the 18th century life in the Scottish Highlands. But it is also about medical treatment at the time and the reality of what people would have suffered without it. Even though the time travel aspect and a few references to witches and fairies, Outlander escapes from the usual fantasy and paranormal stories since it is just a detail in this complex world.   

Diana Gabaldon is a damn good writer who explores deep into her character's lives and the history surrounding them. She will bring out such raw emotions that you are guaranteed to laugh, cry and want to throw the book across the room. Outlander is a not a book for everyone, however if you are willing to set aside stereotypes and embrace historical differences, give it a try. It will change the way you think and feel about love, respect, commitment and sacrifice.  


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