Imagine being on vacation in Scotland, and somehow be transported back to the 18th century.
In the novel Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, this is exactly what happens.
Outlander starts in the year 1945, after the end of World War. The main character Claire Randall – who was a nurse during the war – is back with her husband, Frank Randall, and they are going on their second honeymoon.
On one night, Frank tells Claire they have to wake up in the middle of the night to see the witches that the housekeeper told him about.
Later that night, Frank leads his wife up a path in the middle of the woods, and at the top of the hill, between the bushes, they see the witches dancing around a large rock formation.
After the witches leave, Claire and Frank decide that it is time for them to head back.
The next day, Claire wants to go back to the rock because she remembers seeing a flower that she could use for medicinal purposes. Frank, however, isn’t able to go, so Claire heads over by herself.
She climbs up the hill and finds the flower. For some reason, Claire felt drawn to the rocks.
She goes to investigate it. Claire can hear a humming noise coming from somewhere. It couldn’t possibly be rock, it was almost as if something, or someone, was screaming from inside the rock.
She tries to clear her head, but the rock won’t seem to stop screaming. Her sight starts getting blurry and she starts to feel terrified. She feels sick and dizzy and she turns to it.
Claire wakes up in 1743, seeing men in kilts running and gunshots close by. She hears yelling, horses galloping, and people speaking Gaelic, a language that was spoken in Scotland.
She sees Frank – or so she thinks – and yells out to him. This man, however, has no idea who she is. Then Claire remembers her husband’s ancestor Black Jack Randall.
Black Jack tries to rape her, but a man in a kilt comes just in time to save her. He puts Claire on his horse and takes her to his men. The man asks for her name and she tells him Claire Beauchamp, going with her maiden name so the man doesn’t think she is related to Black Jack.
Once in the cabin, she sees many men in the small room. They sit her down on a chair and the men gather around the fireplace and a large man. They talk in Gaelic, which Claire can’t understand.
She gets up and walks towards the huddle of men and see the large man’s shoulder is dislocated. Another man tries to push it back into place. Claire yells that she is a nurse and takes over to help the large handsome man, James Fraser.
She gets it back into place and makes a makeshift splint. They decide to taker Claire with them on their journey back to the Castle, and the whole time Claire wonders how she will find her way back to her husband Frank.
These books have to be one of my favorites! They have a little bit of everything in them; mystery, romance, and even war.
This is the first book in a large series of books. Each book is at least 800 pages long, but they are worth it. When you see novels this big, you think they might be boring and very repetitive. Gabaldon, however, seems to make it work. I was never bored reading these books, since each chapter – each book – has a new adventure.
If you think you don’t have time to read but are interested in these books, don’t worry! These books have been turned into a tv series played on STARZ.
The show is on its 4th season. Many people say the shows, even the movies, never compare to the books. This book to tv show adaption doesn’t follow this trend.
I have both read the books and seen the series and love them both. The tv show follows the book almost chapter to chapter. The characters are exactly how I imagined them to look, and even act.
If you feel discouraged, don’t! It’s a large book and might take a while to read but this series is worth your time.
Email Paige at: