Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Perhaps I am late to the show... I mean the book was written originally in 1991. If I had run across it then, I am sure I would have read it. I have always had a thing for time travel and highlanders.
This book... I love it with some restraint.
I really enjoy the natural curiosity of Claire Randall. She has a unique personality. She is very much an independent woman and fits well in the mid 40s where feminism is beginning. She respects her husband but makes her own choices.
This personality of hers is ultimately what causes the situation that brings about her going back in time.
Now.. to be absolutely honest. The historical accuracy of male female relationships in the mid 1700s is most likely dead on. Men treated women as possessions. Yes, even sexy, highlanders. There are a few instances that sexual assault is an issue. As soon as Claire is sent back to 1743 Captain Jack Randal assaults her thinking she is a tramp. Is this politically correct? No. Is this acceptable? No. This is a story. This is character building. Are there lewd comments by the band of travelers that save her from the Redcoat captain? Yes. Do they act on it? No.
Historically, I believe Gabaldon kept to what very well could have happened. Claire finds herself in a position no faithful married woman that is strong-willed would ever want to be in. She does see that she has to compromise simply in order to survive. I don't say this to justify anything that was in the book. But, if you are going to read historical fiction, you have to have an understanding of the time period.
There is rape. There is spousal abuse. There is violence. There is talk of witchcraft.
Given that this book was originally written in 1991, it is written beautifully. I do not care for the end of the book because it is too graphic in my opinion. Watching the Starz series I have to skip the last 2 episodes because of it. But it is realistic to the time frame.
Gabaldon did her research and you can see it when it comes out. She makes Claire's character believable. Claire never gave up on returning to Frank, she survived. In surviving she ended up falling in love. Jaime can be a brut. Claire causes a change in him as their relationship deepens as well.
In all honesty, I am surprised with society as it is today that the series has had a resurgence. Except, Game of Thrones is pretty big too.
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