I had heard excellent things about a TV adaptation of the book, and decided I should check it out. I really enjoyed the first season, and was reminded the books were good. It’s been at least a decade since I started the series (before I started writing book reviews on what I read), so I decided it would be my reread for the year.
Genre: historical fiction with time travel
Length: 627 pages
Setting: it starts in 1945, Scotland, but is mostly set in 1743, Scotland
Summary: Claire and Frank are on a bit of a second honeymoon after being separated by the war. They are in Scotland, researching Frank’s genealogy. Claire accidentally gets sent back in time through some standing stones. She arrives in the midst of a running battle between some British soldiers and Scottish clansmen. Claire is assaulted by Jack Randall, Frank’s ancestor and a spitting image of him, and rescued by the clansmen. She establishes a place among them by treating Jamie Fraser’s wounds, but the MacKenzies are quite uncertain as to who she truly is. Claire initially works to get back to the stones and Frank, but every time it causes trouble. To keep her from Randall’s clutches (and likely torture), she marries Jamie and is surprised to fall in love with him. They travel to his ancestral home of Lallybroch, where Jamie is captured by the Watch. He escapes, but is picked up the British and sentenced to hang. Unfortunately, Jack Randall arranges to have his way with Jamie, first. Claire works to rescue Jamie and is ultimately successful.
Final thoughts: I was immediately drawn into this story. I love Claire as a character – very no-nonsense and drawn to help even when it puts her in danger. Luckily, she was used to living rough and had experience with herbal remedies, so she could survive and be useful in the 1700s. I wonder how long it would take me to accept the fact I’d gone back in time. Life in the 1700s had its joys, but it was also much more violent, which was the hardest thing for Claire to adjust to. There’s lots of violence and blood, some of it sexual (although Claire is never actually raped, just almost several times). There’s also a fair amount of loving sex depicted between Claire and Jamie, so the book is definitely not for the younger crowd or the squeamish.
I was impressed with how closely the series follows the book. Nearly every major event in the book is depicted in the show.
Title comes from: Claire was called Sassenach, meaning outlander, because she was English
Reading challenges fulfilled: book #19 for the year, a G in my Author Reading the Alphabet Challenge, and the first book in my Reread Challenge for 2017.
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