I was seriously prejudiced when starting this book. Like many other of my reads I finally read Outlander because I kept hearing people rave about it on Tumblr and so forth. I opened the book and read the first sentence of the brief summary:
“Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another.”
*slammed book shut*
“Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire.”
This suspiciously sounds like one of those books your aunt gets caught reading from the book stash hidden under her bed. Plus I hate infidelity…I don’t care if your husband and your lover will never meet because while with one the other wasn’t born yet, or with the other your lovers been dead 200 years. Pfft. How convenient.
So in 1945 while on her second honeymoon, former nurse Claire Randall ends up touching some random boulder in an ancient stone circle while out collecting plants and –Bamf- gets transported to 1743 Scotland. Freaked out and landing in possibly the worst place ever she ends up between a feud with Scots and the English. Now she constantly has to defend herself because everyone who’s anyone thinks she’s a spy or a witch. She meets Jamie Fraser a younger Scots warrior and complications arise. What’s a time traveling girl to do? Stay with her younger warrior or return to her husband in the 20th century…
So what? *Slight spoiler warning*
I heard it’s difficult to classify this book because its historical fiction, fantasy and even science-fiction, but you know what? It’s basically an angsty romance. I guess you could call it a fantasy…the Loch Ness Monster makes an appearance. But Gosh, I got over my initial prejudice about this book, because I was curious and I heard the first chapter on audiobook while packing. It was interesting. I mean the one scene that made me curious is when Claire’s first husband sees a Scotsman ghost staring at her from outside her window. I kept reading. Here’s the thing: It’s brutal.
I did not take pleasure in worrying about whether someone was going to get flogged, raped or assaulted at every corner. I felt like I was peering through sadistic windows, becoming an unwilling voyeur. I had to take a break half way through and read Harry Potter fanfiction. Dude, that’s how upset I was.
I felt bad for her first husband probably going out of his mind looking for her. I felt like the author was trying to justify Claire not going back to her husband because her first husband’s six-time-great grandfather is the villain of this book. Plus, some of the sentences just made me laugh:
“I was now shut in the room of a rural inn, awaiting a completely different husband, whom I scarcely knew, with firm orders to consummate a forced marriage, at risk of my life and liberty.”
I had a legit reason to marry another man in a different century! Pfft. Please.
Read it, just so you can say you read the book all the girls are fangirling about, but only if you don’t care about wasting your time. I just got tired of feeling uptight. The book has some controversial scenes. I mean the majority of it took place in the 18th century so of course women of today would be scandalized by some scenes. I don’t know what to think of them except I didn’t like reading about someone getting beaten within an inch of her life, and it being acceptable at the time.The ending was happy, but it wasn’t worth the crap I had to trudge through to get there.
I can’t go any further. I’m emotionally spent. I hear someone gets sold into slavery in the next book? No thanks. I’m not coming back to this world. I’m touching the stones at Craigh na Dun and I’m going back home.
To be fair, here’s a GoodReads link so you can find some positive reviews of this book if still interested.