We went on holiday to Scotland for our anniversary this year, and gifts/souvenirs for Outlander were absolutely everywhere. I’d watched the first episode of the Amazon TV series with my friend, but I decided I wanted to read the book before I watched any further. I LOVE Scotland, and a book set in such beautiful scenery sounded like a dream.
Having watched the first episode of the series, I knew the main premise of the book was a woman called Claire Randall who unexpectedly travels through time from 1946 to 1743 and finds herself caught up immediately with the ancestor of her current-time husband, Frank.
It turns out that this ancestor (Jack) is not quite the man that Frank is, and Claire only narrowly escapes and finds herself caught up with a bunch of Scottish outlaws. Claire finds herself drawn inexplicably to a young man named Jamie, and it seems like their futures may be more intertwined than she could ever imagine. But that run-in with Jack won’t be her last, and it turns out that Jack and Jamie have a history that you would never have imagined.
At over 800 pages, there’s a lot of book here, but it felt fast-paced and exciting throughout, the writing completely drew me into the surroundings as if I was living through it with Claire. The descriptions of the Scottish highlands were so vivid that I don’t think I really need to watch the TV series anymore! It brought back memories from our holiday, like this from Glenfinnan. All I could imagine was how much different it would all have looked 200 years ago!
I will say, there’s a lot of romance (and sex) in this book (more than I expected), but it didn’t feel gratuitous, and I really loved how Jamie and Claire grew gradually closer together as the story developed.
I also loved how the characters were not at all how you would expect. Claire is definitely not a damsel in distress and is more than capable of looking after herself, and Jamie is not your typical scottish outlaw – capable of such tenderness and care for Claire that I would not have expected given how we are introduced to his character!
But if you’re not a fan of romance, don’t let that put you off, as there’s a huge amount of action – some more gruesome than I would probably have liked, but it was gripping and definitely didn’t let me predict what was going to happen next.
Since I started reading this, I found out that there’s another 7 books, and they all seem just as long as this one, but I can’t wait to get stuck in – I feel like this might be my new obsession!