Gabaldon, Diana. Outlander. Read by Divina Porter. Recorded Books, 1997.
Reason read: Valentine’s Day is in February. Outlander is somewhat of a romance.
Modern day is 1945. War is afoot. Claire Randall is on holiday with her newly reunited husband, Frank. Both have been involved in the war, he as a soldier, she as a nurse. Scotland is a chance for them to reconnect, a second honeymoon of sorts. The couple finds useful ways to spend their time, him researching information on family ancestry and she looking for herbs and medicinal plants. While wandering around the Inverness countryside, Claire hears a tiny humming noise emanating from Scotland’s version of Stonehenge. Upon touching a buzzing stone, Claire faints then reawakens in 1743. So begins the journey of Claire Beauchamp that everyone knows so well. the burning question on everyone’s mind is how will she get back to modern day history professor and husband, Frank?
The real question to me is, after tangling with her husband’s ancestors, would she change her own present day life? On the heels of reading Kindred by Octavia Butler, I couldn’t help but make comparisons between the two time-travel novels. Butler’s Californian heroine, Dana, not only accepted her situation readily, but understood her purpose for being sent back to slave-era Maryland. Gabaldon’s English heroine, Claire, barely questions her jump back in time and seems to integrate herself into 1743 seamlessly. Dana finds a way to take her husband back in time with her while Claire not only leaves her modern day husband behind, but falls in love and marries a 1743 Scotsman. Claire’s main purpose, after some time, seemed to be her usefulness as a nurse and her knowledge of events in the future to save the clan who took her in. Neither Dana or Claire seem too anxious to return to their original place in time.
As an aside, when I mentioned to a friend that I had started Outlander her eyes lit up as if I had just handed her a million dollars. “Oh, I love that book” she gushed. I could tell she wanted to say more , but I hushed her with a “nope, nope. nope.”
Author fact: Gabaldon, at the time of publication, was also a professor. cool.
Book trivia: There is a certain craze surrounding Outlander. My husband cannot wait for me to watch the series. Even though there is a movie of the same name, they are not one and the same.
Playlist: “Up Among the Heather”.
Nancy said: Pearl classified Outlander as paranormal. She also calls it the best of the five (at the time) books in the series.
BookLust Twist: Pearl favored this one. From More Book Lust in the obvious chapter of “Time Travel” and again in Book Lust in the chapter “Romance Novels: Our Love is Here to Stay” (p 203) and “Romans-Fleuves” (p 208).