by Mikki Shiu

THE STORY

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. Read reviews: Goodreads

WHAT I LIKED

I confess that the reason I started reading this book was because the TV series of the same name, which I got so hung up on, announced its midseason break. I decided to buy a copy and gladly, the book did not disappoint.

Though Outlander is a rather thick first book of its series (meaning the consecutive ones will be much thicker, eek!), the story itself is very interesting, making it easier to read even if your eyes are already tired. It’s the ‘unputdownable’ kind, the kind where you read at least 50 pages a day. Fifty.

I like how the writer portrayed Claire to be a confident and strong willed person, how she defended herself and order around the stubborn men of that time. She adjusted well enough to her new environment, considering she came from a time when women had more rights. And she had to deal with the change from being a combat nurse in the second World War to becoming a healer in 18th century Scotland.

But the most difficult challenge Claire faced was becoming Jamie Fraser’s wife in the past when she was already Frank Randall’s in her original time. This is where the issues of insanity, fidelity and desire enter. Ultimately, she must make a choice: return to her present time and be reunited and safe with Frank, or to continue her journey and embark onto the unknown with Jamie. *dun dun duuuunnn*

Pen and ink, rendered in colored pencil by Mikki Shiu

HOWEVER…

At first, I struggled a bit with some of the Gaelic/Scottish words included in the story, but little by little I got used to it and sometimes even imagined Jamie himself is speaking to me in Gaelic.

Favorite quote in the book:

“My life is yours. And yours to decide what we should do and where we go next.”—Jamie Fraser

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