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Book 121: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Book 121: Outlander (Outlander #1).
Author: Diana Gabaldon, 1991.
Genre: Historical Romance. Dual Time Periods. Time Travel.
Other Details: ebook. TV tie-in edition, 863 pages.

1946, and Claire Randall goes to the Scottish Highlands with her husband Frank. It’s a second honeymoon, a chance to learn how war has changed them and to re-establish their loving marriage. But one afternoon, Claire walks through a circle of standing stones and vanishes into 1743, where the first person she meets is a British army officer - her husband’s six-times great-grandfather.

Unfortunately, Black Jack Randall is not the man his descendant is, and while trying to escape him, Claire falls into the hands of a gang of Scottish outlaws, and finds herself a Sassenach - an outlander - in danger from both Jacobites and Redcoats. Marooned amid danger, passion and violence, her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.
- synopsis from UK publisher's website.

This novel was originally published in the UK as Crossstitch as a play on ' a stitch in time' but the USA title prevailed and also became title for the series. My son introduced me to the TV series in early November and together we watched a number of episodes, which ensured that I was hooked and decided to read the book. I certainly enjoyed the novel and there were a number of unanswered questions to inspire me to commit to reading the second.

There was one major anachronism though the author did acknowledge this in her end notes so gave her a pass. She knew the history but just elected to ignore it.

However, it was odd that near the end I found that the presence of wolves in Scotland bothered me even though I could accept a woman stepping two hundred years through time. Perhaps this was because I have been aware of conservation issues and the wolf being hunted to extinction in these islands some hundred years before the setting stuck with me. Still only a mild personal quibble as I would not expect an American author to be familiar with the natural history of Britain or Europe.

Diana Gabaldon's 'Outlander' page - lots of material including excerpts and background.
Tags: historical romance, time travel
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