With the TV series set to come out the summer of 2014. I decided I wanted to read/listen to this book again because it had been some time since I had read it. I have read and listened to this book previously. Yes, it’s that good, and now let me explain why this is a favorite and why I prefer to listen to Davina Porter narrate than for me to sit and read it.
Outlander is the story of an English war nurse who after World War II returns to Scotland where she and her husband first got married. They are there on vacation and while Frank, her husband she has not seen in 7 years, is a wonderful loving man he is also a history professor and much obsessed with researching his family tree. She stumbles across a stone circle in a new desire to study botany (a hobby to keep her busy now she does not have many wounded men to care for) This stone circle pulls her back in time before the Scottish rebellion with Prince Charlie. She is clearly an outsider and gets pulled into a political web between the Scottish and British. You see Claire, an amazingly strong female character, deal with the time she has been brought back to and how she deals with the small amount of knowledge of the time she has, and what the reality compared to the history is.
This is a wonderful book. It brings the rawness of the history to life. It is not sugar-coated. It is well researched. You can rely on the history drawn in this book, the details are accurate, and you can smell and taste Scotland from Diana Gabaldon’s descriptions.
A bit of a warning. This is definitely a romance. The sexual material is described in as much detail as the rest of the book. This is not simple period erotica because there is a well researched and well-formed story but it is explicit. It also does deal with sexual violence towards both men and women. It is not biased. Sex is both positive and negative in the book and is not a tool to degrade women but it is a reality of the time and handles situations that would have been dealt with in the historical time. Likewise, there is a lot of violence and some profanity. There is a reason the TV show is being produced by Starz and not another network like FOX or NBC.
It is a wonderful book and Davina Porter handles the varied accents and character differentiation with ease. I love listening to her read this book. I can not create the beautiful accents she does in my own head. She does a masterful job that heightens the overall experience. Enjoy this book.