Outlander (A Series) – Diana GabaldonBy Lee Peoples | October 16th, 2011 | Category: Book Reviews, Fiction | 1 Comment »
In 1945 after the end of WWII, Claire Beauchamp Randall, a nurse during the war, is reunited after six years with her husband, Frank Randall, who fought in the war, for a second honeymoon. Natives of England, they choose Scotland, where they were married. During a day of exploration by herself, she encounters a small Stonehenge-like set of stones, and upon touching it is propelled 200 years back in time. She is here a Sassenach, an Outlander, and is in danger of losing her life at the hands of her husband’s ancestor, who, by the way, resembles her husband. Thus begins Diana Gabaldon’s series of novels, each complete in itself with the central characters Jamie Fraser, a Scot, and Claire Beauchamp Randall, later Clair Fraser, throughout each. The first in the series, Outlander, was first published in 1991, followed by Dragonfly in Amber in 1992, Voyager in 1994, Drums of Autumn in 1997, The Fiery Cross in 2001, A Breath of Snow and Ashes in 2005, and An Echo in the Bone in 2009.
The entire series—I am currently enjoying number two, Dragonfly in Amber—covers a number of themes, time travel being uppermost. The books are replete with historical fiction, romance, sex, murder, to name a few. In the author’s own words, The OUTLANDER series started by accident, when I decided to write a novel for practice, in order a) to learn what it took to write a novel, and b) to decide whether I really wanted to do that for real. I did, and I did–and here we all are, still trying to figure out what the heck you call books that nobody can describe, but that fortunately most people seem to enjoy.
In essence, these novels are Big, Fat, Historical Fiction, ala James Clavell and James Michener. However, owing to the fact that I wrote the first book for practice, didn’t intend to show it to anyone, and therefore saw no reason to limit myself, they include…history, warfare, medicine, sex, violence, spirituality, honor, betrayal, vengeance, hope and despair, relationships, the building and destruction of families and societies, time travel, moral ambiguity, swords, herbs, horses, gambling (with cards, dice, and lives), voyages of daring, journeys of both body and soul…you know, the usual stuff of literature. (-from the author’s website)
Fortunately, I am lucky to have been given all seven volumes by my sister, a reading buddy, because upon finishing the 850 pages in Outlander, I could not wait to begin the second book. You, too, I am sure will enjoy these books. Be sure to read them in the order of publication.