Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I have so many books from the library waiting to be read that I've taken to choosing the next book to be read not by what is jumping out at me but, rather, by what is due next and can't be renewed.  It was thus that I picked up Outlander on Saturday with three days left in the loan.  What is surprising to me is that I wasn't able to renew it.  After all, the book I have is the 20th anniversary edition.  This is not a new book.  Why, then, is there so much demand?  Well, there is a TV show out based on the books.  Perhaps that's drawing new attention to the book?  Maybe, but it's been out for a while, so maybe not.  As for me, how did it come to my attention?  I've mentioned before that I've recently started watching some You Tube book bloggers.  Two I like are Jesse the Reader and Peruse Project.  I don't remember exactly anymore, but I think Outlander made an appearance in one of the book challenge videos on Jesse's channel.  I was not previously familiar with the book nor with the TV show.

So, I picked up Outlander, my copy of which is 627 pages long in a good sized hardback, Saturday evening with three days in which to read it or decide not to.  Seeing as how I've been setting a good number of books aside lately, I figured I could at least start it to see if I wanted to read it at all.  If I did want to read it, well, I had some time.  Anthony had the Oregon Grand Fondo on Sunday and, thus, was away when I picked the book up and would be until Sunday evening.  Aside from a walk with a friend Sunday morning and, you know, sleeping, I could spend the whole time reading if I liked, making it possible to finish the book in three days should I choose to read it.  I didn't expect to get sidetracked by so many things over the course of the last few days, making this quite the herculean task, but I did manage to finally finish it this morning, a mere hour before the library is due to open, meaning that if I finish this review and get it back to the library in (now) 45 minutes, it won't even be late.  On with it, then!

Outlander was a good read.  It was very sexual and violent, sometimes combined, which makes it pretty rough in parts, but I was really invested in Claire; how she would fare, what choices she'd make along the way, how those choices would effect her.  Claire is a World War II era nurse on holiday in Scotland with her husband after the war when she winds up time traveling around 200 years previous where she is taken in by clan MacKenzie.  While she is, of course, fairly ignorant of the day to day life of 1743, she is feisty, strong, intelligent and has, likely, more medical knowledge than any of the contemporaries.  This book being an historical romance, there quickly appears a love interest.  I found Jamie to also be likable and interesting.

Outlander was compelling and interesting.  I'll likely pick up the next book and may even watch the TV show, but I'm not sure I want to see the violence onscreen.  Still, the book is worth a read if it hasn't yet come to your attention, as it hadn't to mine.

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