Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon: Reading With My Bestie

It’s no surprise to anyone that has spent more than fifteen minutes in my company that I adore Outlander.  Like, I seriously have a problem.  I won’t go into detail in this post, but you can read about the source of my obsession here.  Then you’ll understand (even just a tiny bit) why I’ve read this book at least once a year since the first time in 1991.  I mean, apart from the fact that it’s a freaking awesome book.

This reading of Outlander is a bit different than the previous twenty or so.  This time, I have an amazing bestie who read it at the same time.  We’ve talked about it, enjoyed the Starz show, and now we’re reviewing it together!  It’s so disgustingly bookishly awesome to read something like Outlander with my bestie.

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Outlander Besties

My Review

I’ve been trying to write this review for a few days now.  I really don’t know what I’m supposed to say in a review of my favorite, most loved, most often read book.  Let’s do a list, since other ideas fail me.

Five Reasons I Love Outlander
  1. James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser: Arguably the most perfect book boyfriend ever created.  Of course, he’s gorgeous.  Diana does a wonderful job of describing his masculine perfection for her adoring readers.  Well, Claire does, I guess.  He’s also intelligent, well-read, brave, and has the sexiest Scots accent ever.  I mean, there’s this whole sub-genre of romance novels with heroes who are just trying to be Jamie Fraser.  And (of course) failing.
  2. Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser: Arguably the most badass romance heroine ever created.  She is completely happy when she meets Jamie.  She had a full and exciting life all on her own.  Freaking field nurse in France during World War II.  Intelligent, well-read, brave, and sexy in her own right.  My mom loved her because she saw herself in Claire.  I love Claire for that same reason.  Claire (and my mom) is still who I want to be when I grow up.
  3. Historical Accuracy:  The Outlander books are somewhat unique when it comes to romance novels in that they are extremely historically accurate.  Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with a complete lack of accuracy when done appropriately (brazenly, like in Queen of Someday).  It’s sadly rare, however, for a writer to take the care with historical accuracy that Diana does (which is why her books are sometimes five years apart, and well worth the wait).
  4. Ridiculously Complex Plots (and Subplots): What really blows my mind is that Diana writes without an outline.  That awesomeness just flows.  Any maybe that’s why it’s so awesome.  Every time I read Outlander I find some other little plot nuance that I missed the other million times.
  5. Ridiculously Complex Characters: As with the plots (and subplots), there’s always something new each time I read Outlander.  No one likes to hang out with boring people in real life.  Same goes for books.  I could hang out with Jamie, Claire, Jenny, Ian, and the rest of the ridiculously large population of Outlander for the rest of my life.  Well, not really.  But you know what I mean.

Beth Anne’s (Bestie) Review and Tale of the Third Reading

I was given Outlander as a Christmas present…in 2009.  I thought it was weird and was especially turned off by the creep Jack Randall.  Because of who gave me the gift, a friend of my very handsome, very new husband, I really wanted to like the series.  So I tried the next book in the series (per the book store representative), Voyager. I was so confused. I left the series…forever. Sometimes forever is very short.

And then I met Leila, who is as caring and true of a friend as I could ever imagine.  Leila told me about how she bonded with her mom over the book and I could not resist rereading it. I love stories of mother-daughter bonding.  I liked the book and read the actual second book (Dragonfly in Amber), and was officially a fan.

So, this third go around has me enjoying the book more than ever before.  I love the character development; Jamie and Claire have many layers.  I like how the issue of how you can be “in love” with two people at once is wrestled with in the book.  I like that sex is sacred. I love that Jamie is a devoted Christian.

The first time I read Outlander, I thought it was a bit of a creepy romance.  The second time I thought it was a sweet love story.  This time, I think it is an adventurous love story – not just about romantic love, but also about the bonds of family, sharing dreams, the love of faith, and the love of country. I recommend this book to anyone who likes novels, love, family, and a well written story.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Julie

    So awesome to re-read with friends 🙂 Glad you have a bestie to enjoy Jamie with 🙂

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