highlander

Review: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

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Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her… and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.

Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and pain awaiting her…the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland… and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite or forever doom her timeless love.

Goodreads/Amazon

Diana Gabaldon is pure genius. Reaching the end of Dragonfly in Amber, I wasn’t sure what to expect next… I definitely not to be catapulted through time by twenty years. I immediately panicked, freaking out that the saga of Jamie and Claire was coming to end, that the story was transforming its central characters…

I’m glad I’m wrong most of the time. Rather than alter the focus from Jamie and Claire to their daughter, Brianna, Gabaldon used her to add another layer to the story, making things more complicated, if that were even possible. I don’t know how Gabaldon keeps it all straight, but she does it and it’s a freaking masterpiece.

What can I say about Voyager that I haven’t said about the previous two novels in the Outlander saga? Her writing style, world building, and character development are superb. I can’t find fault in any of it. It’s long and the scenes can be drawn out, but I find that the length and amount of description are necessary to get the depth of emotion across, to really reach the reader on more than just a surface level.

The change of scenery is a bit mind blowing, and I find myself missing the contrasts of Scotland. Jamie and Claire end up across the world, and I feel that there are no limits to their ongoing adventures. They never seem to settle, and even though it seems to be what Jamie wants more than anything, he doesn’t seem suited to a quiet life. I’m just waiting for the ball to drop, for him to do something crazy … and to subsequently pick up the pieces of my broken heart. He’s done it to me before, and I’m under no delusions that he’ll do it again in The Drums of Autumn.

If you haven’t started this saga, please, please give it a chance. Don’t let the number of pages deter you – every single word is worth the time. Gabaldon is a master story-teller, and I can say that I don’t think I’ve ever been as enchanted or involved in a story as I have been with the Outlander series. As readers, that’s what we crave, isn’t it?

Cheers!

 

Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The year10964 is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

 Goodreads / Amazon

When I first began to read Outlander, I wasn’t expecting all that it had to offer. To be honest, I almost put it away “for later,” which really meant that I didn’t want to put any more effort into reading it and probably would never pick it up again. I felt as if it was bogged down by detail, and Claire’s relationship with her husband, Frank, felt forced and dispassionate. They were hard words to swallow, but I kept going, unaware at this point of the following that this novel has. (Shamefully, I’d heard of the show first, and in my fashion, decided to read before watching.)

But then something took hold of me, and I couldn’t stop. Claire was catapulted from the boring life of a historian’s wife (although her time in the army was anything but) into the dangerous world of eighteenth century roguish Scottish Highlanders. Eventually, I came to appreciate and even look forward to Gabaldon’s vivid descriptions and abundant details, hanging on to each word for dear life, devouring all 850+ pages without any desire to reach the end.

Jamie and Claire are … epic. They’re brought together by necessity, and they’re loyalty, dedication, and love for each other is unrivaled. I enjoyed their banter and the violent sense of humor they had toward one another. Honestly, their relationship reminded me of me and my husband – neither one of us takes any shit from the other.

As for the ever-popular controversial scene where Jamie fulfills his duty in punishing his wife – I think people are overreacting. It was a different time, and in all honesty, she got off a lot easier than any man would have. Not only that, but Jamie wasn’t so brutish that he couldn’t see that the traditional type of relationship of the time wasn’t going to work for him and Claire. He did what was expected of him, and if he hadn’t done it, she would never have been forgiven by the other members of the clan. It wasn’t a scene of domestic abuse, but of someone receiving the punishment of the time for her actions, humiliating as it was for her.

Gabaldon’s writing style has a classic ring to it, maintaining a rhythm that’s easy to keep up with, which is important with the number of pages it covers. This book isn’t easy to put down, and there’s so much story that even the most serious of book lovers will be fulfilled.

If you’re a fan of historical fiction or romance, I’d highly recommend picking up a copy of Outlander as soon as possible. Then purchase a subscription to Starz and watch the show – because, really, this is one of those cases where the show is just as good.

Cheers!