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In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

1 John 4:9

What is Romance P.S.?

Romance P.S. is an entertainment blog about two of my very favorite things — movies and books.

The title actually stands for Romance with the page and screen so it's not just about romance alone but all kinds of movies and books. Though I will confess that my favorites always seem to be romances in some way ;)

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November 3, 2014

Book Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I sit here wondering what to say about one of my favorite novels of all time...

There are so many things that make up Outlander… it is action packed, romantic, rich in historical detail, funny, heart-wrenching and so much more. I was a young mother the first time I read Outlander way back in 1999 and since then I have revisited this beloved book numerous times. I just finished my latest re-read of this outstanding tale just a few weeks ago when I decided to revisit the entire series before reading the latest installment that released earlier this year.

It's one of those novels that from the moment you pick it up you know you have found a story that is extremely special. And I found that I am even more in love with it now than I was all those years ago when I first found it and love it all the more with each reading.

Now for those of you that have not heard of this wonderful book yet let me give you a tiny bit of info on it ...don't worry I won't go into to much detail because I know that in doing so on this one would release spoilers aplenty. 

Outlander is the tale of Claire Randall, a combat nurse during WW2, who takes a second honeymoon with her husband Frank to picturesque Scotland at the end of the war. They both want a chance to reconnect after being apart so long during the war and both felt that it would be the perfect place for them to revisit and get familiar with being together again (because they didn’t get see each other hardly at all for the duration of the war) since they were married and honeymooned there before.

While there Frank a history professor and avid genealogist is fascinated by all the history and traditions of the Highlands and searches diligently for more information about an ancestor of his who was a British Captain of Dragoons during the 1700’s around the area they are visiting. Claire is happy to see her husband so happy and just enjoying getting to spend some peaceful time with him again. When they learn of a small hinge of standing stones on a nearby hilltop called Craigh na Dun and hear that a local group of druids plans to hold a secret and ancient ceremony at the stones for Beltane, Frank is adamant that they must go see it! He and Claire sneek up the hill and watch the group of modern day druids (all women) and their dance that they perform just before sunrise. Both Frank and Claire are fascinated by the ritual but Claire feels a bit uneasy. After the women leave Frank goes to inspect the circle of stones and Claire who has a keen interest in botany spots some beautiful blue flowers at the base of one of the stones. But when one of the women from the druid group comes back they quickly hide so as not to be found out that they were watching the ceremony and when it appears the woman may stay for a while they decide to leave. Claire once back at the bed and breakfast where they are staying tries to find and identify the flowers she saw at the circle in one of her botany books. Frank who has an appointment with a local historian friend asks her why she doesn’t just go back to the stones and get the flowers. Claire says she will do just that and Frank kisses his wife and heads out the door never dreaming that it would be the last time he would see her…

Claire goes back to Craigh na Dun and is eager to get a sample of the the beautiful little blue flowers.  Suddenly there is a strange sound on the hill that seems to be emanating from the stones themselves and when Claire touches the middle stone her world spins out of control… 

She awakes to find herself in the middle of what seems to be a battle between British Redcoats and kilted Highlanders. And quickly becomes obvious that she is no longer in 1945 but has somehow been thrown back in time to Scotland during the 1740’s. And Claire’s adventures are only just beginning as she has to use her wits and all the bravery she can muster to assimilate as quickly as possible with the people of the time to survive. Along the way there is adventure aplenty, danger, deceit, intrigue and love… in the from of a braw and handsome highlander who comes to her rescue. His name is Jamie Fraser and in him she finds protection, solace, and love… more than she ever dreamed possible. I feel very safe in proclaiming that Jamie is one of the best and most loved fictional characters that has ever graced the pages of a book, and once you read Outlander you will know why!

Outlander truly has no one genre that it will fit into it encompasses the genres of Sci-fi fantasy, Romance, Historical fiction, and so much more and is one that men and women alike will enjoy.

If you have never read Outlander before I HIGHLY encourage you to take the plunge. Yes it is a large book as are all the books in the series but do NOT let that intimidate you in the slightest. Honestly you will fly through them because once you start you won’t be able to put it down (that goes for all of the books in the series too). I hated to see it end truly and I had to immediately go out and buy the second book because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next and to spend more time with Jamie and Claire.

There is a reason why fans of the series refer to Diana Gabaldon with the lofty title of Herself. She is truly a gifted writer. There are few authors who can immerse their readers into the world of their novels like Diana can. Her meticulous attention to detail and historical accuracy is nothing short of amazing and it makes you feel as if you are there living the story right along side of the characters. And they and the story stay with you long after you turn the last page. She is in a word brilliant. 

I can’t say all I want to about this wonderful start to my favorite series of books because I just can’t find the words to say all of how I feel about it. Nor to say how deeply I love them. They are very special to me and I do hope that you will pick them up and be swept back in time to the Scottish Highlands as well. Believe me when I say that you will be glad you did Sassenach.

*P.S.  I also highly HIGHLY recommend getting the unabridged audio version of Outlander and indeed the entire Outlander Series it is read by the mega talented Davina Porter. Davina does an outstanding job and literally acts out the novel with her narration. She is amazing and it makes the books come to life even more as you hear the accents and all the different character's voices come to life. It is a must listen for any true fan, and a great way to enjoy Outlander while you are doing around the house or riding in the car!* 

Get your copy of Outlander today!

*Reviews for the rest of the series and the TV series will
be coming in the next few days stay tuned!*

ALSO be sure to join the Outlander Reading Challenge hosted
right here at Romance P.S.  :)



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