I’m about 20 some years behind the curve on this one, but hey I was just a babe when it was first published. (Not a babe, exactly, more like 10 and way too young to be reading such a book.) I recall my mother talking about this book, describing the parts of the story she could remember when I was older. Who knew that one day I would actually be reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon myself?
I actually didn’t read the novel under after watching about half of the Starz television series. I absolutely fell in love with the costumes and set designs, the backdrops and scenery. It made me curious as to the original novel, so I picked it up on the Kindle (then later in actual paperback). It’s a long novel, near some 600 pages, and I’m a slow-ish reader so it took me nearly a month to complete. But I fell in love with the scenery and the characters, particularly Claire. I am one of those people who do believe that magic exists in the world, but there are all forms of it and it takes mysterious shapes.
The fascination with Outlander, I believe, is that it is entirely possible. There’s no oddness to how Claire actually finds herself in 18th century Scotland. The possibility is all rooted in druid mysticism, which makes the concept entirely possible. There’s no superhuman or supernatural-ness about it. Claire doesn’t suddenly gain all this insightful knowledge of the past. She has to rely on herself, her own knowledge and wits, and the few bits of information she has picked up to get by in what seems to be a more primitive world.
Outlander is the first of what is – currently – eight volumes. I have no desire to read the remaining volumes, however. I have read the synopsis of each and, while intriguing, the plot line doesn’t hold my attention beyond the first novel. The intrigue for me was the possibility of time travel, the chance that it only works once, and what would life be like if one were stuck in the past. With Claire journeying back and forth – and later other characters – that intrigue is lost for me. I feel Outlander ends perfectly, with a “what if?” type of scene that allows one to imagine the possibilities. I know many people love the entire series, but I think for me personally I won’t be reading any other volumes.
My rating: 5/5