Outlander Book by Diana Gabaldon (Summary - Review - Order Book)

Author Diana Gabaldon
Country United States
Language English
Series Outlander series
Genre Historical fiction
Science fantasy
Published June 1, 1991
Publisher Delacorte Books
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 640
ISBN 0385302304
Followed by Dragonfly in Amber

Outlander (published in the UK as Cross Stitch) is the first in a series of eight multi-genre historical novels by Diana Gabaldon. Published in 1991, it focuses on nurse Claire Randall, of World War II, who travels through time to eighteenth-century Scotland and finds adventure and romance with the hurried Jamie Fraser. A mix of several genres, the Outlander series has elements of historical fiction, romance, adventure and science fiction/fantasy. Outlander won the RITA Award from Romance Writers of America for Best Romance in 1991. A television adaptation of the Outlander series premiered at Starz in the United States on August 9, 2014.

In 1946, after working during World War II, British army nurse Claire Randall and her husband Frank, a history teacher, go on their honeymoon to Inverness, Scotland. Frank conducts an investigation into the history of his family and Claire goes to collect plants near standing stones on the hill of Craigh na Dun. As he picks up the flowers, he hears a buzzing near the stones and approaches the larger one, touches it and falls through the stone. Upon awakening, he meets Frank's ancestor, Captain Jack Randall. Before Captain Randall can rape her, a mountaineer knocks him unconscious and takes Claire to his clan. While the Scots assist inexperienced comrade Jamie, Claire uses her medical skill to place Jamie's dislocated shoulder. The men identify themselves as members of the MacKenzie clan, and Claire finally comes to the conclusion that she has traveled to the past. She represents herself as an English widow who travels to France to see her family. The Scots do not believe her and take her to Castle Leoch, where Claire looks for a way to return to her own time.

The Mountaineers of 1743 see Claire as a "Sassenach", or "Outlander", ignorant of the Gaelic culture. Your medical skills eventually earn your respect; but the head of the clan, Colum MacKenzie, suspects that she is an English spy. Colum sends her with her brother, Dougal, to collect the rents; On the way, he also solicits donations for the Jacobites, overseen by Ned Gowan, an Edinburgh lawyer who works for the Clan.

When chance catches his attention again, Captain Randall tells Dougal to bring Claire to interrogate him. There is a suspicion that she is perhaps an English spy. To keep Claire away from Randall, Dougal marries Jamie, which makes her a Scottish citizen. Divided between her attachment to Jamie and Frank's thinking, Claire attempts to return to Craigh na Dun. However, she is captured by Randall's men, requiring Jamie to rescue her. Upon returning to Castle Leoch, Claire continues to act as an official healer and befriends Geillis Duncan, the wife of a local official, who shares her knowledge of medicine. Finally, Claire and Geillis are accused of witchcraft while Jamie is absent, but Jamie returns in time to save Claire. While incarcerated with Geillis, Claire learns that Gillis is part of the plan to return King James to the Scottish throne with Dougal and that she is also pregnant with her son. Just before her escape, Claire realizes that Geillis is, like her, from the future, when she sees a scar from the smallpox vaccine on her arm. Geillis also sees Claire's scar.

Claire tells Jamie her true story, and he takes her to Craigh na Dun. When he offers her the opportunity to stay or leave, she decides to stay. Jamie takes her to her home in Lallybroch, where they meet Jamie's sister, Jenny, and her husband, Ian. Although Jamie is still a fugitive from the British, he regains his position as Laird of Lallybroch, until one of his tenants betrays him and they take him to Wentworth prison. Claire and the members of the MacKenzie clan try to rescue him, but they fail, and Claire is captured by Randall, who threatens to rape her. Jamie offers himself in Claire's place, and Randall releases Claire in the woods. Claire tells Randall that she is a witch and tells her the exact day of his death, which she knows from Frank's family history. Thereafter, Claire befriends Sir Marcus MacRannoch, a former suitor of Jamie's mother. While MacRannoch's men distract Wentworth's guards, the clan men drive a herd of cattle through the underground corridors, trampling a man. They rescue Jamie, who has been physically and sexually assaulted by Randall and take him to MacRannoch's fortress, where Claire takes care of Jamie's wounds. As soon as Jamie can, they and Jamie's godfather, Murtagh, escape to the monastery of Saint Anne de Beaupre in France, where another of Jamie's uncles is the abbot. When she and Jamie emerge from a sacred thermal spring under the Abbey, Claire reveals that she is pregnant.

In Outlander, a romantic journey in the time of 600 pages, the strong and sensual Claire Randall leads a double life with a husband in one century and a lover in another. Divided between fidelity and desire, she struggles to understand the pure intention of her heart. But do not let the number of pages and the Scottish dialect scare you. It is one of the fastest readings you will have in your library.

While on her second honeymoon in the British Isles, Claire touches a rock that throws her in time to the forbidden Castle Leoch with the MacKenzie clan. Not understanding the forces that took her there, she is trapped in life-threatening situations with a Scottish warrior named James Fraser. But it is not all the spies and the monotony that he must endure. In the midst of her new surroundings and the terrors she faces, she feels attracted to love and passion as she had never known her before.

I was tired and sore in every muscle when I woke up the next morning. I crawled into the private closet, then into the bathroom. My insides felt like whipped butter. I felt as if I had been hit with a blunt object, I reflected, then I thought that was very close to the truth. The blunt object in question was visible when I returned to the bed, seeing me now relatively harmless. His possessor [Jamie] woke up when I sat next to him and he examined me with something that closely resembled male presumption. "
Gabaldon creates characters that you will remember, laugh, cry and cheer long after you have finished the book.

About the Author
Diana Gabaldon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels—Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (for which she won a Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize), An Echo in the Bone, and Written in My Own Heart’s Blood—as well as the related Lord John Grey books Lord John and the Private Matter, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, Lord John and the Hand of Devils, and The Scottish Prisoner; one work of nonfiction, The Outlandish Companion; and the Outlander graphic novel The Exile. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband.

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