I am a big fan of reading books in a series. I love to get wrapped up in the characters and watch their storyline continue on through different adventures. A friend of mine recommended that I would probably enjoy The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. She was totally right…I love it!
In 1946 Claire Randall is taking a long due second honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands after years of living away from her husband while she served as a nurse in WWII. She accidentally enters a mystical circle of standing stones and is suddenly transported to the year 1743. With true historical accuracy, the story opens up from there and envelops you.
Gabaldon is a wonderful writer and quickly won me over with her style and passion with Outlander. She takes time with the small details of the book and creates such depth in the process. I feel like I have learned so much about the way people lived in the 1700’s through this series. With Claire being a modern woman (at least comparatively) in an old time, Gabaldon is able to engage in a commentary about the differences of daily life and social norms in the 1760’s. She reportedly spends three years writing each book because she spends so much time researching and learning about her setting. While a historical fiction series at heart, these books shine in the adventure, romance and mystery categories as well.
The characters are just as richly developed as the setting. One of my favorite things about Gabaldon’s writing is that she doesn’t betray the reader’s investment and love in the characters. While things are never sugar coated (sometimes shockingly not), the moral fibers remain strong and sturdy as the series progresses. It is so refreshing to see lovers age and continue on loving each other.
It is hard to recommend these books much more without including spoilers…so I think I need to stop. (But I could go on and on….I wish everyone was reading them so we could talk for hours about the things I am thinking!) One thing I should say is try not to be scared off by the fact that each book is 800+ pages. I have never noticed the length while I am reading them, and more often than not I am disappointed when they end. I am currently reading the last book right now and I am trying to read it slowly because I just don’t want it to be over. Book #8 will be available in Fall of 2013 though!
*once you are past worrying about spoilers – check out this great Pinterest Board about all things Outlander