Saturday, 2 August 2014

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I found this book since I saw a trailer for an upcoming TV-series. It looked really good. Another good idea, I think, is to read the book before watching the movie of series. Downloaded, not only Outlander but the other six books in the series! And it seems an eight is now out. It is of course a little bit of a risk, since if I don't like it, I am not likely to read the other books. Nevertheless, now having finished the first book, I am relieved and can say that I love it!

It was written already in the beginning of the 90s, and I don't know how I could miss it. Diana Gabaldon says in interviews that she wrote it as a practice thing. She wanted to write a book, but didn't know if she could. So, she started this one and as we all know now, it turned out really well. You can say that it is about time travel, it is, but most of the story takes place in the 18th century Scotland.

Claire is married to Frank and they are holidaying in Scotland in 1945, after the end of the World War II. She worked as a nurse during the war and Frank's work is more mysterious. Maybe a spy? He is nevertheless, interested in history and they have come to Scotland to follow his forefathers. Close by is a set of stone, similar to Stonehenge, but smaller. One day when Claire goes there she enters an electric(?) field and find herself transmitted to the 18th century. It takes her a while though to figure this out.

From here onwards we get to follow her life during this time. She meets a forefather of Frank, looking exactly like him, except his personality is totally different. She meets Jamie whom she falls in love with. We follow the lives of these people in unrestful time, during the Jacobite revolt in England. There is something happening all the time, so each chapter is very vivid. It is exciting, romantic, description on how life were in those days, habits of the people, the fights for survival. There is also a special touch, since Claire was a nurse during the war and had seen a lot of people. She can use this knowledge to help people here.

I have a little problem with time travel stories. Or maybe I don't, since I know read two at the same A Rip in the Vale by Anna Belfrage, and loved it, and I love Back to the Future! Maybe I only think I don't love them? What makes me go nuts, is when I start thinking more in detail on the practical issues. What if they change history? Like Marty in Back to the Future? His parents were totally different when he came back. Is this possible? What happened to the other life? Was it never there? These kind of questions makes me... When you know history and especially in these worried times, is the temptation not too big to change it to save the people you love? These are questions that Claire has to deal with. There are some nice twists as well, but all in all it is still very reasonable and believable.
time, recently read

It is a lovely story and very well written. There are strong characters, interesting women as well as men. And it stops with a sentence that just make you want to start reading the next book. Well, I will wait a little bit, try to travel back to our century and attack all the challenges piling up!

I am looking forward to the series, 16 episodes should be able to tell the story in full. It is nice to read the book first, although from what I read here and there they might have followed the book rather well.

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