Outlander

By Diana Gabaldon, narrated by Davina Porter

Place: Publisher & Year: Prince Frederick, Md.: Recorded Books, 1997

Genres: Historical fantasy, fantasy, historical fiction, time travel fantasy, romance

Format: Audiobook

Series: Outlander series; 1

ISBN:9781419359682

Intended audience: Adults

Number of discs: 28 (32 hr., 30 min.)

Setting: Scotland

Time periods: 1945 and 1743-44

Plot summary: In 1945, Claire Randall and her husband, Frank, are enjoying a vacation in Scotland after being separated from each other for years during the war. While exploring a stone circle one afternoon, Claire, a former field nurse, suddenly finds herself transported back in time two hundred years and hurdled into the midst of a conflict between British soldiers and Scottish warriors.  Will Claire ever be able to return to her own time? And even if she can, will she still want to, as her relationship with the warrior, Jamie Fraser, grows ever deeper?

Appeal factors:

Pacing: The story begins slowly as Claire and her husband, Frank, explore various parts of Scotland near Inverness.  However, once Claire is transported back in time, the paces quickens considerably as Claire finds herself in one danger after another.

Characterization: The story is told in first person through Claire’s eyes.  Readers quickly learn of Claire’s strengths and faults.  Other characters are developed more slowly throughout this epic novel.

Frame: The superstitions and folk beliefs of 1945 Scotland combined with Claire’s wartime experiences help set the frame for Claire’s travel back in time to a chaotic and violent place, where traditional beliefs are the norm and Claire is very much out of place.

Story Line: An intense and gripping book filled with action, suspense, historical details, romance, and sex scenes which combine beautifully to tell a larger story about the magic of love.

Subject headings:

From PCPL:
Time travel — Fiction.
Culloden, Battle of, 1746 — Fiction.
Jacobite Rebellion, 1745-1746 — Fiction.
Scotland — History — 18th century — Fiction.
Randall, Claire (Fictitious character) — Fiction
Historical fiction.
Fantasy fiction
War stories.
Talking books

Similar authors:

Sara Donati- Into the Wilderness
Marsha Canham- Midnight Honor
Nancy Bond- Another Shore
Anya Seton- Green Darkness and Smouldering Fires
Catherine Marshall- Christy

Personal notes: I loved this book, except for the ending, which leaves one hanging and wishing that one had the forethought to have the second book on hand as soon as the first book is finished.  Totally engrossing read with very real characters.  Also, it was great to have the audio version to hear the various accents of the Scots, English, and French.  While there are no research notes added to the audio book, one can find out a bit about Gabaldon’s research, by going to her website. [Annotated 11/4/2008]

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