> The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
This book may contain explicit intimate scenes, so if you are not 18+ then I probably wouldn’t recommend it for younger readers.
I have never in my life loved to read, I just couldn’t get interested in it until I discovered Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. She writes with great detail and the way she describes her characters is unbelievable — they seem so lifelike as if you’d close your eyes and they’d appear right before you. I love the personalities of the characters that she creates and the wicked Scottish humor — it will surely have you laughing all the way through. This one is defiantly the favorite of the trilogy so far for me – as of now I’ve read it twice. I just kept turning page after page not wanting to put it down. Another thing that I love is Diana incorporates real people and real history into her novels which makes it a bit more interesting and fun to the history lovers as well.
Another great thing and bonus about this series is, it learns you some words and phrases of a dieing language – Scottish Gaelic. Although this language is difficult to learn and pronounce, I think it gives this series something extra that makes them quite special.
“Don’t be afraid. There’s the two of us now.”
“I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.”
“Oh, aye, Sassenach. I am your master . . . and you’re mine. Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own.”
“Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone, I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One. I give ye my Spirit, ’til our Life shall be Done.”
“Which was?” I don’t know what I expected him to say, perhaps some further revelation of his family’s contorted affairs. What he did say was more of a shock, in its way. “Because I wanted you.” He turned from the window to face me. “More than I ever wanted anything in my life,” he added softly. I continued staring at him, dumbstruck. Whatever I had been expecting, it wasn’t this. Seeing my openmouthed expression, he continued lightly. “When I asked my da how ye knew which was the right woman, he told me when the time came, I’d have no doubt. And I didn’t. When I woke in the dark under that tree on the road to Leoch, with you sitting on my chest, cursing me for bleeding to death, I said to myself, ‘Jamie Fraser, for all ye canna see what she looks like, and for all she weighs as much as a good draft horse, this is the woman'” I started toward him, and he backed away, talking rapidly. “I said to myself, ‘She’s mended ye twice in as many hours, me lad; life amongst the MacKenzies being what it is, it might be as well to wed a woman as can stanch a wound and set broken bones.’ And I said to myself, ‘Jamie, lad, if her touch feels so bonny on your collarbone, imagine what it might feel like lower down…'” He dodged around a chair. “Of course, I thought it might ha’ just been the effects of spending four months in a monastery, without benefit of female companionship, but then that ride through the dark together”–he paused to sigh theatrically, neatly evading my grab at his sleeve–“with that lovely broad arse wedged between my thighs”–he ducked a blow aimed at his left ear and sidestepped, getting a low table between us–“and that rock-solid head thumping me in the chest”–a small metal ornament bounced off his own head and went clanging to the floor–“I said to myself…” He was laughing so hard at this point that he had to gasp for breath between phrases. “Jamie…I said…for all she’s a Sassenach bitch…with a tongue like an adder’s …with a bum like that…what does it matter if she’s a f-face like a sh-sh-eep?” I tripped him neatly and landed on his stomach with both knees as he hit the floor with a crash that shook the house. “You mean to tell me that you married me out of love?” I demanded. He raised his eyebrows, struggling to draw in breath. “Have I not…just been…saying so?”
“There was another reason. The main one.” “Reason?” I said stupidly. “Why I married you.”
“Does it bother you that I’m not a virgin?” He hesitated a moment before answering. “Well, no,” he said slowly, “so long as it doesna bother you that I am.” He grinned at my drop-jawed expression, and backed toward the door. “Reckon one of us should know what they’re doing,” he said. The door closed softly behind him; clearly the courtship was over.”
“Ye werena the first lass I kissed,” he said softly. “But I swear you’ll be the last.”
“Murtagh was right about women. Sassenach, I risked my life for ye, committing theft, arson, assault, and murder into the bargain. In return for which ye call me names, insult my manhood, kick me in the ballocks and claw my face. Then I beat you half to death and tell ye all the most humiliating things have ever happened to me, and ye say ye love me.” He laid his head on his knees and laughed some more. Finally he rose and held out a hand to me, wiping his eyes with the other. “You’re no verra sensible, Sassenach, but I like ye fine. Let’s go.”
“Where did you learn to kiss like that?” I said, a little breathless. He grinned and pulled me close again. “I said I was a virgin, not a monk,” he said, kissing me again. “If I find I need guidance, I’ll ask.”
“I was crying for joy, my Sassenach,’ he said softly. He reached out slowly and took my face between his hands. “And thanking God that I have two hands. That I have two hands to hold you with. To serve you with, to love you with. Thanking God that I am a whole man still, because of you.”
“I dinna know what’s a sadist. And if I forgive you for this afternoon, I reckon you’ll forgive me, too, as soon as ye can sit down again.” “As for my pleasure…” His lip twitched. “I said I would have to punish you. I did not say I wasna going to enjoy it.”
“You’re mine, mo duinne,” he said softly, pressing himself into my depths. “Mine alone, now and forever. Mine, whether ye will it or no.” I pulled against his grip, and sucked in my breath with a faint “ah” as he pressed even deeper. “Aye, I mean to use ye hard, my Sassenach,” he whispered. “I want to own you, to possess you, body and soul.” I struggled slightly and he pressed me down, hammering me, a solid, inexorable pounding that reached my womb with each stroke. “I mean to make ye call me ‘Master,’ Sassenach.” His soft voice was a threat of revenge for the agonies of the last minutes. “I mean to make you mine.”
“I prayed all the way up that hill yesterday,” he said softly. “Not for you to stay; I didna think that would be right. I prayed I’d be strong enough to send ye away.” He shook his head, still gazing up the hill, a faraway look in his eyes. “I said ‘Lord, if I’ve never had courage in my life before, let me have it now. Let me be brave enough not to fall on my knees and beg her to stay. He pulled his eyes away from the cottage and smiled briefly at me. “Hardest thing I ever did, Sassenach.
“Sassenach,” he said against my shoulder, a moment later. “Mm?” “Who in God’s name is John Wayne?” “You are,” I said. “Go to sleep.”
“I wanted ye from the first I saw ye – but I loved ye when you wept in my arms and let me comfort you, that first time at Leoch.”
“I wish I could have fought him for you,” he said abruptly, looking back at me. His blue eyes were dark and earnest. I smiled at him, touched. “It wasn’t your fight, it was mine. But you won it anyway.” I reached out a hand, and he squeezed it. “Aye, but that’s not what I meant. If I’d fought him man to man and won, ye’d not need to feel any regret over it.” He hesitated. “If ever—” “There aren’t any more ifs,” I said firmly. “I thought of every one of them yesterday, and here I still am.” “Thank God,” he said, smiling, “and God help you.” Then he added, “Though I’ll never understand why.” I put my arms around his waist and held on as the horse slithered down the last steep slope. “Because,” I said, “I bloody well can’t do without you, Jamie Fraser, and that’s all about it.”
A Highlander in full regalia is an impressive sight—-any Highlander, no matter how old, ill-favored, or crabbed in appearance. A tall, straight-bodied, and by no means ill-favored Highlander at close range is breathtaking.