Another Monday has come and gone, so I’m tackling Current Read Monday on Wednesday instead. This week, I am picking up a book I started quite some time ago and never completed. I started out 2015 enthralled by Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. The books are long (usually over 850 pages), but action-packed.
The basic premise of the series is that nurse Claire, who is vacationing with her husband in the Scottish Highlands following their service in WWII, encounters a stone circle that sends her back in time to 1743. In order to protect herself from notorious Captain Jack Randall, Claire agrees to marry Jamie Fraser, a Scottish clansman she meets while trying to escape Randall’s clutches. She spends the first novel attempting to return to the stone circle, her own time, and her rightful husband. However, that proves difficult – it’s not like she can just drive back to the circle! She’s almost hanged as a witch, oh and most importantly for the series, she starts to fall in love with her new Scottish husband.
On the author’s website, Gabaldon says, “these novels are Big, Fat, Historical Fiction” which also include “history, warfare, medicine, sex, violence, spirituality, honor, betrayal, vengeance, hope and despair, relationships, the building and destruction of families and societies, time travel, moral ambiguity, swords, herbs, horses, gambling (with cards, dice, and lives), voyages of daring, journeys of both body and soul…” So, you really get it all with this series! I’m currently reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the sixth novel in the series (there are eight, so far).
Goodreads Book Blurb:
A Breath of Snow and Ashes continues the extraordinary story of 18th-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his 20th-century wife, Claire.
The year is 1772, and on the eve of the American Revolution, the long fuse of rebellion has already been lit. Men lie dead in the streets of Boston, and in the backwoods of North Carolina, isolated cabins burn in the forest.
With chaos brewing, the governor calls upon Jamie Fraser to unite the backcountry and safeguard the colony for King and Crown. But from his wife Jamie knows that three years hence the shot heard round the world will be fired, and the result will be independence — with those loyal to the King either dead or in exile. And there is also the matter of a tiny clipping from The Wilmington Gazette, dated 1776, which reports Jamie’s death, along with his kin. For once, he hopes, his time-traveling family may be wrong about the future.
I thought Outlander was unexpectedly fantastic, the second book was great, the third book was wonderful (I gave it five stars), and then the books started getting a little more drawn out and boring. I mean, how many ridiculous things can happen to one couple?! The first few books had plots that kept moving towards an end, while the books after had too many characters to keep track of and had segments of excitement that were quickly forgotten about. It took until about 70% of the way through A Breath of Snow and Ashes before I was hooked and wanted to keep reading. Now, it just keeps getting better and better. Which means, of course, that I’ll probably want to keep reading the rest of the series! Darn you, Diana Gabaldon!
Have you tackled any of the Outlander novels? What did you think?