Monday, 15 September 2014

Cross Stitch (UK) - Outlander (US) by Diana Gabaldon

1945 and Claire Randall is reunited with her husband, Frank, following the war. She served as a military nurse during the war years and now she and Frank are spending some time together in the Highlands of Scotland while he researches his genealogy.

Whilst out on her own one night Claire somehow steps through some standing stones and finds herself transported to 1743 and where the Scottish Highlands are a dangerous place to be. Not only is this a time of war but Claire is an outlander and somehow she has to convince these people that she is not an English spy.

Claire soon finds herself torn between two time zones because as much as she loves Frank she soon realises that she has feelings for a young Scottish clansman. How can she begin to reconcile her feelings for these two men separated by time?

This book has many of the attributes that I like in a book; an exciting plot, time travel, romance, is well written, seems well researched and is historical fiction. I have also wanted to read this book for years and bought a copy when I first got my kindle a couple of years ago.

There has been a recent increase in the popularity of this book and I decided to jump right on that band wagon with the prospect of eight books in the series. It has also been turned into a television series in America which may well make it over here at some point.

Why then, has this book been a real slog for me? It has taken me a ridiculous amount of time to read as I was feeling so disinclined to read it. Now, usually when I am not enjoying a book I grudgingly give up but because of all the hype surrounding this book I decided to keep going.

On the positive side this book really does have an exciting plot accompanied by a time travel element. It works well and the transition from 1945 to 1743 is completely believable. Ms Gabaldon has done her research well which contributes to a believably atmospheric shift in time.

However, I personally found this novel too heavy handed with the sex and violence that it completely detracted from the things I actually liked about the story. This is not a book for the faint hearted or the young as there are repeated scenes with explicit descriptions of rape, domestic violence and sodomy.

I understand that this is a very popular book and that I am in something of a minority in my opinion about it but it just wasn’t my cup of tea and I shall not be continuing with the rest of the series.

ISBN:  978 0099911708

Publisher:: Arrow

Price (based on today’s price at for the kindle version) £3.95

Total saving so far: £349.97

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