So one of my goals for CBR this year is to go through the Outlander series again (which I’ve read through several times over the last decade), this time exclusively on audiobook. The first book is the shortest, and clocks in at 32 hours — so I have a feeling this is going to take a good amount of time. It’s a wonderful listening experience though, especially if you enjoy the accents, which I do!
So if you’re not familiar with the story of Outlander: our hero (Claire Randall) is a nurse on honeymoon her husband in Scotland, after the end of World War II. They’ve been married for several years and have spent most of it apart due to the war. One morning she is out collecting plant specimens, touches some standing stones and gets sent back into 1743. She’s forced to find a way to survive in the Scottish Highlands, all the while trying to get back to her beloved husband.
Since this is a romance novel, the author employees one of those tropes that we were discussing in YA fiction the other day — forcing two people together with a slightly ridiculous premise. In this case, Claire is forced to marry Highlander Jamie Fraser in order to protect her own life and, as it turns out, his as well. Of course they fall in love and bond together over their struggle to survive in such a dangerous world. It helps that he’s gorgeous.
“I had one last try.
“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.”
I love these books. There are some sex scenes, and they’re very well done. There’s also a lot of violence and perversion, mainly from Jamie’s sworn enemy, a British officer named Jonathan Randall (Claire’s husband’s ancestor). My favorite aspect of these books, especially as the series goes on, is the historical fiction and political intrigue. I also love that Claire continues being a nurse and a healer in the 1740s, despite the fact that many people think her a witch as result. I have a fascination with historical medical techniques, and watching her combine what she knows of 1940s medicine with what’s available in the 1740s is fascinating. To sum it up, I love these books and if you love romance novels or historical fiction novels or badass women yelling at Scottish men, you should try them out, despite the long length.