Many of the book series that I enjoy have novellas or short stories available electronically. I’m not a Kindle person so I generally end up missing out on these smaller literary nuggets that explore secondary characters or flesh out backstories.
I bought this when it was published over two years ago, but allowed it to languish on my TBR pile until now. Outlander books take preparation. They are heavy tomes and I need to be ready to brew a cup of tea and snuggle up for a while. The dive into Jamie and Claire’s universe is a deep one.
By now, most everyone has heard about Diana Gabaldon’s sexy time-traveling historical fiction series. I began reading them in the late 1990’s at the advice of a friend and have not looked back. While waiting for the new season of the Starz series to start next month, now was as good a time as any to finally crack it open.
The stories take place before, during, and after the events in the Outlander novels. All of them are tied to the Outlander-verse and carry with them the overarching theme of purpose. Some characters are attempting to heed a spiritual or mystical calling while others struggle to redefine themselves after devastating loss. This loose theme tied the stories together for me in a way that has me thinking about the novels a little differently.
In the end, I re-visited some characters that I adore. Meeting Jamie and Ian as young men was a treat. I learned to actually appreciate Lord John’s brother Hal via his atrocious first wife and FANTASTIC second wife. While I have yet to be able to get into any of the Lord John books, his bit here was wonderfully off the beaten path (zombies!). The origin story of “wee” Roger and the loss of his parents was heartbreaking and sadly perfect. Once again, I marveled at the fact that Laoghaire actually gave birth to daughters who became such amazing people. Jamie’s influence, right?
I MISSED these books. The eighth book in the series, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, was published over five years ago. (Too long, Diana. TOO LONG.) I enjoy the show, but it will never be as engrossing as its source material.
If you haven’t already read these but have read the novels, what are you waiting for? The stories are not listed in chronological order, but there is a preface that lists them alongside the novels in the order that they take place. I highly recommend that you read them in that order rather than the order they are presented in the book.
If you have yet to crack open an Outlander book and time-travel, fantasy, romance or historical fiction appeal to you, get on it! Just buy this book as well and read the novellas in chronological order with the books. I envy you first-timers!