Review: Outlander

The first book of the Outlander series starts with Claire Randall post WWII having a honeymoon with her husband in Inverness, Scotland. While there she walks through a cleft stone in an ancient stone circle and finds herself two hundred years in the past with Highland clans fighting off the English red coats. She’s taken by the MacKenzie clan to Castle Leoch where she is held prisoner. As Claire plots her escape back to the stone circle and back to her husband Frank in her own time, she starts to be attracted to young outlaw highlander James Fraser with a price on his head. To protect her from the evil and sadistic redcoat Captain Black Jack Randall (her husband’s doppelganger relation) who tries to rape her and would definitely send her back to England under house arrest, the MacKenzie clan force Claire to marry Jamie Fraser. Despite her moral concerns about bigamy, she falls for Jamie who brings out a passion in her in a way sedate and boring Frank didn’t. When the opportunity comes for her to go back through the stone circle to Frank and her own time, Claire chooses to stay with Jamie.

While staying at their marital home as Lard and Lady Fraser of Lallybroch, Jamie gets captured by redcoats and sent to Wentworth prison where he is tortured with smashed fingers, flaying and rape by Black Jack Randall. Claire does her best to rescue Jamie and with the help of some MacKenzie clansmen she takes him to an abbey in France for recovery. But Jamie is a broken man and can’t bear to look at Claire or be touched by her. He tells her to go back to Scotland and the stone circle as he can’t be a husband to her anymore and wants to die. It takes all of Claire’s willpower and skill as a nurse to bring Jamie back from the brink of death and make him a whole man again.

The book covers Claire’s first year in eighteenth century Scotland.

As with all books that are converted to TV series, this book has a bit extra.

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