Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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It’s so difficult to ponder this book after reading it that I have to hurry and write the review so I can forget about the book.

Outlander is about Claire, a English woman from the 1940s, pulled into an adventuresome, fun, dangerous, romantic quest in 18th century Scottish Highlands.

I loved every second of 90% this book: Horseback riding through the forests, stereotypical Scottish dialogue, ripped clothing, filth, the challenges of being a female who knows medicine and healing, lots of rough men stealing and working and saving people… An arranged marriage that was full of unspoken love, family ties of numerous clansmen, illegitimate children, crime, detention and escape, and of course a really really bad villain with an ancestral tie to Claire’s husband. What’s not to love in this beautiful saga?!

One thing ruined the entire book for me. The ENTIRE book. I’m talking about making the book go from 5 stars to 2. It nauseated me and left a bad taste in my mouth. The chapter was gratuitous and over the top in my opinion. There was a day of rape. I can accept that as part of the story. I can’t tolerate the retelling of the day-long rapes to one’s spouse, including not only every physical detail but EVERY anguishing psychological and emotional detail. I just don’t believe that any spouse would or could tell their loved one what Gabaldon wants me to believe Jamie told Claire.

Had I known that was coming I would have completely skipped the chapter, pleasantly read the very end, and given Outlander 5 stars.

The one scene ruined the entire book for me. How disappointing.

-Calliope

buy OUTLANDER

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2 thoughts on “Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

  1. The author wants us to believe that Jaime makes a bargain with Randall for Claire’s release by giving his word that he would not fight or struggle against Randall. That Jaime is so honorable that he keeps his word and endures Randal’s sexual abuse.(there was not rope or chains involved !) There is more nonsense when she writes that at the end of his sexual abuse, Jaime can’t explain why he places his arm around his tormentor Randall whom is crying. I can only think that perhaps Jaime developed Stockholm Syndrome in a day! What drivel! No person, much less a battle trained Highlander would submit to such a thing without struggle and being bound. If we are to endure the description of our male protagonist “rape” then it needs to be realistically written.

    • Good point.

      I just thought the whole scene (of Jamie relating the rape details to Claire) was distasteful. The entire rest of the book was fun and adventure and flirting and some very stereotypical fighting. I disliked the novel getting deep and dark all of a sudden.

      Maybe it’s a set-up for the rest of the series.

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