Gabaldon is a born storyteller.
Los Angeles Daily News
Marvelously entertaining.... A page-turner of the highest order and a good read from start to finish.
Absorbing and heartwarming, this first novel lavishly evokes the land and lore of Scotland, quickening both with realistic characters and a feisty, likable heroine. English nurse Claire Beauchamp Randall and husband Frank take a second honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands in 1945. When Claire walks through a cleft stone in an ancient henge, she's somehow transported to 1743. She encounters Frank's evil ancestor, British captain Jonathan "Black Jack" Randall, and is adopted by another clan. Claire nurses young soldier James Fraser, a gallant, merry redhead, and the two begin a romance, seeing each other through many perilous, swashbuckling adventures involving Black Jack. Scenes of the Highlanders' daily life blend poignant emotions with Scottish wit and humor. Eventually Sassenach (outlander) Claire finds a chance to return to 1945, and must choose between distant memories of Frank and her happy, uncomplicated existence with Jamie. Claire's resourcefulness and intelligent sensitivity make the love-conquers-all, happily-ever-after ending seem a just reward.
After being separated by seven years of World War II, Claire and Frank Randall return to the Scottish Highlands for a second honeymoon. Left to her own devices while her husband immerses himself in historical pursuits, Claire inadvertently enters a circle of standing stones and is plunged back 200 years to a Scotland on the verge of the second Jacobite uprising. Her pluck and skill as a nurse win the Scots' grudging respect, but only marriage to a Scot will save her from the clutches of Frank's vicious forbear, Black Jack Randall. Though first novelist Gabaldon uses time travel primarily to allow a modern heroine, this is basically a richly textured historical novel with an unusual and compelling love story. —Cynthia Johnson Whealler, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, MA
Once-in-a-lifetime romantic passion and graphically depicted torture sessions are only the two extremes of this lively time-travel romance set in 18th-century Scotland—an imaginative and lighthearted debut by a promising newcomer. World War II has finally ended and Claire Beauchamp Randall, a British Red Cross nurse, has gone off to Scotland with her historian husband, Frank, to try to resume their married life where it left off six years before. Their diligent attempts to make a baby come to a halt, however, when Claire discovers an ancient stone circle on a nearby hilltop, slips between two mysterious-looking boulders, and is transported willy-nilly to the year 1743. Stumbling down the hillside, disoriented and confused, Claire is discovered by Jonathan "Black Jack" Randall, an evil English officer who happens to be her husband's direct ancestor and physical look-alike. Randall notes Claire's revealing 1940's summer dress, assumes she is a whore, and attempts to rape her, whereupon she is rescued by the fierce MacKenzie clan, who take her to their castle and confine her there. Claire adjusts to her changed circumstances with amazing ease, using her nursing experience to tend to her hosts' illnesses while she impatiently awaits a chance to return to the circle of stones. Before she can get away, circumstances force her into a marriage with James Frazer, a Scottish renegade from English justice and Jonathan Randall's archenemy. Young Jamie's good looks, passion, and virility soon redirect Claire's energies to defending her stalwart new husband against her former mate's evil clone, and the fierce, courageous but historically doomed Scottish clans against the course of destiny itself. A satisfying treat, with extra scoops of excitement and romance that make up for certain lapses in credibility.
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