Books

Diana Gabaldon – The Outlander series

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Diana Gabaldon
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I’ve read the first four books of Diana Gabaldon’s – The Outlander series and I am hooked.  I love them and I’m so happy that there still another four books in this series for me to yet read!

It’s important to read the books in order.  The books I have read so far are as follows (in reading order):

  1. Cross Stitch (also released under the name ‘Outlander’)
  2. Dragonfly in Amber
  3. Voyager
  4. Drums of Autumn

In the first book (Cross Stitch / Outlander), the series begins in 1946, after WWII, when a young Englishwoman named Claire Beauchamp Randall goes to the Scottish Highlands with her husband, Frank Randall.  She’s an ex-combat nurse and he has been in the army as well.  They’ve been separated for many years and this trip is like a second honeymoon and an opportunity to get reacquainted.  One day Claire goes out walking by herself, and comes across a circle of standing stones.  She walks through a cleft stone in the circle….and disappears.  She finds herself back in 1743 and ends up held captive by a Scottish clan.  In order to avoid being handed over to the English Captain Randall (yes an ancestor of her husband – and a very evil one at that), Claire is obliged to marry one of the young Scottish clansmen.  She tries to escape from Castle Leoch and her Scottish captors, hopes to get back to her husband Frank, tries to avoid being recaptured by Captain Randall—and falls in love with Jamie Fraser, the young man she’s been forced to marry.   Coming from the future, Claire knows that there is to be a disastrous battle at Culloden in 1746 that will see many lose their lives and confides in Jamie where she has come from and what she knows.  There is much to the story but I won’t reveal it all.  The book concludes with Claire returning to the stones and to the future for reasons you will find out when you read the book.

In the second book (Dragonfly in Amber), Claire has returned to the current day – 1968.  She’s been living in Boston, America for many years with Frank.  Frank has now passed away and Claire has returned to Inverness to visit a young Oxford historian named Roger Wakefield, in search of answers for her daughter, Brianna.  Whose daughter is Brianna do you think….Jamie’s or Frank’s?  I’ll keep it a secret so I don’t spoil the story for anyone intending to read the series.   Her request is unusual.  She has a list of names, Jacobite soldiers who fought with Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s army, who took part in the disastrous battle at Culloden in 1746.   What happened to these men, she asks, following the battle?   Claire tells Roger and Brianna what happened during the year before the Stuart Rising:  the political intrigues, the chain of spying, betrayal, and murder that led her and her husband James Fraser from the court of Louis XV to the windswept moors of the Scottish Highlands and the blood-soaked ground of Culloden.  The horrifying trap of circumstance and honor that sent her back to the future–and the present set of circumstances that have led her to her quest, and to a still more shocking revelation.

The third book (Voyager) – In a nutshell – In the present day, Claire and Brianna trace Jamie’s life since the battle of Culloden during the Scottish Rising. Discovering Jamie survived the massacre that heralded the destruction of many clans in Scotland sends Claire back to the stone circle that first hurtled her through time – twenty years before.  The book concludes with Jamie and Claire shipwrecked on the Georgia coastline—and happy to be out of Scotland.

The fourth book (Drums of Autumn) – Brianna and her suitor, historian Roger Wakefield, remain safely ensconced in the 20th century.  Now orphaned by her mother’s departure to the past, Brianna struggles to accept her loss and satisfy her curiosity about Jamie Fraser, only to discover a tragic piece of “history” that threatens Claire and Jamie’s happiness in the past. This discovery sends Brianna back through time on a mission to save them, and sends Roger after her.  Much drama then follows!

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The books are of the type that you Can.Not.Put.Down!  I’ve found them so enjoyable to read and I’ve gotta say … I think I have fallen somewhat for Jamie.  He is a very tall, strong, red-headed man who is very stubborn but kind and loyal.  He has had a very tough life – as you will find out if you read the books.  His Scottish accent and way of speaking takes some getting used to but it doesn’t take long to love his way with words.  He calls Claire ‘Sassenach’ (the Gaelic term for a Saxon, meant as a derogatory term for an English person but in Jamie’s case is said with affection).

It seems I’m not the only one who has fallen for Jamie.  I found these!

jamie fraser quote

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jamie fraser

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The next books in the series are:

5.  The Fiery Cross
6.  A Breath of Snow and Ashes
7.  An Echo In The Bone
8.  Written In My Own Heart’s Blood

I have ‘The Fiery Cross’ on order and am very much looking forward to reading it!

If you are looking for a lovely long series of very thick books to read and love being immersed into a world of history, intrigue, romance, war, frustrations, sadness, happiness and every other emotion in between, I highly recommend this series.  I also want to thank my friend Denise for recommending the series to me!

A HUGE BIG P.S.  – Diana Gabaldon has officially announced a New Original Series Based on her International Best-Selling Outlander series Novels.  The series adaptation for “Outlander” will be written by Ronald D. Moore (“Battlestar Galactica,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation”).  The series will begin filming in Scotland this fall and will be available for viewing at some point during 2014.  Starz in association with Sony Pictures Television has announced that Sam Heughan will play the role of Jamie Fraser.  This is Sam Heughan (below).  Of course I am sure for filming he will have long red and gold hair as Jamie does.  In fact, I found a photo of Sam Heughan that depicts him with the hair of Jamie Fraser. 

Sam HeughanSam Heughan
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Sam-Heughan-Jamie-FraserSam Heughan – depicted as Jamie Fraser
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8 replies »

  1. I’m a TOTAL Diana Gabaldon fan and have read the first five, stopped at Fiery Cross, but then I had kids! They are amazing, and there are more 🙂 – they follow John Grey from memory. I would LOVE to see the mini series – Great minds Min xx

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    • Ahhh Em – we’re kindrid spirits!! Yes there is another series that follows John Grey – ‘The Lord John Grey series’. I’ll read them when I finish the Outlander series. Cannot wait to see the mini series either. You must get the next book after Fiery Cross (A Breath of Snow and Ashes) – kids sleep at some point – right? 😉 xo

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  2. Ah, Diana Gabaldon. Brings back memories. Nothing like a bit of sexy historical fiction, hey? I don’t remember a great deal, but I’m sure there was a scene where the main character had sex with a ghost… or did I imagine that? Haha! Love it.

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    • It’s a great series! I haven’t come across any characters having sex with a ghost though LOL I think you might have imagined it or maybe you’re getting mixed up with another series or book? Unless…its in a book I haven’t read yet??

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    • You’re not alone Grace. I only heard of her late last year/early this year on recommendation from a friend! She is a really good writer. Love the escapism into another world this series provides 🙂

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  3. I read the first book of this series. A friend gave it to me. I don’t know why I didn’t continue to read them… I guess I just started reading other books. I must get back into it. But, with my two book clubs at the moment it will be a bit hard. I’m happy to know they are filming the TV series now!

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