Book Review | Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
This post is part of #IBCdoesGalentines! Inspired by our main squeeze Leslie Knope, the creator of Galentine’s Day, we’ll be celebrating the best in being a lady. Check out all of our posts from February 1st to 14th for the best in bodice ripping, budding romance, and a healthy dose of feminism.
When Outlander hit the small screen at Starz last year (side note: Starz is still a thing?), it was one of the most buzzed about new tv shows on the air – particularly among young women and feministy types. Combining a strong female lead with time traveling love triangle, and it was everything anyone could talk about!
I dove head first into the hype – loving Claire’s fierce independence and drive for self-preservation, I just devoured Outlander episode by episode. My Amazon Prime may have started to judge me.
It wasn’t until months and months later that I discovered the series was based on a relatively popular book by Diana Gabaldon (seriously, what rock was I living under? ) and I had just managed to give myself all the spoilers for what was sure to be an amazing read. Fail.
I was torn for a long time about whether to go back and read this goodness – would I be caught up in the show and lose the magic of the book? Would I lose out by not using my own imagination?
Finally, I took the plunge.
I am soooooooo glad I did!
Even with knowing literally every scene (and a whole lot of the dialogue) verbatim, the book was just as magical and amazing as I had hoped. I do have to say – after seeing Game of Thrones completely derail from the original text – it was kind of lovely to know that the screenplay adaptation of Outlander was incredibly true to the original text. Not a moment left out, barely even a word skipped over.
I had worried initially that I would feel like I missed out by falling for the tv show first, but I really enjoyed reading Outlander! Even if you have already ‘spoiled’ the series by watching, read away!
For those who are still in the dark – you need to pick up this book. Claire is a World War II nurse who gets magicked back in time by Scotland (which is all magical, like Salisbury plain, north) and has to learn how to live in her new surroundings. With a husband back at home, but sexy Scots a plenty, Claire faces personal crises, which resolve in a fabulously feminist ‘do what feels good’.
Refreshing in its blatant female empowerment, Outlander still has some problematic moments – including this oft-quoted line:
Oh, age, Sassenach. I am your master…
Also, there are some classic romance novel moments in which sex is just so simple – completely separated from the real world logistics and somehow magically flawless. I mean, really, who manages to have sex in the freezing cold outdoors? That just genuinely sounds horrible. (P.S. I hate the cold). There’s some practical realities that are glossed over a bit here are there, but that’s part of the magic of the genre, right?
Still, so awesome. Outlander manages to be sexy without being stupid, and makes you learn a bit about Scottish history while you still get a heavy dose of under-the-kilt action. Hot and heavy.