Series Starters: Outlander

I jumped on the bandwagon. I had tried reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander before and couldn’t get past the first hundred pages or so. Since I started working at the Library, I decided I would give Outlander another try, and I’m so glad I did!

It’s 1945: World War II has just ended and Claire Randall has been reunited with her husband, Frank, to take a holiday in Scotland before Frank accepts a permanent teaching position. Frank, a scholar, is interested in ancient feasts and rituals, and so he and Claire observe an ancient gathering among the stone circle, Craigh na Dun. While Frank is busy researching his family history, Claire, who was a nurse during the war and who is interested in plants for their medicinal purposes, decides to go back to Craigh na Dun to look for a useful plant she spotted during the ritual. Somehow, Claire manages to step through the stones and time itself, all the way back to 1743 and right in the middle of a skirmish between British groups and a band of Highlanders. Thinking her an English spy, the Highlanders take Claire with them to the Castle Leoch of the Mackenzie clan. Within this group of Highlanders is Jamie Fraser, and thus introduces one of the greatest literary love stories of all time.

This series cannot fit any one particular genre because it has strong elements of science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, romantic fiction, action, and adventure that come through at different parts within the books. This is why Outlander is a book for everyone! If the premise doesn’t intrigue you enough, in later books we travel to eighteenth century France, the Caribbean, the Thirteen Colonies, and more. Some of the characters even travel back and forth through time, too.

This love story is so great, in fact, that there are eight books (and counting!) in the series at that incorporate other characters, too. There’s even a spinoff series! Starz is making a television series about the books, which you can also check out from the Aurora Public Library District.

Happy Reading!