My sister-in-law recommended this book to me over Thanksgiving and I finally got around to reading it this month. I had started a couple books I borrowed from friends but they just didn't hold my attention and life's too short to read boring books -a variation of life's too short to drink bad wine;)- so I put them down w/o finishing. Because I've had such bad luck w/ books lately I didn't have very high hopes for Outlander, but it ended up being quite entertaining and it is part of a 8 book series so hopefully the entertainment can continue for a few more months!
The series centers around Claire Beauchamp, an English nurse who worked in a combat zone during WWII. During a post-war holiday in Scotland w/ her husband, Claire is transported to the 1700s. It takes her a while to figure out what happened and even longer for her to decide what she wants to do about it. She meets up with a group of Highlanders who, upon finding her nursing skills useful, hesitantly take her under their wing and bring her back to their town. Claire quickly finds a role as the medical practitioner of the area which is good because she needs some redeeming qualities to get her out of the bad situations she finds herself in.
At first, I found the Claire character annoying- whiny, entitled, seemingly unconcerned with the consequences her actions have on herself or others. But as the book progresses, and Claire adapts to her surroundings, she becomes a lot more pragmatic, functional and tough- less of a whiner. A large part of this has to do with her budding relationship with a strapping young Scot named Jamie. The real win of this book is the palpable romance b/t Claire and Jamie. What starts as an adversarial relationship turns into a friendship..and then more. It really is a great love story and Jamie is such a admirable character overall. He's down to earth, funny and fun to be around, humble, extremely smart, attractive and perfectly content with his station in life.
The book is long- 650+ pages! It did take me a 100 or so pages to really get into it, mostly because Claire was so whiny- but then I did and it was great and I was so glad I had 500 more pages to go! I'd recommend you check it out because if you like it, there are 7 more books in the series for you to enjoy!