This is the first in a historical fiction/romance series by Diana Gabaldon that I always meant to read in my teenage years – ironically (despite many adult women telling me how much they loved this series) this would probably have been the time I would have most enjoyed it. And received a bit of an education too.
Claire Randall is holidaying with her husband Frank in Scotland (the most beautiful place in the world!) after the end of World War II. They have been separated for many long years and are rediscovering each other and hoping for the child that has eluded them for so long. Frank, an historian, is also researching his ancestor, Black Jack Randall, a figure of some local importance. While Claire enjoys history as much as the next person, it takes on a whole new meaning for her when she travels back in time through a set of sacred stones, finding herself in the Scotland of the 1700s. She is found by Black Jack Randall, who bears a striking resemblance to Frank in appearance only – Randall becomes the villain of the tale and Claire has to be rescued by clansman from the Clan Mckenzie. There she meets Jamie, a compelling young man who she later agrees to marry to make herself a Scotswoman and therefore no longer answerable to the English Randall.
While Claire does express some misgivings and guilt about what is essentially bigamy, she soon falls in love with Jamie and what follows is an almost exhausting descriptive of their, ahem, intimacies. Now I understand why this has been so appealing to so many women.
This is really light, nothing challenging or in depth. But it is also long – it could have been half the length without losing any impact in my opinion. For chick lit fans only.