Some seven years ago I was introduced to the author Diana Gabaldon and her "Outlander" series by a barn manager who was, quite simply, in love with these books and more pointedly, one of the central characters, (and I do mean in love...much to her husbands dismay! Though I do wonder if her husband would have instead been greateful of Gabaldon's creation, had he known how often he'd reaped the benifits....or oats (so to speak) of his wife's abject fantasies!
What is Outlander about? I'm not going to tell you. *sticks out tongue* So there! Okay, I'll provide a link, here, and you can check it out yourself.
As much as I may love this series (And I do! They are undoubtedly my favorite novels of all time) I doubt that many of you would enjoy them as much as I did (beyond the first, "Outlander"). And so instead of recommending these novels to the reader, I'll recommend the reader for the novel.
These books are not for just anyone.
These are for the reader who:
Relish in long running and detailed accounts of the history and humanities of Scotland and America in the mid to late 18th century: The customs, folklore, medicine, dress, social structure, oddities and daily struggles of everyone from Scottish Lairds to French Kings.
Do not shy from reading, (in horrific detail) the practises of torture, sodomy, surgery, war, guts, blood, killing, sex, and everything and anything in between, (including the use of maggots and magic in the practise of medicine, the amputating of a leg (without the benefit of sedation), brutal public executions, childbirth, rape etc. etc. etc.) These books are not for the faint of heart.
Do not shy from reading, (in glorious detail)- the beauty of a Scottish moor; the drum of rain on a cottage rooftop; the scent and sounds of a forest blooming in Spring; or, (in equally rich detail) the words of adoration a man whispers while making love to his wife.... her many sounds, scents and blooming wonders.
Those interested in examining the many constructs of human nature- good, evil, morality, loyalty, jealousy, seduction, forgiveness, innocence, faith, fate, hate and above all, love. These books are for the philosopher.
Any those who wish to explore the depth and breadth of love, loyalty, respect and friendship that can exist between a husband and wife...of that which binds them together and that which can so easily tear them apart- Domination, submission, passion, pain and blame and ultimately, forgiveness. These books are for the romantic.
To explore: Honor, Morality, Religion, Woman's Rights, Family Ties, Blood Lust, Vengeance, Mortality, War; and all the varies forms and challenges each present.
The story line(s) are complex, multi-layered, intricate and sometimes difficult to follow (if you are like me and have trouble remembering the names and identities of (what seems to be) a hundred or more characters... at once!) These books are for the inquisitive mind.
Like action? Fighting, Fugitives, Pirates, Mohawks, and Muuurrrrder *said in a sinister Scottish accent* These novels are for the adventure seeker.
These books are heavily researched. Gabaldon weaves real life historical figures (the likes of Charles Stewart and General Howe) into the fabric of her story and into the lives of her fictional characters and then neatly tucks them all together in to the pages of written history- the American Revolution, The '45 and World War II. These books are both entertaining and educational, filled with satirical humor, plenty of sharp tongued wit and page-turning plot twists.
Does this series not sound just wonderful? Oh, but they are! If you like that sort of thing (which I do). And, if you've made it thus far in this post, you just might think so too! Try the first novel, "Outlander". I double dog dare you! While I'd in no way refer to these books as "light" in subject or in size (the hardcovers weigh a bloody ton!) I would refer to them as, quite simply, brilliant! *said in a Scotts accent, of course*