I went into this trying not to expect too much because I love the TV show and I’m from the Isle of Skye so I was completely wary of it. I know so many people love the book but the TV show has the benefit of research with Gabaldon didn’t have when she first wrote the book so I was preparing myself for this to not be stellar, but I was wrong thankfully.
I’m sure you know what Outlander is about but if you somehow don’t Claire and Frank Randall are on holiday in Inverness trying to reconnect after the second world war. After touching a stone circle Claire is transported back to 1743 and stumbles upon some redcoats. She’s rescued by some Highlanders and taken to their castle so their clan chief can figure out what to do with her.
I never trust books or tv shows or movies set in Scotland because there’s just so many bad ones, so much inaccuracy and romanticisation of the country. But this was fairly accurate, of course there’s a bit of romanticisation but there’s also no glossing over how Scotland was in the 1700s, there’s clan warfare, anger at the English etc etc. On top of that there is some really funny parts of it that were really quite on point when it comes to the Highlands and how things are like here still to this day. We still gossip, we still know everything that’s going on in our community which most people wouldn’t know elsewhere. Things like that I’m amazed she had barely any resources for because that’s not something you know unless you live here. Even the Gaelic wasn’t poor.
I loved reading about Jamie, he’s such a sweetheart. Yeah he makes some mistakes along the way but it was out of ignorance as he is still young and I think people forget that when they criticise him. He’s had not much real experience with women and he gets thrust into a marriage so of course he’s going to listen to the things his married friends say regardless of whether they’re right or not. It’s also a sign of the times, history is gruesome so it’s important for accuracy. But if you’re upset by domestic violence, do not read this book. It only happens once but that’s still not good.
I loved reading Claire go from being a bit stuck up and annoying to caring for all the people she meets in Scotland and how she doesn’t want the Jacobite rising to happen, knowing how much of a bloodbath Culloden was.
As I watched the TV series first I’m quite amazed at how much the show kept with the book.
I was reading this on a train to Inverness and I was so embarrassed about it hahaha. Some American guy started talking to me about it and I was like I’M NOT A TOURIST I’M FROM SKYE. I’ve had customers come into my work saying they’ve come to Scotland after reading Outlander and oh man does it make my eyes roll.