Welcome to my review of Cross Stitch, or Outlander in the US, by Diana Gabaldon. I had troubles writing a review for this as I feel that, after re-writing it several times, it still doesn’t do the book justice. So even before you start reading my review, please just pick up the book and read! It is more than just a historical timetravel romance novel… It is way more than that! Please pick it up and read and let me know in the comments below if you are hooked like me on Outlander and mostly Jamie and Claire Fraser!
It is also now a television series in the US and in several other countries, so I obviously can’t wait to see this broadcasted in the UK! I have seen several pictures and the cast is amazing!
Anyways lets get back to the book ^_^
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon–when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach–an “outlander”–in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life…and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
I have tried to write a review for Cross Stitch for a couple of days – but this is best book hangover I have had ever. I got hooked after a couple of pages and even more so when Jamie came into the picture.
I don’t know in what category to put the books in – historical, romance, time travel novel doesn’t seem to cut it. But man this book is intense to read! I loved every letter of it – Diana Gabaldon is such a great story teller.
Claire is such a strong character and she has to be, going from a frontline nurse in the 2nd World War to being a ‘healer’ in the 18th Century. Yes Claire goes on her 2nd honeymoon to reconnect with her 20th Century husband – Frank Randall to Scotland, where Frank would also like to find more information about his ancestors who has reigned over the lands here. Claire, who is interested in botany, goes on a day to Craigh Na Dun to get more flowers she’s seen (Forget me nots) and by touching the stones she suddenly got thrust back through time and ended up in the middle of a battle between the Red Coats and the MacKenzie clan – here she meets the ancestor of Frank: Black Jack Randall (BJR) and a nasty piece he is!
How Claire adapts, after a few trial and errors, in this new world and slowly start to realise she might not be able to get back and trying to survive, is quite amazing to read. She gets thrust into a marriage to save her skin from BJR (a proper sadist!). This marriage gives her Jamie – who she feels attracted to from the beginning but is ignoring it as she’s trying to get back to the 20th Century – to her Frank. But when she realises she can’t she will give everything she owns to Jamie and it becomes apparent they are soulmates!
Jamie – Oh Jamie – I absolutely adored him, adore him still and it got better when Sam Heughan is now portraying his character in the TV series. There is no UK broadcaster yet, but the many images and pictures are doing it justice.
Jamie who is an outlaw with a price on his head with a very complicated and violent couple of years, but nonetheless a proper survivor falls for Claire quite quickly. But his upbringing makes sure he doesn’t do anything with this. He is a nephew to the MacKenzie laird and his brother but his life is relatively safe in castle Leoch. But as he’s male and MacKenzie blood runs in him and therefore he can be laird of MacKenzie but neither him or them would like that to happen. He is after all a Fraser – or in the beginning known to Claire as MacTavish.
Jamie’s honour and vows are true and honest and he would do anything, and I mean anything, to keep Sassenach (Claire) safe! He loves honest as well.
Jamie and Claire’s journey is amazing. Claires struggle in the beginning with getting back to Frank, her loyalty to Frank. The terrible truth of his ancestors. Her growing love for Jamie, her soulmate, and her adjustments to this century. Her trying to save the Fraser and MacKenzie Clan. The journey together through all the hardships and by hardships I mean terrors. Things I read where I actually shivered, cried and shouted in emotions. This book brings out a whole bunch of emotions for me.
I want to write more in part of a review, but I am afraid in giving away spoilers. I am so sucked into this story that I can’t stop talking about this. The TV series I can highly recommend watching and as soon as there is an UK broadcaster known I will make sure everyone knows ^_^
Definitely recommending this story – if you love highlanders, Scottish highlands, time travel and don’t mind reading about history. History is mostly accurate but then again it is still a novel, fantasy, especially when you mix history with timetravel. There are 8 books in total now and book 9 is being written. All books are pills, starting with over 800 pages to ending with over 4 digits pages.
Have you read Cross-Stitch/Outlander? If so what do you think?