Outlander: historical, entertaining, and romantic

Jenarita Plante

Anchor Contributor


You may know “Outlander” as the hit show on the Starz Network. However, before this fantastical love tale was brought to film it was a novel. Published in 1991, “Outlander” may seem like an old read to some, yet its pages are timeless and captivating.


The premise of the story centers around Claire Beauchamp, a World War II nurse who has ventured to Scotland on a second honeymoon; her first being disrupted by the war. While in Scotland, Claire and her husband Frank visit an array of historical sites enjoying time together, but also gathering research for Frank's career as a historian. At a rock formation called Craigh Na Dun, Claire is drawn to the circular rock pattern. She comes back later without Frank and upon touching one of the rocks, she travels back in time to eighteenth-century Scotland 200 years before her own time.


Claire must learn to survive in a time so much more prehistoric than her own. She has the knowledge of a 1940s nurse, yet she cannot show too much of her education for fear of being outcasted as a witch. She is forced into a marriage with a highlander named James Fraser. As she begins to fall in love with not only Jamie but with eighteenth-century Scotland, she must make the ultimate decision; stay with Jamie in a time not her own or return to the man she once loved, Frank.


Throughout the novel author Diana Galbaldon mixes just the right amount of fantasy with history, romance and the breathtaking effervescence of the Scottish countryside. Though the novel is 850 pages, it constantly keeps you enthralled and enamored; so much so that you may in fact finish reading the book much faster than anticipated.


“Outlander” is highly recommended and has so many elements to it, making this a good read for a multitude of bookworms. As the show follows the first novel closely you could very easily read a few chapters and watch the corresponding episode to compare, a game of sorts that keeps the book even more interesting and enjoyable. One thing is for sure; picking up a copy of “Outlander” is certain to entertain, educate and fascinate just about any reader.


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