I've been hearing lots of good things about this book for months now, so I finally decided to check it out from the library. The basic premise of the book is this: a woman visiting Scotland somehow "falls through" some kind of time warp and finds herself in mid-18th century Scotland. Adventure and romance ensues.
For the first 200 pages or so, I thought that the book was good but not outstanding. However, somewhere around the 200 page mark, I found myself getting completely drawn in to the story. The main character, Claire, has no time to figure out where (or when) she is before she is pretty much kidnapped by a bunch of Scottish Highlanders (who may have saved her life in the process). She obviously can't tell these people that she's from the future; however, her unwillingness to tell many details about her life make many of the people she meets suspect her of being a spy for the English. Fortunately, her previous life as a World War II field nurse has given her some unique talents that the MacKenzie clan finds valuable, so for the most part, she is welcomed and respected by the Scots. One of the first people she meets is the Highlander warrior, Jamie Fraser. Their lives quickly become inextricably entwined...which makes the story much more interesting. ;)
I thought that this book was wonderful. The sticker from the library has it labeled as "fantasy," but I think that historical fiction would be a much more appropriate label. The only "fantasy" element is the time travel. The author does an excellent job of describing the beautiful and dangerous way of life for the Highland clans in 1743. The book is at times educational, romantic, funny, heartwrenching, sexy, sad, and triumphant. I found myself truly engrossed in the situations and in the characters' lives. Although this is a story that can easily stand on its own, I'm glad that it is just the first book in the series...so I'll have at least six more books to read about Claire and Jamie. (Book 7 comes out this fall.)
Total number of books read in 2009: 10
Total number of pages read in 2009: 4667