Monday, July 4, 2011

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander (Outlander, #1)Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

If I could give this book ZERO stars, I would. I wanted to like it - it had everything I like: time travel, Scotland (men in kilts!!), and light romance. And it started out with great promise, and I was enjoying it. The novel starts in post WWII Scotland, with Frank and Claire Randall enjoying a war-delayed honeymoon. While exploring a hillside, Claire touches a boulder that is part of Stonehenge-like formation and suddenly finds herself in the middle of a battle, with men on horseback. She is not sure what's going on, but eventually figures out she's in the 1700's in the middle of a war between England and Scotland. She ends up being taken in with a group of rebel Scots, including handsome young James Fraser. Through a not too far fetched series of events, she and Jamie are forced to wed. Lo, and behold, they love each other!

So far, so good. The story moved along well, and Claire's reaction to her situation seemed realistic - even falling for Jamie, despite her love for her husband. At this point in the book, she sees an opportunity to try to return to her own time, and escapes. But she is captured by the English and Jamie must come to rescue her. Here's where it all went sour for me. Because she 'endangered the clan' by her escape attempt and rescue, she is to be punished. OK, I can go with that - it's probably hstorically accurate. But her punishment is that she must be beaten, and her punisher is Jamie! Worse, once the punishment is over, she seems to accept that it was appropriate for her husband to beat her!

I realize that during that time period, husbands beating wives was seen as normal, but thisis a woman of the 20th century! This is supposed to be romantic??! I'm sorry - I just can't enjoy a 'love story' where the husband beats the wife. I don't care if it's historically accurate, it's still WRONG and NOT romantic! I tried to keep reading, and just forget it, but I couldn't. I couldn't help but think how I would feel if my husband were to beat me 'for my own good' and it makes me sick to think of it. I was unable to get past that. So I stopped reading the book. And, unless you like beatings as part of 'romance', I can't recommend this book. In fact, I think I may thow this book away. (and for those of you who know me and my love for books, you know these are harsh words)

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