A Book By Diana Gabaldon
My good friend, Andrea, and I have been engaged in an exclusive, message-only book club over the last few months. Basically, we tell each other what book we are reading and then demand the other go read it because it is soooooo good–via text, Facebook, or Hangouts. I take it one step further and verbally abuse her for recommending such good books that I become obsessive. The latest in that series of obsessions is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
This is a time-travel, historical fiction, action-adventure, romance novel. And I’ve been voraciously consuming every word of it for two weeks. Claire Randall steps through magical stones in the Scottish Highlands in post-war 1945. Through the stones, she finds herself in 1743 and in the literal middle of a fight between English redcoats and Scottish clansmen. She is taken in by the clan MacKenzie where she nurses the castle inhabitants with a combination of modern techniques and antiquated potions; deals with the injustices of doled out in a rogue time; and begins to fall in love with a hunky, smar, tender, ginger Scottish warrior. This book has plenty of sex, fighting, intimacy, and intrigue. Many a nights, I went to sleep with my heart racing after putting down the book. And there were quite a few moments where my jaw literally dropped and stayed that way for the rest of the chapter.
The book was published in 1991, but its television iteration has been on Starz since 2014. I knew I had vaguely heard of it when Andrea introduced me to it. Like so many things that pulse a low hum in the background until one recognizes it is there, mentions and articles regarding the series have catapulted to the forefront of awareness. Vulture had a piece this week calling Outlander’s sex the best on television. In the piece, it mentioned a previous post on Jezebel regarding how apparent the female gaze is in the series. It also cites a recap written by (my beloved) Roxane Gay. There is rarely a topic on which I dissent from her. Of course she thought the particular episode she recapped was perfect. It blends some of her favorite things: feminism and literary guilty pleasures. There’s no way to currently watch Outlander without having Starz. I will wait. And it will be worth it. Meanwhile, there are seven other books in the series I can devour.