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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Diana Gabaldon - Cross Stitch

review by Ro Bennett on show live 3rd May 2012
This is the first book of at least six called the Outlander series.

Here is a synopsis:

Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century - and a lover in another... In 1945, Claire Randall is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon in Scotland. Innocently she walks through a stone circle in the Highlands, and finds herself in a violent skirmish taking place in 1743. Suddenly she is a Sassenach, an outlander, in a country torn by war and by clan feuds. A wartime nurse, Claire can deal with the bloody wounds that face her. But it is harder to deal with the knowledge that she is in Jacobite Scotland and the carnage of Culloden is looming. Marooned amid the passion and violence, the superstition, the shifting allegiances and the fervent loyalties, Claire is in danger from Jacobites and Redcoats - and from the shock of her own desire for James Fraser, a gallant and courageous young Scots warrior. Jamie shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire, and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Initially I found the book interesting - it appealed to my imagination and sense of adventure. But by the end I was reeling! - It was a long book and it was as though the author tried to cram every experience and fantasy humanly possible into it. I was quite exhausted by it all and skimming great chunks so I could get to the end and find out how it finished. I found some of it quite distasteful and it began to irritate and exasperate me. But it was an excellent idea and it was imaginative and unusual.

There were loads of enthusiastic reviews, one person saying she had read all the books in the series ten to twenty times.

However I agree with one reviewer who wrote: At 800+ pages, I was ready to hang myself by the end of it. It felt like a life sentence. I just wanted it to end. The descriptions went on for pages. Who cares what the hell the castle looked like from every angle, and the view from the hill, for that matter. Just get on with the blooming story woman.

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