Outlander

Outlander - Diana Gabaldon Claire Randall is on a second honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands with her husband Frank in 1945 when a visit to a stone circle shoots her back 200 years to a very different version of the Highlands. Landing in Scotland a few years before the Jacobite rebellion, she quickly runs afoul of the English army and becomes entangled with a Scottish outlaw and his kinsman.From there she runs further afoul of the English, ends up married to the young outlaw Jamie Fraser, gets tried as a witch and gets to travel the Scottish countryside seeing more action in a year to last a lifetime.I hardly know how to rate or review this.On the one hand, the characters are the book's strength. All of the secondary characters, and there's a lot of 'em, are fully-fleshed out with motivations, quirks and flaws. Claire's fluent outbursts of profanity had me chuckling and Jamie's devil-may-care attitude had me grinning. I enjoyed their banter and friendship especially. It grew organically, with the occasional angry outburst mixed in with the affectionate gestures. They behaved as rational people in love, but guarding secrets.I didn't have a problem with Claire marrying Jamie despite being married to Frank. It was either marry Jamie or go to prison, and she couldn't very well say she had a husband waiting for her in 1945, so she reluctantly went with the plan. I'm right fond of Mr. Ridley, but if I were trapped in Georgian Scotland with a choice between an 18th century prison or marrying a guy I get on well with, sorry, but prison loses. I thought she handled her feelings well and had the right amount of angst when her feelings started getting away from her.Jamie was a joy to read about. Five years younger than Claire and a virgin on his wedding night, he's still all man. Wanted for a murder he didn't commit, he's on the run from the English and under the delicate protection of his uncles. He faces his myriad predicaments with a calm bordering on flippancy, a tidy foil to Claire's serious pragmatism. But on the other hand, the book just sorta dragged for me. As much as I loved hanging out with the characters, it got to the point where I just wanted to see other people. There were so many sub plots going on that I couldn't quite name where the climax may have been, or what all the scenes were building up to or why the book needed to be as long as it was. It wasn't padded with filler, and I never wanted to skim at all, but I wasn't riveted either. I was exhausted, worn out, and ready for the final ordeal of theirs to resolve. The thought of reading seven more 800+ page books in this series sounds tiring rather than interesting, as much as I loved the players. Watching them encounter and escape one calamity after another, with no real climax or resolution, just sounds boring. So, I enjoyed Outlander, but it won't rank as a favorite of mine. I'm not sure what I would have cut out to make a shorter book or what I would have liked to see resolved more clearly, but all the struggle and action seemed well, pointless.