When I picked up this book, I was somewhat daunted by it's size-1059 pages, to be exact. However, within the first ten pages, I was totally hooked. I shan't say too much about the plot, as other reviews here have done that admirably, but it tells the story of two people from different times-twentieth century surgeon Claire, and eighteenth century Jamie, Laird of Lallybroch, against the background of the failed uprising that ended in blood and tears at Culloden.Diana Gabaldon manages to convey with both realism and sensitivity the consuming love that has shaped both their lives, through twenty years of seperation and oppression. It is not the fantasy love of mills and Boon, it is real, warts and all,with all the constraints and disappointments of real life, and so powerful that neither is complete without the other. Throughout all the twists and turns of the plot, the reader is left in no doubt of the overwhelming rightness of their being together throughout their trials and tribulations.
This is one of the most beautifully written and well researched historicals I have ever read-Diana Gabaldon is educated to Phd level, and it shows in the clear narrative,the wealth of period detail, her evocative love scenes and mastery of a complex story line. You won't, as I too often find in sloppy regencies, find Jamie saying 'gotten' or 'atop' or any of the other lapses to be found time and again in so many historical romances. Her characterisation is excellent;she manages to convey a range of complex characters with all the cultural references and the spirit of their time.This book is both a painstaking, well researched historical novel, and a wonderful, moving love story. Definitely a keeper for me.