39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
addictive story and characters,
This review is from: Outlander (Hardcover)
Thanks to Amazon and all the other book reviewers for putting me in touch with this book (I've just read the UK version called "Cross Stitch") due to their enthusiastic recommendations. I was a little wary at first - I mean, can a book with over 300 reviewers, nearly everyone giving it 5 stars really be that good? I'd never heard of the author before, and it seemed (from the point of view of an cynical old English reader like me) to have a few things against it from the start.
The author is an American writing about English and Scots people, having never visited Scotland and having been once to England. So it looked like it would turn out to be yet another American rose-tinted view of Scottish history with handsome hunks (speaking with a Yank accent!) sporting kilts and sweeping innocent maidens off their feet! Happily I decided to take a chance anyway and ordered Cross Stitch from Amazon. As others have commented before, this turned out not to be a standard romantic fiction novel. It's an sweeping 18th century historical novel set against the Jacobite rebellion in 1745, with an intense romance between the hero and heroine of the book, Jamie and Claire, plus a touch of the supernatural (time-travel, a la Dr Who!) thrown in to the mix. I found myself really caring about the main characters and even felt a bit teary-eyed on one or two occasions. My only complaint would be that almost all the English characters in the book(apart from Claire and Frank) were portrayed as mad, bad or homosexual. Hope this feature improves with her other books in the series which of course, I now feel compelled to read! As other readers have said, there is some sex and violence in the novel, including a wife-beating scene, so this book may not suitable for very young teenagers. However, this was all in keeping with the historical setting of the story, and did not spoil my own enjoyment of this excellent novel. It's very well researched and I found very little to criticize in its authenticity; Diana Gabaldon has even tried to include British slang words and names for things, Gaelic expressions etc - which other US authors often haven't bothered to do. So there were no really "jarring" bits of dialogue where you're thinking "Huh? -what's this?" I didn't really want the novel to end and found myself dreading the arrival of the last page - always in my experience, the sign of an excellent read. I can't recommend this book too highly. Don't miss it!
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Initial post: 21 Sep 2013 00:24:22 BDT
You are correct about the English characters and it doesn't get any better, but that said, it's a terrific read.
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