Outlander: Another book with a cult following that I don’t love. Not that I hated it, I found it entertaining but I did have some issues while reading. These problems are not with the work itself, so to say, but because of my expectations of the genre. I was looking for a good historical fiction, and instead, I read a fantastical romance. The lack of history, absence of genuine reactions to such an extraordinary thing as time travel, and the reliance on repetitive occurrences made this long read less enjoyable.
The historical detail didn’t constitute the background of this work but was degraded to a small aside. Outlander depended on romantic passion rather than historical details. I felt like the author missed a golden opportunity to speak on the history when she used a woman from the ‘future.’ I did not find it the least bit realistic that a woman used to living in the 1940’s seemed to have no difficulty accepting the way of life of the 1740’s.
There are massive differences in lifestyle between these two time periods. One that would be tough for Claire (the protagonist) to deal with is the fact that there was no electricity in 1740’s. Lighting depended on candles, and those who have experienced a power outage can attest that the amount of light candles admit differs significantly from that of a bulb. The world would be much darker than the one Claire comes from, and such a massive shift would affect her.
I quite enjoyed the first section of the book, in fact, I couldn’t put it down, but soon it lost its luster. I couldn’t feel for the characters for I looked at them as characters and not as human beings. That may sound weird, but a character should exude the realities of the world they dwell in. Furthermore, the use of rape seemed like a cop out to develop tension and the idea of protective feelings between Jamie and Claire. I don’t consider this a sound way of developing love. The risk of rape was a reality of the time, as well as today, but I thought one description of it would be significant.
So there you have it, I am a whiny historian. Crying because my historical fiction has a bit of romance to it. Perhaps this will not be my genre to write in, seeing how it is the last week of March and I am struggling to pick one thing out of all the events in history to write. When I picture myself penning a historical piece, I get caught up on all of the research that I want to do. I want to make sure that someone doesn’t write a similar review like this one with my work. I desire my characters to be picking up the right fork, a fork made of pewter if that’s correct for the time…perfectionism is my enemy. However, I know that historical fiction will always house inaccuracies because they even dot the pages of historical textbooks. It’s all part of the collective human error of memory that I love to study but maybe not fictionalize.