I do not have time to read 850-page books. I barely get through my monthly book club books. I need to write. My garden beckons. I have Master Gardener and Redwood Writers obligations. Oh, and there’s my husband, my house, and the laundry that all require attention! A dear friend lent me Diana Gabaldon’s The Outlander, a big fat paperback that she’s read twice. Thanks a lot, Lucy! I am now into the fifth book in the series in as many weeks. I cannot put the books down!
I’m not even a Scot, but being so drawn in as I read, I almost feel like one. Gabaldon’s books are epic novels, historical novels, time travel novels, all mixed into one, who knows? Because I do not have any more space on my bookshelves for 850-950- page books, I have uploaded about eight of them onto my iPad–which I now carry everywhere! I sneak in a few pages or a chapter waiting in the dentist’s office, waiting for a friend at a restaurant, waiting in line at the grocery store, at bedtime, or whenever I find a few extra minutes between one activity and the next.
I write 32-page children’s gardening picture books with a plot and have co-authored one 300-page international intrigue novel (The Tehran Triangle). I’m stuck in the middle of TTT’s sequel. To know that Gabaldon has written eight of what she calls her “enormous” books plus smaller novels and novellas in between is quite amazing to me. I applaud her, commend her, and cheer her on. And I can’t read them fast enough!
Her books are enriched with history (mid-1700s in Scotland, England, France, and the early American colonies plus 1946 and forward in the U.S.), medical terminology and procedures including childbirth, plants, herbal ministrations; geographical and topographical description; period clothing and food; American Indian lore and practices; nautical terminology and descriptions; plus poignant family relationships and passionate romance. And it’s all so well-written and interesting that I cannot stop reading them!
I have not watched the series on television as I am able to watch it in my mind and feel it in my heart as I read each book. I’m there, hiking up my long skirt to slog through the mud, cooking on open fires, sheltering from the rain in caves (these are the easy scenes), and flying through the cleft in the stone circle to a time and place that already happened 200 years ago. Start with Outlander and you won’t put Gabaldon’s books down. Hooked on books is a good thing! (Just what DO those Scotsmen wear under their kilts??)