Right now, I’m living and breathing Diana Gabaldon’s historical romance “Outlander” series and I hate myself for it. I’ve all but devoured the first book (“Cross Stitch,” for those playing at home), and I’m chomping at the bit to get set into the second novel. Sadly, the cover looks like something you’d pick out of your Nanna’s nightstand, and the somewhat prosaic title certainly does it no favours. But oh my god it is embarrassingly engaging.
The plot is simple enough: Claire, a wartime nurse steps through a stone henge in 1948 and appears moments later in 1700s Scotland. There’s a bunch of good looking Highlanders prancing around in kilts (props to Gabaldon for avoiding overusing the word ‘rugged’, I guess), with thick accents and even thicker….ahem. You know. (Really. You do. This book is not one for your 13 year old daughter.) Anyway, Claire falls madly and passionately and deeply for some wonderful, handsome, dashing red head, and romantic shenanigans ensue. The story is so engrossing, Starz have developed it into a TV series. For reference, here’s your rugged hero:
Admittedly, some of the content is hard to swallow for a self-confessed feminist, what with the domestic abuse and women-as-man’s-property undertones but, hey! It’s old timey Scotland! And female oppression is sexy when at the hands of a broad-chested clansmen, right???
It’s a cheesy, historical romance that I honestly wouldn’t have ever picked up if not at the insistence of my best friend, but as it turns out, the recommendation is one that I needed; with all the stress I’ve got coming my way in the next few months, I’m grateful to have such an easy read. And it turns out I’m apparently really into fictional ginger Scotsman. So there’s that, too.
I thank my lucky stars, however, that I’m in possession of an eReader, so when someone on the bus asks me what it is I can’t take my eyes off, I can declare loudly enough for everyone to hear “David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest, of course.” Cue impressed smiles, and I can go back to my Scottish smut.