Twenty-three years ago, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander was released for public consumption. This past July, I decided to read it. Twenty-three years after publication. On a whim.
Actually, this series was strongly recommended by one of my readers, who is now a friend. So, when I say I read it ‘on a whim’, I really mean I finally decided to listen to her.
I read the 642-page book in four days. I gobbled it down, swallowed it and relished the entire story – every word, every page. It was awesome! If you would have told me I’d love a story that involves time-travel back to the Scottish Highlands of the 18th century, witch-hunts, hangings, and war, I would have said you were crazy.
This was all of that and more – a love story that encapsulated everything I want: a strong heroine, a good looking hero (with an accent), nail-biting scenes and the most romantic dialogue I’ve ever read. Dare I say, it’s as good as The Bronze Horseman. Gasp!
So, I read the next book in the eight-book series, Dragonfly in Amber. Already completely hooked onto Jamie and Claire’s story, I enjoyed it immensely.
Here’s where it gets a little spooky (to me). Twenty-three years after this story was published, producers from Starz! decided to make the first book into a TV series. The same summer I just so happened to read it. Coincidence? Perhaps.
Or do I have that power?
If you’ll recall in a previous post, I read The Bronze Horseman late last year (also a recommendation I finally listened to), a decade after publication, and guess who stopped into the Book Revue in Huntington for the first time this Spring? That’s right. Paullina Simons. See?
I’m thinking it’s me.
Anyway, I couldn’t believe my good fortune at being able to see the characters I fell in love with come to life every Saturday night at nine pm. I can’t remember the last time I’ve looked forward to a television program. And I have DVR, so I never actually see a show at the time it airs. Except for this one. To hear Jamie call Claire “Sassenach” and “mo nighean donn” outside of my head puts me in my happy place.
My husband watches the series with me. He’s seen my head buried in these books for weeks so his curiosity is peaked. And, he knows it will be a long, cold winter if he doesn’t.
Each week as we watch, I fill him in on snippets of information I’m privy to, having an intimate knowledge of the story. I truly believe I love the Starz! series even more having read the book – something I rarely say.
“What are they calling Claire?” He asked.
“Sassenach. It’s Scottish for ‘outsider’ or ‘outlander’” I explain.
Though husband was satisfied with my answer, I took it a step further.
“When Jamie calls her ‘Sassenach’ though, it’s with affection. And very romantic.”
I have the third installment, Voyager, waiting on my Kindle. I have forced myself to take a break from this series to read other books – but always, it is in the back of my mind, waiting, taunting, beckoning me.
Husband called me the other day from the car. “Hello, Susquehanna.” He said.
“Are you trying to say Sassenach?”
The next day, he walked in from work. “How was your day, my Sasperillo?”
“Um, it’s Sassenach.”
Tomorrow night is the final mid-season episode, which bothers me. It’s like Starz! gave me a gift and now they want to take it back before I fully enjoyed it. I’m sure the reason will be explained at some point. I hope.
In bed, husband whispered in my ear, “G’night my little Seskatchewan.”
If you haven’t jumped on the Outlander bandwagon yet, I say go ahead. You won’t be disappointed. I promise you, it’s verra good!