Off the Shelf: Catch Up on the Starz Hit Show Outlander
By Sharon Saye on September 13, 2017
The third season of “Outlander” began Sunday on Starz. Much like “Game of Thrones” this series has multitudes of passionate fans that have been waiting since last year for the next season.
Based on the series of books by Diana Gabaldon, they focus on an epic love story across time between a modern World War II nurse and a Highland warrior. Don’t be put off by that description Gabaldon has been writing first-class historical fiction with a twist through eight volumes. Her heroine, Claire Randall, walked between some standing stones in Scotland while on a second honeymoon with her husband right after World War II. The next thing she knows is that she is being chased by redcoats, rescued by Highlanders, and somehow stranded in the years immediately before Bonnie Prince Charlie’s return to Scotland. Claire had been a nurse during the war, her husband a historian, and so she is aware of the history of the Highlands and the destruction of the clans at the Battle of Culloden.
She falls in love with a charming Highlander, Jamie Fraser, and marries him; events unfold that send them fleeing to the Continent as the two try their best to protect his family from the coming destruction. Sent back to her own time because she is pregnant, Claire keeps the secrets from her daughter until she is of age, and then once more travels through the stones determined to find out what happened to Jamie Fraser. This is where the third season on Starz begins.
From the first book in the series, “Outlander,” through the newest release, “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood,” Gabaldon tells an enthralling story while at the same time revealing the conditions under which everyday people actually lived. Thus her historical novels have a strong sense of time and place as Jamie and Claire deal with disease, politics, intrigue, survival, family and friends in a realistic way. Jamie and Claire have knowledge of the future, and hope to avoid their fate printed in a newspaper clipping brought from her time, but the story is anchored in the people and community of settlers in the mountains of North Carolina unaware of the American Revolution that will change all their lives.
Gabaldon’s series is rich, intricately plotted, and detailed with compellingly real characters. These are the type of books that readers love to plunge into where a world is created so vivid that they can hardly wait for the next volume. And like George Martin, readers have to wait years between books to find out what happens to their favorite characters.
For those who don’t subscribe to Starz, the library has the previous two seasons available on DVD. Plus, all of the books are available for download from the WVDELI.