How To Explain Outlander to the Uninitiated or Die Trying

For 20+ years I was a fan of the Outlander book series, visiting Diana Gabaldon’s website a couple of times a year to see if there was any progress on a movie. There never was much.  And I tried not to get my hopes up.  I now realize the reason it took so long was because we were waiting for young Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe to get through middle and high school, get their braces off, go through the awkward teen years and become swoon-worthy grownups so they would be the correct age to play the roles they were born to play.

Throughout those years, as I was raising my family and reading and re-reading Diana’s books (we had a terrible library in town so I re-read everything I owned), I would from time-to-time tell my friends about the books.  I’d carefully describe the very short Frank years and then do a quick summary of the Jamie years leaving out the spoilers so I wouldn’t ruin it in case they actually decided to read them.

You know the look your dog gives you when he’s confused and tips his head to one side and his ears pop up?  I got that look. I got that look a lot.  I got that look so much, that although it didn’t deter me from attempting to recruit new readers, it did alter my explanation.  I think the fact that the books cannot be defined in a single genre works against them when recruiting….

Fast forward 20+ years and imagine how proud I am of myself that for the first time in my life, I’m ahead of the curve when it comes to a trend!  Everyone is learning about and jumping on the Outlander bandwagon and I was here first!  I’m not saying I’m ‘Patient Zero’ but I could very well be Patient 175-ish!

Here’s my ‘Explaining ‘Outlander’ Synopsis.’  Feel free to use it on your friends, family and random people you meet and pin down in the grocery check-out line during your Outlander Recruiting Process.  Take a deep breath and practice saying it fast without stopping so you don’t lose them.  Here goes:

The book is about an English nurse at the end of WWII who hasn’t seen her semi-dull husband in many years and they go on a second honeymoon in Scotland where they eat stuff like mackerel and ‘Spotted Dick’, I bet cuz of rations, and she goes to some standing stones, like Stonehenge, but not famous and she gets vacuumed up by a rock and spit out in the 1700s and she’s wearing a normal dress and there are redcoats and Scottish soldiers fighting and she’s captured and they think she’s in her nighty/slip but she’s NOT and she fixes a Scottish hunk’s shoulder and is kept prisoner in a castle and she tries to escape but she doesn’t and they make her run their minor emergency dungeon and she then falls in love with the Scottish hunk who wears a kilt which I now think is sexy and he isn’t afraid that she’s smarter than everyone else and mouthy and strong, Oh, NO he loves it and they just want peace but mayhem ensues at every turn.  You will LOVE it!  No it is NOT a romance novel.  No it is NOT science fiction.  No it is not JUST historical fiction.  Just read it, trust me you’ll love it!

Recuiting will be easier now because people can watch the show, then buy the book.  Or you could just show them a photo of ‘Jamie and Claire’ and that should do the trick.  I wish you the best of luck with your recruitment efforts, God Speed and Tulach Ard Y’all!

(Confused Puppy courtesy of Chateleine .com)


  • dot65jean
    Posted 0Likes

    Love your wit! Please keep writing these articles! I am loving these books and the new series on Starz!

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