Revised! Sassyface vs Sassenach and The Hideous Reality of Droughtlander and Books That Will Help Us Survive!

REVISED, UPDATED & SANITIZED FOR  YOUR PROTECTION (Also, danger ahead, there are a couple of spoilers!)

I followed my own advice and re-read ‘Celia Garth’.  It had been 30 years since my first re-read and I’ve lived a lot during that time.  I was afraid the book might not be as good as I’d remembered, but fear not my friends,  it was actually better!

I feel the need to preface this update by reminding readers {needlessly, cuz most of you are pretty darned intelligent} that it’s not the same as reading any of the Outlander books, as it was written during a different time by a different author.  Oddly enough, though best selling novelist Gwen Bristow wrote this book in 1959, Celia Garth reads much more like a modern woman both in her strength against adversity and her relationships with the men in her life.  I’m now fascinated by this author and feel the need to learn more about her.

The later Outlander books are set in North Carolina. Celia Garth is set in neighboring South Carolina during the Revolutionary War and I wouldn’t be surprised if Francis Marion, known as the ‘Swamp Fox’ and whose shenanigans are featured in this book, pops up in Outlander, Book 9.  The now legendary, Marion, was a hero in the south during the War for Independence as he and his men perfected the art of tormenting the King’s forces with the use of citizen spies and early guerrilla warfare.  I would love to see our hunky hero Jamie Fraser become his friend or at the very least, his protege.

I whined for 20 years that I wanted Outlander to be made into a movie or TV series and now that it has, I will re-dedicate my whining skills that the same thing will happen to Celia Garth and you can join me as ‘whiners love company’!  Don’t forget, if you do read Celia Garth, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Original Post:

Droughtlander is here folks and it’s no joke.  If you want more Jamie and Claire,  the obvious answer is read the rest of Diana Gabaldon’s books. But what if you’ve read them all…..or read them all a few times? Or…read them all ten times…*slowly raises hand*   I’ve got a few book suggestions that, depending on how fast you read, should tide you over for a month or two.  Maybe by then I’ll come up with some more titles or we could suggest some for each other in the comments.  No, they’re not as good as Outlander, because nothing is. But some are set in approximately the same time period, some are time travel and some are set in Scotland.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

The Young Adult genre didn’t exist when Celia Garth was written, but it falls neatly into that category.  I found this older book in the library when I was a teenager and I’ve read it many times.   I haven’t read it in over 30 years so it’s definitely time for a re-read. I did a little research and was happy to see it has been re-released under ‘Rediscovered Classics’, and like most books, you can also buy a used copy on-line.

Here’s the Amazon description:  Bringing to life the heady days of the American Revolution through the eyes of a heroine who played a brave and dramatic part in the conflict, this novel follows Celia Garth, a Charleston native, as she transforms from a fashionable dressmaker to a patriot spy.  When the king’s army captures Charleston and sweeps through the Carolina countryside in a wave of blood, fire and debauchery, the rebel cause seems all but lost.  But when Francis Marion, a lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army known as ‘The Swamp Fox’, recruits Celia as a spy, the tides of war begin to shift. This classic historical novel captures the fervor of 18th-century Charleston, the American Revolution, and a woman who risked her life for the patriot cause.

Next are a pair of books that combine time travel, chick lit and a love story.   ‘There And Now’ and it’s sequel ‘Here And Then’  were written by Linda Lael Miller who writes in the romance genre.  They’re very quick to read and I’ve read them several times each.  Sadly, I tried to read her other books and couldn’t get into them, but these two really captured my imagination.

‘There And Now’ is my favorite of the two.  Quick Plot Summary:  After a bad break up/divorce, Elisabeth McCartney returns to her late Aunt’s century old home in a small town.  After settling in, she puts on her aunt’s favorite antique necklace, lies down for a nap in the empty house and wakes up to the sound of a little girl whining that she doesn’t want to practice the piano, she wants to go outside and play.  The voice is coming from a part of the home that burned down over 100 years ago and no longer exists. Eventually, Elisabeth is able to enter that part of the home and meets the little girl and her father, who, of course, is a hunky, widowed doctor.  I’m not going to give anything else away, but I think you’ll enjoy it.

The sequel, ‘Here And Now’ features the same home and the protagonist is Elizabeth’s cousin, Rue Claridge, who also time travels into the past looking for Elizabeth.  She meets and falls in love with the town’s hunkalicous (my word) sheriff who lived 100 years ago.  Both books are fun, light, summer reads and you’ll get your time travel fix!

Rosamunde Pilcher is a Scottish author whose books have captured my imagination for almost 30 years.  Her books usually have several female protagonists, one in her 60’s and one in her 20’s.  They’re set in Scotland and/or England in the Cotswolds and the setting is most often a large ancestral home.  My three favorites novels of hers are The Shell Seekers, September and Winter Solstice. She’s written several other novels and many short stories.  You really can’t go wrong with any of her books, they’re all so good!

The final book is one I randomly picked up when I was in Target over 15 years ago because I liked the cover and they were predicting snow the following day and I had nothing to read. I may or may not have also bought a large package of Oreos at the same time.   ‘London Holiday’ by Richard Peck is a story of three middle-aged American women, high school friends from Missouri, whose lives are all in transition.  They decide to go to London to vacation, re-connect and re-think the direction of their lives….and stuff happens!  The English lady who owns the B&B where they stay is even more fascinating than they are and I wish Mr. Peck had written an entire book just about her.  Although some of the women find love, it is not a Romance, it’s simply a novel.

Although these books are not Outlander, I really enjoyed every single one of them.  If you have book suggestions, please put them in the comments.  Together, I know we can survive Droughtlander!


  • Eleanor
    Posted 0Likes

    I love Rosamunde Pilcher!

    Sent from my iPad


    • Melissa B
      Posted 0Likes

      She was the first author to open my eyes to Scotland almost 30 years ago. I even have a coffee table book called ‘The World Of Rosamunde Pilcher’ which I would save if there was ever a fire!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Nancy
    Posted 0Likes

    I may try some of your suggestions Melissa, there are some good ones!
    So far since Draughtlander has started I have read the entire Game of Thrones series (6 books) and caught up on the show. I really liked the books! Not Diana’s caliber, but the man has an imagination!
    Right now I am in the middle of book 3 of the Poldark series by Winston Graham. Really good read. Late 18th century mining/romance/family drama in Cornish setting. The Masterpiece show is fabulous (Aiden Turner is no Sam Hueghan but he fills a void!! ) Cornish coast is breathtaking.
    Another read was Charlie, Meg and me by Gregor Ewing. He walks the same route that Bonnie Prince Charlie took while in hiding from the British Army. He starts at Culloden and takes 6 weeks walking and living rough with his dog through the highlands and the isles, in a kilt!. Very good read. I recommended this to Sam. I actually thought of him as I was reading it as there are a log of Munros bagged! The pics at the end of the book are beautiful.
    Happy reading!

  • Kathy Redd
    Posted 0Likes

    When does it come back on?

  • OSuzyQuilts
    Posted 0Likes

    I read the Pink Carnation series after Outlander. Try it, you may like it. Gotta catch up on that one!

  • Connie Sandlin (@Yr_Obt_Svt)
    Posted 0Likes

    If a reader has a taste for “meaty”, well-thought-out “what if” science fiction, I recommend the “Mars” trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. The books are “Red Mars”, “Green Mars”, and “Blue Mars” and follow the story of the first colonists on the Red Planet. I really like how the author looks at the possible sociological, political, physiological, psycological, and economic possibilities, among other aspects. It’s speculative, and of course, it’s fiction, but it’s not just a superficial story of “this happens, then this happens, then this happens”, but how the characters in the story are affected and how they, in turn, affect others. And there are no icky monsters. This trilogy made me think, and I like books that do that.

    • Melissa B
      Posted 0Likes

      Connie, I don’t like Science Fiction…books where people float in space creep me out! Should I seek professional help? Don’t answer that! 🙂

  • celticdreamz
    Posted 0Likes

    Give Susanna Kearsley’s books a try! Especially The Winter Sea.

    • Melissa B
      Posted 0Likes

      Several people have told me about her Kris. I’m gonna check her out!

  • Susan
    Posted 0Likes

    Try Sara Donati’s Wilderness Series (first book is Into the Wilderness). Well written 18th century romance/adventure series (6 books) that even mentions some Outlander characters. It’s the second best series I’ve read since finding Outlander 15 years ago.

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