The Best Time Travel Romance Novel
If you have ever googled for, say, top-10 romance books, you would have probably noticed, that the first places in those charts are largely occupied by the titles from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. No matter how subjective this sentiment may be, it will not be a mistake to nominate Outlander for the best time travel romance novel of the present day.
The Outlander novels center around the love story of Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser, an Englishwoman of the XX-th century, and James (Jamie) Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser from the XVIII-th century Scotland. By means of ancient heathen rituals Claire becomes able to travel in time from the post-WW2 Great Britain to Jacobite Scotland. The books in the series picture the dangerous and romantic adventures of Claire and Jamie in the late-medieval Europe.
Nearly 6000 pages of this romantic saga cover more than 30 years of love, adventures, wars, joys and sorrows that James Fraser and his time-travelling wife Claire had to live on together. This colorful mix of romantic, historical, sci-fi and fantasy fiction has been translated into several languages and is currently being sold in at least a dozen of countries. Meanwhile Diana Gabaldon received RITA Aword from the Romance Writers Of America (1992), International Corine Book Award from the Association of Publishers and Booksellers in Bavaria, Germany (2006), and Quill Book Award from Quills Foundation (2006).
By 2010 seven titles of the series have been published, every subsequent book being actually a sequel of the preceding one:
- Outlander (1991): Claire, a 20-th century nurse, being in Scotland on vacation, enters a circle of standing stones and suddenly finds herself 200 years back in the past. A young brave Scot saves her from an English soldier and takes her to his homeland. To receive the right to live in Scotland and not being handed over to the Enlish authorities as required by law, Claire have to marry James. Gradually she actually falls in love with him. But because of various intrigues and conspiracies the lovers have to escape to France.
- Dragonfly In Amber (1992): Claire and Jamie travel to France to the court of Charles Stuart trying to stop the Scottish Jacobite rebellion of 1745, but after unsuccessful attempts they return back to Scotland. Now Jamie is going to join the rebellion, but believes that he will not eventually survive in its fierce battles. Claire comes back to the XX-th century, pregnant with Jamie’s child.
- Voyager (1994): After 20 years Claire, now a surgeon and a mother of 20 years old daughter, suddenly learns that Jamie survived the Jacobite revolt, and goes back to 1765 to meet him. The lovers are together again, but they have to sail to West Indies to save Jamie’s young nephew.
- Drums Of Autumn (1997): Claire and Jamie enjoy a well-established life in the British American colony of North Carolina. But in the XX-th century Brianna, their daughter, and her friend Roger (also Jamie’s distant relative) suddenly discover a historical evidence of Claire and Jamie’s death in a house fire. Brianna decides to travel back in time to save her parents.
- The Fiery Cross (2001): the Fraser family happily lives in North Carolina when the first signs of the American Revolution of 1775 become evident. Jamie is ordered to form loyal forces to fight the rebels.
- A Breath Of Snow And Ashes (2005): the Revolution is coming, and the life in the American Colonies becomes more and more unrest. The Frasers have to endure the troubles of pre-war life.
- An Echo In The Bone (2009): the Revolution begins, and the Fraser family has to separate: the junior Frasers Brianna and Roger travel back (or forth?) to the XX-th century, and the seniors Claire and Jamie decide to leave North Carolina and to return to Scotland. But the both families yet have to overcome another set of obstacles on their road to happiness, each in their own century.
In spite of several unfavourable book reviews, the general audience seems to be quite fond of the series, and for more than 20 years the readers are constantly driving the Outlander to the top of various bestsellers listings. This fact allows us to call Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series the best time travel romance novel.