This Was My First Romance Novel, and I'm a Bit Ashamed to Say I Liked It

Outlander - Diana Gabaldon

I was always told that romance novels were all, as a rule, highly raunchy, unrealistic, and have nonexistent plots. This is not the case with this book. I could easily see a man getting interested in this book as I could a woman.


First, I love the concept. It is highly original, and incredibly unique. It evoked one of those "why didn't I think of that?!" moments. The snarky comments by the main character throughout the book was simply brilliant and really brought the character to life in my mind.


Second, I liked that the history and sex was depicted very realistically. Our hero is not a sexual dynamo right out of the gate and takes a great deal of practice to really satisfy our protagonist. I also liked that euphemisms were never used when discussing anatomy; breasts were always referred to as breasts, and penises and testicles were never given cutesy names. This definitely showed that Claire was, indeed, a nurse; as anyone in the medical field will tell you the infuriating behavior of grown adults using a euphemism to describe their genitals.  The medical history was great, and definitely believable.


I was surprised to see a number of feminist elements in the book. I would consider Claire to be a strong character, but that is not her only trait. She is also very intelligent, stubborn, and emotional at appropriate moments. While yes, Claire does have to be rescued once or twice, she also does her fair share of rescuing, which shows that she's not as helpless as one may guess. I also like how Jaime is not depicted as a man's man; he is seen crying almost as often as Claire, and is not completely perfect.


Overall, I think this is a great book. I highly recommend it.