Unusual, violent, polarizing behaviour of the characters, not for the weak stomach!
I thought this book was exceptionally well-written yet not well-crafted. I have two reasons for saying this, one, that I had to get past the time-travel-portal thing, which I eventually did, but nothing seemed to happen in real-time, every two pages someone would sit down and tell a long story from the past. This I mostly skimmed because what was the point of telling a story about two people in the present when everyone was busy living in the past. And what a past it was, perhaps for those interested in historical violence and gore, this is ok, but after the first couple such trips into the past I was bored. The second reason is because although Claire was portrayed as a strong woman who took everything in stride, except for when she went bonkers and started scolding anyone and everyone, I saw her as a rather wooden and difficult character against which the others characterizations were made to look richer and shiny. Jamie for example, was well portrayed, but then he was beaten, then beaten, then really beaten again, but that was him and his life. His sudden and fateful love for Claire were not convincing at all, because she was never particularly nice, nor witty, nor personable. All she was, was Sassenach. Regarding her side of the story, because her feelings were rarely mentioned, if at all, it just looked like she was the sounding-board, medicine woman who randomly wandered into the story. So at the end, although this book could resonate with those interested in fictionalized history and a quite violent depiction of it, intertwined with what was written as a true love story for the ages, I was not able to appreciate the historical context nor the love story within.