An Outlander Novella
I love the Outlander series. I’ve read all the books and watch the Starz TV series. I’ve also listened to all the books.
I’ve always heard that with a truly great reader, listening to an audio book can bring a great deal more to the story. I enjoy a lot of audio books, but never really felt that something was added until I read the Harry Potter books, read by the great Jim Dale. He makes listening to those books an immersive experience, and the same goes for the Outlander books. Davina Porter is the narrator, and she is simply transcendent. She takes me away on these amazing adventures – plus I learned the correct pronunciations for all the characters’ names, the various places and even the Gaelic.
But now that I’ve read all the Outlander books (and yes, some of them several times!) I was bereft. I know, I have more books on my shelves and my Kindle than I’ll probably ever read, but still, I love Claire & Jamie and I’m watching the Starz show and I want more! And we all know how long it takes for a new book to come out. But Gabaldon has been releasing novellas as ebook only, Kindle singles, and my library has them!
This is the first one I’ve read. If you’ve ever visited Gabaldon’s website or seen an interview with her or seen her speak at an event, you know she writes her books in chunks, then pieces them together to form a cohesive story. Some of the chunks end up in other books than the one she started them for, and I suspect these Kindle singles are chunks that just didn’t make it into her already super long books.
If you haven’t read the Outlander books, I’m not sure I would recommend you start here. It’s not a bad way to get a feel for the author, the way she writes and a few of her characters, but it is so much more meaningful when you already know these characters and their history.
Virgins is a prequel of sorts to Outlander. Jamie’s father has just died, his back is a mess thanks to Black Jack Randall, when he meets up with Ian Murray (who still has all his limbs) and a band of French mercenaries. Ian and Jamie end up taking a job to protect a young Jewish woman and transport her, her dowry, and an extremely valuable Torah to meet her husband-to-be. But things go awry almost immediately, and hints of the canny Lord Broch Tuarach emerge. I loved the Jewish history, the way the French and the Scots saw the Jews, something that has not come up in any of the books (at least that I can remember!)
If you’re an Outlander fan, this is a fun, albeit super short read. Then again, Kindle Singles only cost $1.99! And do check your library’s ebook collection.
Virgins is also available in an anthology if you prefer print: Dangerous Women, edited by George R.R. Martin.
4/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
VIRGINS: An Outlander Novella by Diana Gabaldon. Dell (April 8, 2016). ASIN: B01BRFMCWU. Print Length: 86 pages