Outlander  - Davina Porter, Diana Gabaldon I really, really enjoyed this. I listened to it, which might have been half the fun. Davina Porter did a really good job with all the different dialects and voices.

While I know this has been around for a while and some people have loved it and some people have hated it, I really wasn't sure what to expect. I don't think I realized it was about a time-displaced woman trying to make the best of her unusual and unexpected situation. It's been very interesting to hear about how things were done so long ago... how easy it is to forget we have such modern conveniences as rubbing alcohol and clean dressings and antibiotics! Or even running water and the ability to bathe regularly.

I thought when Claire was first thrown back in time, it was a bit humorous. Of course, she'd have no idea, not knowing what the rocks did, but for her to assume it was a re-enactment was funny. And her subsequent reaction to being taken prisoner was interesting. She still hadn't quite realized she was in another century when she had to tend to Jamie's wounds the first time. They were looking at her like she was crazy when she was asking for clean rags and antiseptic!

I know a lot of people had trouble with how Claire responded to things that happened to her in the story. I saw her as an extremely strong character, and she adapted pretty well to her circumstances. It did seem as time went by that she thought of her husband in 1945 less and less. I'm not sure I can blame her entirely for that. She doesn't think she can get back to the stones on her own, and they're watching her so closely for any sign of being a spy, and nobody really trusts her... and then they foist the marriage with Jamie upon her and they have to make it legal and such... she never forgot Frank, but I think her new life was taking up a lot of her thoughts... how to stay alive, how to get back to the stones, etc. Doesn't help that the nasty John Randall looked so much like Frank. It seemed she fought in her head to separate the two, believing her Frank was nothing like John.

When I read the reviews about Jamie beating her, it sounded like he was doing it to be cruel. But the way it was portrayed in the audio version, it sounded like Jamie approached disciplining her as if he were a parent disciplining a child... this is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you. He did say she'd be punished if she did what she did! And how she was punished... it's not like he was taking his fists to her face. I'm not saying I would want to be handled that way, but it was the custom then. And it seemed that Claire accepted it that way... when in Rome and all that.

It seemed a lot of people had trouble with how much they had sex. Honestly, I didn't think it was that bad. Sure, they had a lot of sex, but it wasn't explicitly described. It was very fade-to-black. And I kind of thought it was sweet how much they wanted each other, like they were really in a honeymoon phase. If Jamie hadn't wanted Claire, if there wasn't already that draw between them, they might have consummated the marriage but then left it at that. So for me, it was sort of a confirmation of Jamie's feelings for Claire. Since this is all from Claire's POV, we don't know for sure for a while.

I was surprised at the treachery and barbaric nature of people so long ago. The things Randall did. Even the Duke and his penchant for young boys! The things people did to one another (the witch burning). And the things they believed! Leaving a sick child on a hill in hopes the fairies would return their healthy child to them? WTF? It's just been so interesting... I'm definitely continuing the series. Even though they're all massive, lol!