Five Books to Read if You Like ‘Outlander’

It’s been 29 years since Outlander, the first book of the series by Diana Gabaldon, was published, and since then it has spawned a major TV show, with a sixth season on the way. This series has something for everyone with romance, historical fiction, and some science as well. Following Claire Randall, an English nurse at the end of WWII, she and her husband go to Scotland for their second honeymoon, only for her to accidentally travel back in time to Jacobite-era Scotland, where they are suspicious of her English and modern way of thinking. Fortunately, she meets a handsome Highlander named Jamie Fraser, with whom she goes on all sorts of adventures and falls in love. Outlander inspired, and was inspired, by a lot of books, so if you liked it, I would recommend them all.



5. A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain

Also part of a series, (Kendra Donovan Mystery Series) this follows FBI agent Kendra Donovan, who goes rogue and travels to England, eager to catch the man who killed half of her team. While escaping gunfire, she travels down a stairway/wormhole into 1815 England, where they mistake her for a maid from America. As she tries to adapt to her surroundings, a murder occurs, prompting her to solve the case without help from the 21st century. While less on the romantic side, anyone who is a fan of historical fiction and mystery will be sure to like this book.

4. The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winnawer

Described as ‘Outlander’ with an Italian accent, this follows a neurosurgeon, Beatrice Trovato, who travels to Italy to resolve her recently-deceased brother’s estate. During her travels she discovers an old conspiracy to wipe out Siena. She is then transported to the 14th century where she meets artist Gabriele. She must make a choice: go back to her own plague-free time, or brave it all with him. The characters and setting are told with such love that even the most modern of readers would risk a trip to past. It has history, romance, and mystery to captivate readers everywhere.



3. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

Set during WWII, a Russian girl named Tatianna is forced to grow up when the Soviet Union enters the war. While getting food, she meets a member of the Red Army named Alexander with whom she shares an undeniable connection. Unfortunately her sister loves him as well. Tatianna tries to stay away, but there’s only so long one can go through denial. With the Siege of Leningrad on the horizon, who knows if Alexander will survive long enough to choose. This book does not skip out on the romance, and it has an interesting and historical event as the backdrop. This book would not be amiss on your shelf.

2. The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

Carly Sears is a young woman widowed by the Vietnam War, and finds out that her unborn daughter has a heart defect. She is told that there is nothing to be done, until her brother-in-law suggest something so crazy that it just might work: Time Travel. Carly and her daughter are forced to separate, but nothing can break apart a mother from her daughter, not even time. While it’s set in a more recent decade, the drama will keep you reading until it ends. This is also probably more accessible to modern readers, and is a nice contrast to the rest.



1. Time and Again by Jack Finney

Stephen King called this “The greatest time-travel story,” so if that doesn’t get your attention, nothing will. Advertising artist Si Morely is recruited by the government for time travel exploration, and he jumps at the chance, landing in New York City, 1882. Morely has his own reasons for time traveling, wanting to find the origin of a burnt letter dated from that year, but plans change when he falls in love with a woman from the past, forcing him to choose between her time and his own. 1882 NYC bursts from the page, each scene written with care. Since this was written in 1970, there is a certain originality about the science and technology being utilized, rather than the more modern standardized rules of time travel. If one is interested in history, time travel, and romance, then this book has all of that and more.

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