5 of 5 stars to ‘An echo in the bone’ by Diana Gabaldon

Echo in the bone

What a cliffhanger!

James Fraser knows what the outcome of the American rebellion will be, and yet his knowledge may not be enough to get him and Claire through the raw realities of daily life in a country at war. Then, there is the fact that he may end up on opposite sides of the battlefield to his illegitimate son.

Claire and Jamie have been separated from their children and grand-children across the wide expanse of time. Can they, and can Bree and Rodger start afresh in this messy time?

I’ll be honest – I’ve been seriously contemplating giving this series up, but Gabaldon keeps throwing in new reasons to keep me reading. This installment was all about new beginnings. There was a point in the novel where I began to feel that the story was lagging with its descriptions of life in the war camps of the American revolution. Yet that sense of ‘lagging’ really added to the stark reality of the depressing conditions under which the Americans fought for their independence so many years ago.

The trip back to Scotland inserted some nostalgia into the story and heightened the emotional impact. It made me realize how amazing Gabaldon’s writing is. I haven’t read many books that cover entire lifetimes of characters, and those I have read were pretty boring. Gabaldon, however, consistently adds new, daring, frightening and exciting adventures to keep the lives of her characters tumultuous and interesting.

With the cliffhanger in this one (or should I say cliffhangers) there’s no question as to whether I will continue this series. I simply MUST find out what happens to Claire and Lord John after the bomb he dropped on Jamie at the end and I NEED to know what Bree is going to do about her son.

5 of 5 stars to ‘Dragonfly in Amber’ by Diana Gabaldon

Dragonfly in amber

Epic tale

Claire Randall has a secret to tell her daughter. Twenty years after she mysteriously re-appeared at the stones of Craigh na dun, she returns with her grown daughter to Scotland to reveal the stunning truth behind her disappearance.

Diana Gabaldon is a firm contender for the very top spot on my favorite authors list. The tale of Claire and James Fraser has everything you could wish for in a story: honor, romance, war, death, intrigue, magic, deception, history and more.

I feel as though I have been dragged into seventeenth century Scotland, and the accuracy with which Diana describes life in these times, makes me confident that I might survive it together with Claire Fraser. The emotion and graphic scenes are so well written, it’s impossible not to rise with Claire on the wings of hope, and sink with the Scots to the depths of despair.

Diana’s use of different point of views to segregate time was particularly effective in this novel. Although I love her first person point of view for Claire, the use of the third person POV at certain points in the story definitely helped me to identify the cut in timelines, provided a breath from the intense emotional roller-coaster of Claire’s adventures and gave a deeper insight into some of the peripheral characters that I feel certain will play a larger role in books to follow.

As a history lover, I couldn’t have asked for a more down to earth, graphic depiction of the Jacobite rising. As a romantic, I don’t think I’ve ever read a more stirring account of true love that transcends not only centuries, but the day to day hardships and monotony of life and loss.

Rare is the author who can maintain pace and interest in such a thick, epic tale, but Gabaldon does it with ease. I am completely, utterly in love with this sweeping series and can’t wait to get my hands on Voyager!

James Fraser quote