by Diana Gabaldon
5 of 5 stars
We start with Claire Randall back in her own time, 20 years after her return. She returns to Scotland with her daughter Brianna after the death of Frank Randall. In respect of Frank’s wishes, Claire has kept her story a secret even from her own daughter. That is all about to change and is the reason for the journey back to the Scottish Highlands. Through the telling of these secrets we learn what happened after Outlander ended and how Claire ended up back in her own time.
Not only do we follow Claire and Jamie’s journey, we also get to follow the events leading up to the Jacobite rising in 1745.
Claire Beauchamp Randall: Striking golden hued eyes (often compared to the color of fine whisky), very curly brown hair that refuses to be tamed, 5″6′ and a pale complexion. Independent, strong, stubborn, kind and intelligent. Trained as a combat nurse and served in WWII as a medic. Played by Caitriona Balfe on the Starz adaptation of the Outlander novels.
James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser (Jamie): Piercing blue “cat” eyes (slightly slanted), thick dark red multi-hued hair, 6″4′, straight nose, wide mouth and scars on his back. Stubborn, a born leader, proud, caring, protective, intelligent and funny. Skilled fighter and swordsman. Well educated and left-handed. Played by Sam Heughan on the Starz adaptation of the Outlander novels.
I have read each book of the Outlander series at least four times as well as listened to the audiobooks. It is such a wonderful story with characters that seem so real you feel like you know them in real life. This book is my favorite of the series because it is jam packed with history as well as rich Scottish culture. Just writing this review makes me want to read it again. You will laugh, cry, and love with Claire and Jamie.
“But I talk to you as I talk to my own soul,” he said, turning me to face him. He reached up and cupped my cheek, fingers light on my temple.
“And, Sassenach,” he whispered, “your face is my heart.”
It starts out in 1967 with Claire and her daughter Brianna returning to Scotland for the fist time since Claire’s return. If you are like me you will be thinking “WTF, why isn’t she with Jamie!!!” Just hang in there, it is a hell of a story.
Part of the reason for Claire’s trip back to the highlands is to find out what happened to the people she knew and came to love in the past. The main reason, however, is for Claire to finally come clean with Brianna about her father and the story of her and Jamie.
It gets a little confusing to explain, but it is not confusing in the book. So bear with me here… The story is told by way of flashback, so although it starts in 1967, we flashback to what happened after Claire and Jamie left the abbey and how they tried to stop the Jacobite rising that they knew to be doomed.
“Jamie,” I said, “how, exactly, do you decide whether you’re drunk?”
Aroused by my voice, he swayed alarmingly to one side, but caught himself on the edge of the mantelpiece. His eyes drifted around the room, then fixed on my face. For an instant, they blazed clear and lucid with intelligence.
“Och, easy, Sassenach, If ye can stand up, you’re not drunk.” He let go of the mantelpiece, took a step toward me, and crumpled slowly onto the hearth, eyes blank, and a wide, sweet smile on his dreaming face.
There is plenty of intrigue as they join with the French court to try and influence key player in the funding of the rising. Mainly the king of France and Charles Stuart “Bonnie Prince Charlie”.
“I’ll tell ye, Sassenach; if ever I feel the need to change my manner of employment, I dinna think I’ll take up attacking women – it’s a bloody hard way to make a living.”
And of course there is plenty of Jamie’s wonderful humor.
Jamie shook his head at me admiringly. “And here I thought I married you because ye had a fair face and a fine fat arse. To think you’ve a brain as well!” He neatly dodged the blow I aimed at his ear, and grinned at me.
Just like the first in the series, this book is long but so very worth the time required to read it. I say this about all of the Outlander books because it still holds true, this story will reach out and grab you soul and bring you along on a wonderful journey.
Setting: Scotland 1743, with bits of Scotland 1945
Point of View: Told by Claire in the first person, with bits of perspectives from Jamie and Roger
Price: $4.99 on Amazon (as of 1/22/15)
8 completed primary books (usually 600+ pages), with a 9th book in the works.
Outlander (Outlander, #1)
Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2)
Voyager (Outlander, #3)
Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4)
The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5)
A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6)
An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7)
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander, #8)
Untitled (Outlander, #9) – not yet released
Each of the main books follows Claire and Jamie, with additional perspectives from supporting characters.
A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows
The Space Between
Lord John Books (focus is on different characters, but share characters and intersecting story lines):