Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Echo was written in a way whereas there was actually 4 different stories going on at once which I loved and how in the end, they were all brought together. Brianna has never been a favorite of mine, can't quite put my finger on it, in the past she didn't have much depth, I guess. In Echo, I did enjoy the Brianna/Roger story, but it seemed more in tune with Jemmie than his parents.
Lord John is wrapped up in the military and trying to locate his injured nephew, his story, permeates throughout, but he doesn't come alive on the pages to me in Echo.
So that leaves William and Ian. Ian has always been a favorite of mine, his relationship with his uncle is touching and can be quite hilarious at times. William is relatively new and I found that I like him tremendously. He's military through and through, honors and respects his father, Lord John, they have a good relationship. William and Ian meet by chance again and forge a relationship of sorts. Ian's story in Echo has many different angles, his dealings with Arch Bug, his longing for his past Indian wife, his dedication to his dog, Rollo, his helpfulness to Jamie and Claire and how he finds a new love. Yes, Ian has come into his own in Echo and I have loved the experience of seeing him grow as a young boy who started his uncle's print shop on fire to the man he's become.
Ian is adorable, funny, caring, fierce and loyal. Ian gets my vote as favorite character in An Echo in the Bone, I look forward to many more stories of Ian even after the story of Jamie and Claire ends(which I hope won't be anytime soon!)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Image by informationgoddess29 via Flickr****WARNING*** SPOILERS*********
Diana Gabaldon's 7th installment of her acclaimed Outlander Series, An Echo in the Bone was much anticipated and happy to hear it is not the last in the Jamie and Claire saga. And congratulations to Diana for being numero uno again on NY Times Best Seller List!!
This book is different from the others in that the amount of time that passes which is quite short as compared to her other installments. It's about a year that transpires and I find that due to the length of the book(slightly over 800 pages), I was not expecting this. I am so used to going on a lengthy journey with the couple. Diana also included at length separate stories of Roger/Brianna, Lord John Grey/William Ransom and Ian Murray. Not quite sure how I feel about this. I look forward to listening to the audio.
A startling event in the beginning devastates the Fraser's and Ian regarding the Frenchman's Gold. The repeated theme here regarding the gold reminds me that the longer and harder one pursues wealth for selfish and sinister purpose will always end in tragedy.
I was delighted to see that Fergus has a mysterious man searching for him and he must go into hiding. However, his story line does not evolve much in Echo, my hope is this will be wrapped up quite nicely(?) in the eighth installment.
Jamie's quest is to return to Scotland to retrieve his printing press, he feels he's better suited to wage war with the British(something he's done most of his adult life) with the printed word rather than the sword. He's older now and not as agile or willing, I suppose. Jamie and Claire along with Ian make the long journey to obtain passage to Scotland, but of course becomes way-layed by pirates and when they survive that tradegy they are then pressed into service by the Continental army.
Lord John Grey and his adopted son, William Ransom, Lord Elsmere who is also a British soldier are brought into the story in a large way. Lord John and William go about their spying and such which I confess I was not that into. Lord John is trying to locate his nephew who has been injured in the war and is a prisoner of the Continental Army. William learns just how wild and unsettled America is and encounters a few dangerous episodes in addition to meeting up with Ian Murray. These two met only briefly when they were both young boys at Fraser's Ridge but develop a mutual respect for one another.
In the meantime, Roger and Brianna back in the 20th century have discovered a box of letters Claire and Jamie wrote in hopes they would find them. A very nice touch so that the family could still somehow stay connected. I really enjoyed these segments especially when Diana uses the letter writing that relates to the reader of transpiring events.
A new set of characters are introduced, the Hunter's, a brother and sister who happened to be Quaker. Denzell Hunter is a doctor and his sister, Rachel accompanies him as they have no other family. Diane sets it up so that William, Jamie/Claire and Ian all meet them separately but are all rejoined in the end to save Rachel from a man of Ian's past.
Jamie is approached to transport the body of a Fraser cousin back to Scotland which is what they had intended on doing from the beginning, but Claire is needed to attend to a very sick child of Fergus and Marsali, so even though, historically, nothing ever comes good of Jamie and Claire being separated, they must. Which of course sets up a chain of events that is cataclysmic on so many levels! I was also much delighted to see Jenny brought back into the story.
And of course, it just can't be only the Fraser's who are in a ****storm(sorry, that's best I could come up with!), the MacKenzie's back in the 20th century are dealing with strange visitors and inquisitive collegues who will shape the future of both families.
An Echo in the Bone did not dissapoint, but it is not my favorite. The ending seemed too rushed and to be honest, I'm sorry, not for one minute do I believe that Claire would do what she did, it seemed totally unnatural for her especially how much in love she is with Jamie and the connection they share. However, for the sake of shock and awe, I guess Diana got our attention!
The Revolutionary War is in full swing and there are many chapters devoted to describing camp life, battles, caring for the wounded and bringing into the Fraser's experience in all this are actual historical figures, a great touch by Diana!
A true fan of Diana Gabaldon will enjoy An Echo in the Bone for it's historical content and the incredible story of Jamie and Claire, a most revered fictional couple, but one that the reader will always carry as true in their hearts and mind
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Anyway, here is my favorite character from ABOSAA. In all of the Outlander books, I try to choose a character that I really enjoyed other than Claire or Jamie. ABOSAA had many new characters introduced, I liked them all. Ian's story tears my heart out, Brianna is just ok, I don't know why I can't warm up to her. I've picked Roger twice already and Lord John once, soooooo I think it has to be Mulva Christie.
Claire took her under her wing as an apprentice/assistant and became delighted in Mulva's interest in medicine. Mulva does not have a mother, it's just her father, Tom and brother, Allen. Claire accidently comes upon Mulva being thrashed by her father and this act brings about a memory of Claire being "spanked" by Jamie back in Outlander. Claire and Jamie have a very interesting conversation regarding this again!
Anyway, I liked Mulva from the beginning because she seemed different than the other young girls, there is a mystery there. Mulva has a defiant attitude towards her father, Mulva has plans, but woman in the 18th century are treated for the most part, no better than slaves, most are extensions of the men in their family. So Mulva does what she must to survive and is put into a most troubling situation.
As the story of Mulva develops, you begin to see the predicament woman are placed in and the hardships they must endure. Revelations of Mulva's mother was quite unexpected as was her father's tormented feelings.
While Mulva's story is tragic, she spoke to me as strong-willed young woman just trying to survive and make her own mark when the men in her life only wanted to surpress her.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Whew, talk about making it down to the wire! But actually I'm glad it worked out this way so when I get my Echo in the Bone this week, everything will be fresh in my mind. Initially reading ABOSAA in 2005, I honestly forgot alot! So thank you to Michelle @Readers Respite for sponsoring this challenge.
This sixth installment is much about the impending Revolutionary War but also much about the inhabitants of Fraser's Ridge. Groups of men calling themselves the "Committees of Safety" are going around the back country of North Carolina burning out people who will not join their cause to support the Crown. The "regulators" are causing civil unrest in the colonies, Jamie and Claire know exactly when war will break, but now they are in the thick of things, as it were, experiencing what was not written in the history books.
I found myself comparing the trials and tribulations of the folks of Fraser Ridge to "Payton Place"! Illegitimate children, affairs, deceit, in addition to kidnapping, rape, murder, sickness and the like. This installment has it all! Claire herself being the victim of many of the above. Diana has really put Claire through the "wringer"!
Claire also encounters other time travelers who help her but also in the end only want to use her knowledge of gemstones which ends quite violently.
Stephen Bonnet makes a repeat appearance, though the Frasers and MacKenzies thought they had rid of him a few years back. His demise is met with much trepidation from Brianna, can she do what she must to rid of him forever?
Through all the commotion and violence brought to the two families, the Frasers and MacKenzies continue to thrive and live in the wilderness with only their love and determination to survive. Brianna is quite the artist and she manages to make a bit of money drawing portraits in addition to making match sticks, water ways and hunting for the family. Roger has finally found his calling and becomes a minister, something they are both comfortable with. Claire finds an apprentice to assist with her doctoring and she couldn't be more happy. She makes ether which is met with much apprehension amongst the residents of Fraser's Ridge, is she truly a witch who can put people to sleep? Jamie continues his commission as Indian Agent and of course rescues the family in many forms and fashions, he wouldn't be Jamie Fraser otherwise!
A former prison mate of Jamie in Ardsmuir, Tom Christie and family, who was introduced in Fiery Cross, settle in Fraser Ridge and bring much to the story. Diana weaves their story into the Frasers/MacKenzie's lives with brilliance and excitement, one can never forget what the Christie family means to them.
Since the return of Ian from the Mohawk, he returns to himself somewhat, but there is a secret he is harboring in which he finally confides with Brianna, his cousin whom they both have a close bond. His story is sad and tragic and hopefully will continue in the next installment. Ian is always close by his Uncle Jamie to assist in rescuing and the like, I love their bantering!
Fergus and Marsali's story is brief but touching. Fergus has much to overcome with his handicap and finally with assistance from Jamie, they move to the city and Fergus becomes a printer, an occupation he is more comfortable with and in which he knows he can provide for his family.
Jamie and Lord John correspond quite bit, he doesn't make an appearance until the last few chapters when Lord John brings his son, William to North Carolina. Jamie must make a decision which side he will fight when war comes and this decision will make or break their long friendship. Brianna meets William and she is shocked to learn of a secret Jamie and Lord John have been keeping from her.
The mystery behinds the Frenchmen's Gold is finalized in this book and it was quite surprising to learn who had a hand in it all.
Brianna and Roger also conceive and a very sick baby girl is born to them. Claire knows she cannot operate, so the family is torn between staying in the past or going to the future to save the child. A historical find in the end thrilled me, Diana couldn't of written it any other way!
A Breath of Snow and Ashes is by far one of the best books in the Outlander series. Davina Porter is magnificent as always in her narrations, she truly is a talented actor.
And through it all, Claire and Jamie remain steadfast and true, though not to say, their love is not tested. Diana has made these two fictional characters so real, it's hard to believe it is a writing of fiction. You will be hard pressed to find another couple written in fiction that seeps into your mind and soul and stays with you the reader who just can't wait to hear more and never wanting their story to end!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
So, since I felt sooooooo bad for Roger and that he decided to stay in the 18th century will be my pick for this installment. Roger's character permeates throughout the entire book and we see him challenged, tortured and tested, but he preservers. He doubts himself and his ability to contribute to the family since his wife, Brianna holds her father, Jamie is such high reverence.
One section in particular I enjoyed was when Jamie was laid up, Roger took over interviewing prospective tenants. This one particular tenant knew Jamie in Ardsmuir prison and Roger got a sense he did not hold Jamie in as a high regard as the others. Roger's comment(to himself) cracked me up!
So, Roger, you get my vote again!!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
If you're on the fence on purchasing/reading a particular book or just curious, this is a great blog to join. Plus they have many giveaways, how very gracious and "royal"!
This week is Time Travel Week and they are having a contest for a free "Echo in the Bone". Join in on the fun!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Cover of The Fiery CrossDiana Gabaldon's fifth installment of the Outlander Series, The Fiery Cross begins exactly where Drums of Autumn left off, smack dap in the middle of a Scottish Gathering, at the River Run plantation in Cross Creek, NC. Brianna has said "yes" to Roger's marriage proposal, Claire, of course is very busy working in her make shift clinic and making wedding plans. And because this is Diana Gabaldon, the wedding cannot go off without a hitch! The couple along with Claire and Jamie have to get very creative to make the nuptials happen which I think was a pretty hilarious chapter!
I listened to Fiery Cross on Audio CD partly and then read the last 300+ pages. While this installment is by no means lacking in adventure, DG decided to quite elaborately describe the very mundane and common occurrences of their lives. A tad bit over the top for me, I could only take so many descriptions of Brianna's milking breasts, Jemmy's dirty "clout" and Claire's monthly "courses"! Not that I mind reading about them here and there, DG just belabors these points over and over. Claire's ministerings as a doctor are either downright boring or quite entertaining! Jamie and Claire continue to have a healthy sex life in which DG takes up many pages. Ok, I get it, they are super duper lovers....I just once want to hear Claire say......."sorry dear, I have a headache"!! ;-)
Once the MacKenzies and Fraser's return to Fraser's Ridge after the Gathering, farm life continues. The reason Brianna came through the stones to warn her parents of what she read in an article reminds them of their mortality, but the Fraser's and MacKenzie's don't dwell on it and settle in quite nicely. Jamie builds Claire a large 2 story home with a surgery to boot, they adopt a cat, Jamie makes illegal whiskey and Claire makes penicillin. Brianna's artistic talent comes to life as well as her hunting skills. Roger is beginning to feel inadequate as he can't seem to measure up to "Himself". He has vision problems, so hunting is out and he can't seem to find his place amongst the wilderness settlers. Plus the big if, is he the father to Jemmy?
What is on everyone's mind and heart are the rumors of "uprisings" against the Crown. Jamie is sequestered to put together a regiment by the Governor, the same Governor who granted him Fraser's Ridge. Loyalties are tested, neighbors will fight against neighbors. Armed with the knowledge of what will happen in about 4 years, Claire and Jamie are not that alarmed, these two really live in the moment! The fiery cross is a Scottish ritual calling the clans for war in which Jamie must now prepare for. DG illustrates a few skirmishes and I thoughorly enjoyed them.
The Fraser clan travels back to River Run to attend Aunt Jocasta's wedding in which a murder is discovered with many suspects. A conspiracy is brewing regarding the possibility of the missing Frenchman's Gold(that would of helped Bonnie Prince Charlie win the war). Oh, the tangled webs we weave!
Roger, poor, poor Roger! He's only just healed from his ordeal with the Indians(Drums of Autumn) and DG decides to torture him even more! Roger's love for Brianna and Jemmy are the only thing he can cling to. A very heart wrenching story line that makes the stomach queasy, not for the weak! Roger, get a clue, you cannot go wandering about by yourself nor should Jamie be sending you out alone as his messenger! Roger is a very intelligent man and so evident he does not belong in the 18th century!
The story begins to pick up steam when Jamie is injured(almost fatally) and he must entrust to Roger what his plans are to rid of Brianna's most horrid nightmare. Jamie finally feels Roger has earned his right in the family. Jamie recovers and off they go to seek out this demon of the past. Jamie and Roger both want this monster dealt with once and for all, but the devil's a sly one, how will they catch him?
Another twist enters towards the end and the family quite by accident is given an explanation of what they've been wondering about for many years regarding the standing stones and the mystery of the gemstones. Enter Ian Murray(and Rollo)! Yeah, Ian is back!
I was dissappointed not more was written on Fergus, DG introduced many new characters, some linger only for awhile, some stay for bit. I'm itching to see what DG can concoct regarding Fergus and Ian!
The Fiery Cross is still a splendid story as it is the catalyst to Jamie and Claire entering into their middle years and how they deal with their still new surroundings and the pending war. Though I mentioned earlier of her redundicies, DG has slowed her pace somewhat in this installment and as a reader of her works, one should savor the story of the Fraser clan, rich in it's history, glorious in it's passions and above all, strong family ties.
"When the day shall come, that we do part," he said softly, and turned to look at me, "if my last words are not 'I love you'___ye'll ken it was because I didna have the time."
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
What is your character choice in Drums of Autumn?
Friday, June 19, 2009
Cover of Drums of Autumn (Outlander)Wow, where do I start?! This is my second "re-read"(audio version) and I must tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed every word! I read it initially in 2005, so it's been awhile. I found myself remembering bits and pieces, but not remembering the exact order or what book they are in! So I was very satisfied to get it all straight in my mind!
Drums of Autumn picks up in Colonial America circa 1767 when they left the Indies, where they rescued Ian from the evil and conniving Geilles Duncan, (back in Voyager)shipwrecked on the coast of Georgia. Of course, all survived(whew!) and the small troop began making their way to mountainous North Carolina where Jaime's Aunt Jocasta resides. Aunt Jocasta being the sister to Jaime's father and recent wealthy widow. Their journey from Georgia to North Carolina, of course, is met with violence and personal loss that sets the stage for the entire book.
In the meantime, back in the 20th century, Brianna, Claire's daughter is developing a relationship with historian, Roger Wakefield who helped Claire find Jaime alive and well in the 18th century. Sparks and passions fly between the two as they both explore one another intellectually and physically. Roger knows she is missing her mother and wants to comfort her, but has strong feelings he can no longer deny.
Jaime enlists his kinsman, Duncan Innes who made the journey with them, to locate Jaime's former prison mates from his days after Culloden. Many were shipped to the colonies as their punishment against the Crown. Jaime still feels a strong attachment to these men and has been given an opportunity to make a settlement deep in the North Carolina mountains. Jaime, Claire and Ian couldn't be more happier! Ian begins strong relationships with the local Indians and adopts a stray wolf/dog, Rollo, his constant companion. Wilderness life suits the Fraser's and they begin to construct dwellings and begin a farming life. Jaime and Claire can now finally begin to relax and settle into "normal" married existence, something they hardly experienced in the past.
"It's not that I dinna want ye, Ian. You know I should like nothing better than to keep ye here with me. But what in the hell will your mother say?The adventure begins when Brianna(and Roger, but he is withholding his findings) locates a newspaper article from her parent's time, something that is most startling and she resigns herself to going through the stones to warn them. Roger, being her protector(not that Brianna, a modern, independent young woman would ever need protection, really Roger, how dare you!) follows her, but she's gotten a good head start and being very resourceful, Roger is determined he can find her as he's realizes he loves her and cannot live without her. Roger makes some personal discoveries of his own on the journey to find his love.
Soon after she arrives, Brianna meets her father for the first time, but not without much trepidation and events that create friction, misunderstanding and raw emotion for the entire Fraser Clan. Patience and love will be tested, sacrifices made and much turmoil. While I enjoyed the story of Brianna and Roger, you can see that DG has created them for a larger purpose.
Lord John Grey makes another appearance much to my delight. Other minor characters such as Aunt Jocasta, the mountainous Indians and the shear beauty that is described of their new surroundings bring such vibrancy to this installment of Outlander. Further revelations regarding the mysterious gem stones and much to Claire's surprise, another set of standing stones! Ian is beginning to grow into a young man, his fate is cast without his permission, but he adjusts, he is resolute in his convictions. Ian is awesome, I have much respect and admiration for him! Slavery is brought to the forefront, no holding back here!
Drums of Autumn is a story of a family caught in extraordinary circumstances in an extraordinary time. Family ties are tested, how will they fare?
Friday, June 12, 2009
I had been researching my family tree since 2003 and was introduced to Outlander in 2005. I believe, in Drums of Autumn, where we see Jaime searching for his kinsman to set up with him at Fraser's Ridge and other kinsmen notations, DG mentions a Scottish name, Oliphant. It's only in passing, however, jumped off the page! I have Scottish roots through Clan Oliphant. I thought I would share the Oliphant's involvement in the Jacobite cause and the Oliphant tartan. Enjoy!
- A prequel chronically the life of Brian and Ellen Fraser
- Fergus and Marsaille(and children) and Ian post Revolutionary into the War of 1812
- Jenny and Ian Murray(and children; life without Jaime and Claire, Scotland life after Culloden)
That's all for now, what would like to see?
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
"Yes, I did," I told him. "That's why we went to Paris. I'd told Jamie about Culloden-the '45, and what would happen. We went to Paris to try to stop Charles Stuart."
And so the adventure begins in the 2nd installment of the tale of two dynamic characters ever told, met by chance, married for convenience, loves for life.
At the end of Outlander, Claire lets Jaime know she is with child, his child. How can Claire ever go back to Frank. She has adapted to Jaime's time period and is known as a white witch, a healer, a woman of "the sight".
I initially thought I was reading Dragonfly out of order as the initial section page said, "Inverness, 1968". DG really takes the reader on an unforgettable adventure!
Dragonfly in Amber sets the stage for so many new characters, I especially liked Master Raymond. We also get to meet Jaime's sister, Jenny and her family back at the homestead, Lallybroch. We even get a peak at Jaime's grandfather, Lord Simon Lovat, who by the way was a real person and active Jacobite during the 1715 Rising.
Dragonfly also tells us more in detail the history of the Jacobites and Scotland's struggles for independence from England. Being a history fanatic, I devoured every word and started doing some research of my own as I have Scottish heritage.
As Claire and Jaime continue their relationship in France, we see both of their strong wills and stubborness emerge. Claire tells Jaime about the famous battle of Culloden which will occur in 1745. If only they can reach Charles Stuart who is in exile in Paris, perhaps they can alter history.
As they live in Paris, some familiar characters are ressurected bringing much pain and agony to the couple as Claire, while devoted to Jaime in everyway, cannot seem to reconcile that she has left Frank behind. I love the twists and turns of this story arch! DG is the master of setting up characters and letting us see them grow and mature into fantastic and memorable characters.
A new character emerges, Fergus, a homeless young boy, a pick-pocket that Jaime takes in. I mention him as he is one of my favorite characters. The reader will see much of Fergus in the sequals that follow!
Dragonfly is just as good if not better than Outlander. Again, listening to the audio for my 3rd "re-read" of Dragonfly has most certainly enlighted me and I found myself learning even more.
So, my review of Outlander for the 2009 Outlander Challenge and how I got hooked:
First of all, kudos to DG for writing this series based on seeing a man in a kilt on Dr. Who. Amazing! In 2004, my sister gave me Outlander to take on my vacation. The plane ride gave me enough time to really get into the story. Honestly, I had a difficult time adjusting to DG's style of writing, but it didn't take long and now when I read something else, I find myself comparing! Her very detailed descriptions and conversations is what struck me first. I guess then I figured out since I'm a fast reader, I had to slow down and savor!
It was not difficult to become comfortable with Claire from the start. She's sassy, sexy, intelligent and strong-willed. I found myself thinking almost from the beginning she did not belong with Frank, him being a historian and rather dull if you ask me! Claire's sense of adventure and love of life struck me as being quite refreshing for a main character.
I've always been a fan of time-traveling novels, movies, etc. I wish I could remember the title, it was book made into a TV movie in the early 80's, a woman looks into a mirror and is hurled back in time and becomes her grandmother. I think Lindsay Wagner played the part. I'm also a novice genealogist, so with these 2 interests, DG's method of time travel resonated with me from the start. DG has taken what is real(standing stones, gemstones) and intertwined what I consider a most fascinating fantasy of time travel most eloquently. Anyway, I digress.......
It wasn't until Claire said to herself..."he can ride me....." that I truly felt her passion and pictured Jaime as man who exudes his manliness without even knowing he's doing it! As I began to know Jamie throughout the book, his devotion to family, his sense of humor and I'm sure his good looks, how could Claire resist, even though she was married!
I absolutely loved that DG let us get to know Claire more by Column's insistance that she stay put in Castle Leoch. This gave the reader a chance to hone in on her medical skills and added substance to her character. DG brings us into the castle and daily lives of people of the 18th century giving us history of the times. Man, do I ever, more now than ever, want to time-travel!
Jack Randall is one of the most sinister characters I've met. One wonders if DG is a cumulation of Claire and Jack! While Jack Randall is evil and sadistic, the book would not be as sensational without him. Geillis comes in as a close second, more kiniving than anything! Brilliant characters all around. I would like to know a bit more about Dougal and Column and what makes them tick, perhaps we will if DG writes a prequel.
While Jaimie seems to come to Claire's rescue a bit too conveniently, DG makes it seemless and gives the reader a sense of his feeling towards Claire(they truly are two twined into one!)
The imprisonment and torture of Jaimie was rough to get through. I especially liked how DG brought Jaimie's kinsman into their adventures which gives the reader a sense of how close the Scottish clans were.
The ending was perfect, setting up for the next book with the reader salivating and giddy with anticipation!