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?