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!