Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Perfect 10: AN ECHO IN THE BONE by Diana Gabaldon

AN ECHO IN THE BONE -- Diana Gabaldon
A Perfect 10
Delacorte Press Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-385-34245-2
September 2009
Time Travel/Historical Fiction

American Colonies and Scotland - 18th and 20th centuries

For those who haven’t read the Outlander series, do yourselves a favor and go back to the beginning. AN ECHO IN THE BONE can be read as a stand alone book, but you’ll be cutting yourselves short by not getting involved with all of the characters in this long-running, engrossing saga. You need to know just how much Claire and Jamie have gone through to be together.

Jamie and Claire Fraser have survived a devastating fire at Fraser’s Ridge in North Carolina, and begin the journey back to Scotland to retrieve Jamie’s printing press. Nothing goes as planned, though. Their ship is stopped by a British Navy frigate, although the tables get turned and Jamie, Claire, and nephew Ian find themselves on board the frigate while her captain is on the ship it stopped! As they sail on deciding just what to do with a British ship, they’re fired upon and boarded by an American privateer. Then their original ship shows up! It’s all very dramatic, but they don’t end up in Scotland; instead, they sail up the Hudson River to Fort Ticonderoga. Will they ever reach their original destination?

Brianna and Roger MacKenzie, with their two children, have arrived safely in the twentieth century. They’ve bought Lallybroch and are in the process of sussing out their future, all the while missing Bree’s parents. But they do have a cache of letters left for them by Jamie and Claire that makes the bridge between centuries seem a bit less daunting.

Lord John is sailing between America, England, France, and back to America, trying to piece together a growing mystery concerning a man named Beauchamp, one named Randall-Isaacs, and the enigmatic Baron Amandine. All of whom are looking for a former French orphan by the name of Claudel Fraser who was rescued by a tall red-headed man in Paris long ago. In the meantime, Lord John is also concerned about his adopted son William who is in the British Army and has been sent on an intelligence assignment.

Fergus, Marsali, and their children are in North Carolina running a printing company and trying to keep a balance between Loyalist customers and those who support a break with Britain; the families left at Fraser’s Ridge are holding down the fort for the return of Jamie and Claire; Ian is trying to come to terms with a tragic event and to face the future knowing what he knows now about life.

AN ECHO IN THE BONE is a wonderful, adventure-filled, emotion-packed reunion with the Frasers and all who have come in contact with them over the years. As they age, Jamie and Claire have become all too aware of the importance of what Claire knows will happen in the Colonies. Jamie is determined to play a part in whatever way he can, and Claire will support him, no matter what. In the background of the war is the mystery swirling about the men searching for the French orphan.

Meticulous research of historical events, facts, and people, flora and fauna, geography, food, clothing, and weaponry brings the eighteenth century to vivid life in AN ECHO IN THE BONE. Readers will catch glimpses of Ben Franklin, Benedict Arnold, and other notables of the war. Have some tissues handy, oh, and also a fan as age hasn’t cooled the flames between Jamie and Claire. Don’t miss the long-awaited continuation of this fabulous series. It will keep you up late for a few nights!

Jani Brooks


Armenia said...

Very, very nice review. I just knew it would be a perfect 10!! Can't wait to get my copy.

Danmark said...

While "Outlander" is my all time favorite book, I had pretty much the same reaction as others to this sequel. After waiting so long to pick up the exciting and touching story of Jamie & Claire, I found myself wishing a lot less of Lord John was in the book. With all the romantic characters in these books, to make a complete series of Lord John books, to me, is a loss, I just cannot get into him. It seems everytime An Echo got going, it turned away to another direction and I wondered about the long drawn out Ticonderoga, the ship to ship to ship ocean voyage and some of William's postings in the war to this & that General story line. While I always devour the books and also immerse myself (often hate to return to the present) & always shed a tear and a closed throat, I did feel led willy nilly at times, and hated the ending(if you could actually say there was an ending. Indeed, re reading the entire series will have to be done again(such a sacrifice) when the next installment comes out. I can say I always find something in the re-reading I missed the previous 6 times, but yes, I am getting confused by sooooo many characters and yes, the jumping back & forth of chapters from Lord John, William ,Jamie, Claire, Ian & all the others. I do enjoy the Roger & Brianna storyline, Love the Young Ian storyline (my personal choice for a new book series), and while I know Jamie & Claire will eventually end, I hate to see the final " The End" to 2 such wonderfull characters!!