The woman is killing me. Honestly, Diana Gabaldon is slowly and surely plucking me into tiny bits with each laugh, each tear, each sigh of romantic appreciation that she tugs from me with her novels. And readers, if this is what death is about, I openly and wantonly embrace it. To die from the sheer enjoyment of a book, and the emotions it pulls from my soul is a wonderful way to go.
I`m sure you`ve gathered that we`re going to chat a wee bit about the second book in the Outlander series ‘Dragonfly in Amber’. Also, as you have figured out, I adored it. I`ll try my best not to spoil for those who may not have read the first book ‘Outlander’.
This second book takes us back to a love story that spans two centuries. We are once more graced with the unforgettable saga of Claire and Jamie Fraser. Claire has been keeping her secret for twenty years. She has returned to the Highlands with her daughter, Brianna, in hopes of finally revealing the truth about that mysterious circle of stones and the man she met on the other side. How the daughter of a long-dead Highland warrior will accept the news is unknown, but Claire is not a woman to let the unknown dissuade her.
The book starts out in the year nineteen sixty-eight in Inverness before we move back to Scotland in seventeen forty-four. We get to know Brianna and see what has happened to Claire before we journey back in time. Then we are swept into the courts of Paris as Claire and Jamie race to stop the ill-fated Highland uprising. Can they stop Charles Stuart in time to save thousands of lives?
I won`t say what happens but the tale is riveting and compelling. I couldn`t read fast enough. I simply adore Jamie and Claire. There`s is a romance that leaves me breathless one minute, laughing uproariously the next, sobbing like a babe a chapter later, and fanning my face when we slip into the bedroom. Honestly I cannot find one fault with the way our leading man and lady are presented. They love each other SO deeply. Their profound love has swept them to the top of the romantic leads I have read about in recent years. Yes, I adore other couples (Jane and Vishous, Cat and Bones to toss out a couple) but Jamie and Claire is simply the pinnacle for me.
This second book does not slip one bit from the first in any way. The plotting is superb. The sub-plots are tight and riveting. The secondary characters are brilliant and superbly fleshed out. The history is presented in an enjoyable manner that doesn`t leave me skipping over dry, boring facts. The humor is human and warm. This couple is fun! There were many passages I read out loud to my daughter just so she could laugh at the warmth and wit of Claire and Jamie like I did. There is intrigue, murder, rape, violence, and yet one does not lose sight of the love story.
I`m sure you`re wondering if there was anything I didn`t like about the book, aren`t you? Well, I must admit I wasn`t too keen on all the political machinations in court. I understood how important it was to the plot to detail it all for the reader. For me though, a wee bit less of the courts and more of the Highlands would have suited better. But that was a small thing, hardly a minor blip on my reader radar screen.
‘Voyager’ is the next book in the series. Am I buying it? You bet your sweet haggis I am! I cannot say enough good things about Ms. Gabaldon or this series of novels. Please, do yourself a favor and dive into the Outlander books, be ye lad or lassie.
Listen! Do you hear that? I think that`s the sound of pipes rolling across a foggy field of heather. I must be off! Until we meet again I leave you with something that Jamie may say when parting from friends-
“Lang may your lum reek.”
(Long may your chimney smoke.)