In Drums of Autumn, Jamie and Claire are reunited and living in North Carolina in the final years leading up to the American Revolution. Brianna, their daughter, is supposed to be back home, Boston and sometimes travelling Scotland in the 1960’s or 1970’s; she is getting closer to Roger, a character you get to know better in this book. Brianna ends up finding her way into the past and trying to find her parents.
I honestly had a hard time with Drums of Autumn. I love the characters and the story and Diana Gabaldon is an amazing writer but her books are just so, so long. I spent a lot of time thinking that the book could have been pared down a lot and not have lost quality in the storyline. It took me probably 6 months to get through the first 300 pages. This last week or so I finally got into it though and finished the remaining thousand or so pages. I must admit, once I got rolling, I really enjoyed the novel, and that’s just it; the length and wordiness can post a challenge, but the story is amazing and interesting. I will definitely be reading the following books, I just feel like potential future readers deserve a warning about my lengthy feelings.
I really enjoyed how much Diana Gabaldon included Brianna in this book. 20 years passed between this and Voyager, so she is a young adult now grappling with her mothers disappearance into the past to find Jamie; gone but not dead. It was also intriguing to be able to engage with her in the past too and she how she walked through a time where a woman’s role was very different than women alive during the last 50 or so years would be accustomed to.
Another nice thing is that Jamie and Claire are very much in love still. I like that their relationship is different but the same; they fight like there is no tomorrow, they have a lot of sex (seriously, Diana Gabaldon really likes to write about this) and they work together to have an amazing life together. So many other stories are based on a couple having all these barriers to getting together and staying that way or having all of these things trying to tear them apart and it’s nice to have a story that just allows the coupe to be together and finds other ways to crate “drama”.
Beyond that, he characters storylines primarily consisted of finding their way to North Carolina, meeting up with some family Jamie has there and then settling on their own land and farming it. Claire is, of course, attending to people’s medical problems; she became a real proper doctor after she returned to the future at the end of the last book so she knows even more than she used to. Fortunately, this time no one is accusing her of being a witch. And there is a baby on the way, it’s Brianna’s this time though, so that’ll be exciting to get to know the baby in the next book.
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