Drums of Autumn

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

Here is the summary from goodreads:

“In this breathtaking novel—rich in history and adventure—The New York Times bestselling author Diana Gabaldon continues the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser that began with the now-classic novel Outlander and continued in Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager. Once again spanning continents and centuries, Diana Gabaldon has created a work of sheer passion and brilliance….

“It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice.

“Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna….

“Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history … and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past … or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong…”

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*** Spoilers to Follow ***

I started this book before the fourth began, but it took well over a year for me to finish it because I was a new mother, still nursing, and just got off maternity leave. It was difficult finding time to read and get back into the habit of reading every day. Not until my son turned 18 months could I finally get into a rhythm with my reading and finally finish this doorstop of a book.

Since I finished this after the season, I have to compare the show to the book because that’s all I could think about while reading.

I wish the show focused more on Brianna and less on Otter tooth and all the action. The fourth season felt like it jumped around from what was happening with Brianna and her developing relationship with Jamie and the tension between the Native Americans and the settlers. It felt like the tension was included just for the drama, but it didn’t flow well.

This makes me think that Outlander needs more episodes than 10 or 12. There’s so much character development that gets left in the books and the timeline just seems rushed; especially when the show takes pieces from the later books.

Enough about the show.

I enjoyed the book more than the fourth season, obviously. My favorite scene is when Brianna tries to blackmail Lord John. It was the cringiest of cringey scenes. Knowing everything Lord John has done for Jamie and to have Brianna easily feel like she had the right to blackmail him because of his sexual orientation. It was ridiculous and I’m glad she found the courtesy to be embarrassed even though she doesn’t know the whole story.

If you read the other 3 books leading up to this one then you should definitely continue the series with this book. I would not recommend reading this book outside of the series because of the references to previous books. It also ends with a lead up to the next book. The story takes an interesting look at USA history. There’s some obvious points like, slavery and Native American tensions. But you do get another look at Lally Broch. I loved seeing Jenny and Ian again. I really hope it’s not the last time we see them.

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