Monday, February 19, 2018

Book Review: An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

Pages: 820
Genre: Adult Fiction/Historical Fiction
Pub. Date:  January 1, 2009
Publisher: Delacorte
Source: Personal Copy/Audio Book
Other Books in the Series:  Outlander, Dragonfly in AmberVoyager
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Jamie Fraser, erstwhile Jacobite and reluctant rebel, knows three things about the American rebellion: the Americans will win, unlikely as that seems in 1778; being on the winning side is no guarantee of survival; and he’d rather die than face his illegitimate son — a young lieutenant in the British Army — across the barrel of a gun. Fraser’s time-travelling wife, Claire, also knows a couple of things: that the Americans will win, but that the ultimate price of victory is a mystery. What she does believe is that the price won’t include Jamie’s life or happiness — not if she has anything to say.  Claire’s grown daughter Brianna, and her husband, Roger, watch the unfolding of Brianna’s parents’ history — a past that may be sneaking up behind their own family." 

Brianna, Roger, Jem and Mandy have moved into Lallybroch in the 20th century. Brianna, although she misses her parents greatly, knows that things are safer for her children during this time period; plus, Mandy was able to get the helped she desperately needed. Jamie and Claire have left Brianna and Roger letters updating them on things that occurred. One of the letters mentions where the hidden gold is, but we know that Jem is actually the only person who knows where it is and Brianna is fine with that.  So, this shouldn't pose a problem. Or will it?  In the past, we have Claire, Jamie, Ian and company who are inevitably going to be involved with the Revolutionary War. Jamie wants to head back to Scotland to see Jenny and family and retrieve his printing press, but he doesn't make it there right away. Disaster ensues and they are stuck in the colonies for quite sometime. To complicate matters further, Jamie's son, Lord William Ellesmere, is fighting for the British, which worries Jamie greatly as he will be fighting against his own son.  Claire knows how things will end up for the Americans, but is it foresight enough to keep her family safe?  Book seven in the Outlander series, An Echo in the Bone, is (mostly) an exciting novel filled with adventure, romance, history, and a lot of action. 

I absolutely love Claire and Jamie's relationship in An Echo in the Bone. They are always on adventures, they are at some point usually separated by some complicated circumstance, and there's always something horrific that happens, but it's so darn entertaining. There were a few events towards the end of this novel that left me a bit perplexed regarding Claire and Jamie's relationship, but nonetheless, I truly care about them.  Throwing Jamie's son, William, into the mix definitely makes things more interesting and truly tugged on my heartstrings since it's a complicated relationship.  William doesn't know Jamie's his father and Jamie tries to avoid him, but they keep ending up in each other's company....even on the battlefield.

Speaking of William, readers get to know him a bit more in An Echo in the Bone. At first, I didn't care for his storyline one bit. I thought it was monotonous as it was mostly details about the various battles and situations he was in towards the beginning of the war. It was, honestly, a snoozefest. Once Jamie and Ian's plot lines starting intersecting William's, things started to get very, very interesting as we know who William truly is and he, well, doesn't. By the end of the novel, William grew on me and I ended up caring for him after all.

Lord John Grey's story lines, which were also interspersed throughout the novel were equally boring.  Once we got about half way through An Echo in the Bone, things started to pick up again for Lord John, but that was only because Jamie and Claire entered the scene.  The thing is I really like Lord John, but his part of the story was too slow moving. I wanted to get back to Ian, Jamie, Claire or even Brianna and Roger.

Which leads me to Brianna's family who lives at Lallybroch in the 20th century.  Brianna and family are trying to figure out where they belong in modern day, where they should work, how to go to modern school, and how to, essentially, live without their family.  It's a tough transition and unlike William and Lord John's story line, I enjoyed following the events of this family, especially when Brianna would read through Jamie and Claire's letters.  Things definitely pick up for this family when an unexpected visitor arrives at their door and of course things get very complicated.

The last quarter of An Echo in the Bone was addictingly good. I was flipping the pages till late at night, which was a nice change of pace as this novel was very, very slow in numerous parts.  Nonetheless, I am still loving the Outlander series, which says something, because by now in a series I usually grow tired of the plot.  That is not the case here. I am still a fan and can't wait to read the next book in the series.  I think I'm going to have to take that one slowly though since Gabaldon hasn't finished book nine yet!

It must be noted that I listened to this audio book and although it took me F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get through it, I really liked it as Davina Porter, the narrator, is incredible.  If you like audio books, you must check out the Outlander series; she does a phenomenal job!


  1. I have a friend who is also listening to this for the first time and I think she feels it is taking forever to get through too! I have only read the first few books in this series and need to get back to it. Sounds like this was pretty good aside from the pacing issues. She has a lot of plot threads to juggle. Thanks for your review!

    1. She really does have a lot of plot threads going on, but thankfully they all sort of come together in book eight. I am finding book eight much more exciting in that the pacing is never least so far! It jumps right into the action. Book seven took FOREVER to get going. I'm happy to hear it isn't just me who feels this way. Thanks for visiting, Christina!


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