Spoilers for book/season 1 of Outlander.
“I will find you,” he whispered in my ear. “I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you – then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest.”
Dragonfly in Amber makes me crazy every time I read it because I always think that I skipped a book. I know a lot of people felt the same way when starting season 2 of Outlander. This book starts by jumping 20 years into the future — and back in 20th century. We find out that Claire had a daughter, Brianna, and at some point returned to live with Frank, who’s recently passed away. For the first section of the book, Claire and Brianna are visiting the Reverend Wakefield’s adopted son Roger, who’s one of my favorite characters in the series, in Scotland. Claire is trying to discover what happened to the men of Lallybroch after the Battle of Culloden, where she has always assumed that Jamie died. Claire finally reveals who Brianna’s true father is and the rest of the book takes place primarily in a flashback.
These are the years that cover their time in France where Claire and Jamie are trying to stop the Jacobite Rising. The intrigue and parties of France are a lot of fun, but my favorite part of this book is Claire’s time working in the hospital with Mother Hildebrand. I also love Fergus, and am missing him desperately now that I’m about a quarter of the way into Voyager.
Overall, this book — despite the fact that the audio version was about 38 hours long — just feels like a bridge to the next part. I spent the whole time, even though I know how it’s going to go, just waiting for Claire to hurry up and figure out what happened to Jamie so she can go back in time again. Still, it’s worth the time you spend reading or listening to it. The workings of their time in France, and the lead up to the Battle of Culloden, are fascinating even the 3rd or 4th time through.
One note on the audio version. I have really loved Davina Porter’s narration of these books but her American accent for Brianna is terrible. Especially since she’s supposed to be a Bostonian! She sounds like a high pitched little girl version of Claire. And so far in Voyager, I’m not seeing much improvement…