Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone is the ninth book in the main Outlander storyline – the action picks up pretty much immediately where the previous book left off, with the MacKenzies return to the Ridge.
I’ve been stuck on what to say about this book – it’s not as if anyone is going to pick it up and not read it after investing the time for the first eight. Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone is exactly what an Outlander reader expects from an Outlander novel. It is what it is, and after approximately 8,461 pages, you can either appreciate it for what it is or you can reevaluate your life choices.
So here’s what I expect from Outlander, at this stage in the game: I expect Claire and Jamie to talk about how they are each other’s conscience and soul, Claire to do something outrageous while Jamie is annoyed and probably has to threaten someone, Jamie to nearly die and Claire to do something anachronistically improbable to save him. Young Ian will have shenanigans, usually involving women and turning up out of the blue to save Jamie and Claire. Lord John will sigh, curse in German and/or Latin while managing whatever crisis pops up while drinking brandy and reminiscing about something (usually involving Jamie). William is gonna William – he is a better character when not involved with Claire and Jamie’s storyline, which unfortunately looks to change with the next book. Roger and Bree…I have no expectations for them because, I confess, I skip their parts of most of the other books. I find both characters to be tediously annoying. They were… slightly less so in this book but probably because I was reading it for the first time and hadn’t had time to get bored by them yet.
Diana Gabaldon has been writing these characters for over thirty years at this point – she clearly knows them well and is fairly adept at switching POV. A Claire chapter is very distinct from Jamie’s or Ian’s, etc. She also doesn’t seem to have been too affected by the tv series, which is a very good thing in my mind. Supposedly, the next book will be the last in the series. I am doubtful. There are a lot of threads to wrap up and I sense that she wants to follow the next generation of Outlander offspring on their own adventures. I am doubtful about that too.
In short, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone delivers on exactly what it is supposed to be and I enjoyed it.