Wednesday, April 7, 2010

An Echo in the Bone - Diana Gabaldon

My favourite author, and my favourite series of books! I have just finished the seventh book in the Outlander saga, and my appetite has been whet for more. Thankfully this installment has left so many little doors open that I have no doubt Diana will write another one.

These books are the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser, and are much more than just a romance. They are historical and could even be considered (in a very, very broad way) to be science fiction as Claire is a time traveller. An accidental one. It would be almost impossible to give you a brief run down of the story as it spans the time from the Scottish Rising, right through to the American Revolution - with a little bit of modern day thrown in.

In a nutshell though, nurse Claire Randall finds herself accidentally in 1743 after a plant-gathering expedition near some standing stones in Scotland. Claire meets Jamie Fraser, a highlander, and after some initial trials and tribulations (Claire first has to realise that she has travelled back in time from the 1940s to the mid eighteenth century), they fall in love and marry. Their life together spans several continents, many wars and battles, the accusations of witchcraft, years of separation, the birth of children, life as early settlers in the colony of America, and of course, life and death. Their incredible lives fill seven wonderful novels, and have even spurned a second series - a spin off about one of the other major characters, Lord John Grey.

Diana Gabaldon is a genius as far as writing is concerned. Her novels suck you in until you feel as though you are a part of her characters lives. You weep with them and you laugh with them. It is impossible not to fall in love with Jamie, and as equally impossible not to want to be Claire, and to experience the life she has - to know and understand what society was like in both modern day, and the eighteenth century. What a thrill!

The first novel was published as Cross Stitch here in Australia (Outlander in the US and Europe), and if you are ready to be swept away in a glorious story that will have you thinking about it for days after you've finished, then grab yourself a copy. You won't be disappointed.

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