Friday, January 16, 2015

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Galbaldon

Narrated by Davina Porter

In this new epic of imagination, time travel, and adventure, Diana Gabaldon continues the riveting story begun in Outlander.
Jamie Fraser is an eighteenth-century Highlander, an ex-Jacobite traitor, and a reluctant rebel in the American Revolution. His wife, Claire Randall Fraser, is a surgeon—from the twentieth century. What she knows of the future compels him to fight. What she doesn’t know may kill them both.

With one foot in America and one foot in Scotland, Jamie and Claire’s adventure spans the Revolution, from sea battles to printshops, as their paths cross with historical figures from Benjamin Franklin to Benedict Arnold. 

Meanwhile, in the relative safety of the twentieth century, their daughter, Brianna, and her husband experience the unfolding drama of the Revolutionary War through Claire’s letters. But the letters can’t warn them of the threat that’s rising out of the past to overshadow their family.

Diana Gabaldon’s sweeping Outlander saga reaches new heights in An Echo in the Bone.

Published & Release Date: Random House, September 22, 2009

Time and setting: 1777 America/1980 Scotland

Genre: Historical Romance/Epic Adventure/Time-Travel

Heat Level: 2

Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns

Vikki’s Musings

I just finished listening to An Echo in the Bone. When I read it back in 2012, I did not have the audio book at the time. This time, I made sure I downloaded the unabridged version with Davina Porter. She does such a marvelous job bringing this myriad of characters to life. This no small accomplishment because this series has a huge cast of characters and for Ms. Porter to keep them straight must be an awesome task. I highly recommend listening as you read these books because at least for me, I pick up on small nuances that I would miss if I were only reading. As soon as Davina goes from one character to another, I immediately recognize who it is. She is truly gifted. The inflection in her voice lets me know what emotion the characters are feeling and greatly enhances my listening/reading experience.

As I stated, I read this book in 2012 and really struggled through it and even wrote a review on Amazon. At that time I was extremely disappointed. This is what I wrote:

This book drove me crazy for the first half, jumping around from one character to another. The part about Lord John and William was downright BORING. About half way in I quit reading for about 2 weeks, then finally picked it up again. From that point on it started to get much better. I thoroughly enjoyed the retreat from Ticonderoga, and the history with the battle of Saratoga was excellent. I was finally vested in the story. But as I got to 90% (read it on my Kindle), I knew there was no way she was going to tie up loose ends. When the book ended, I felt betrayed. Now, it will probably be three years before the next one comes out. Way too many cliffhangers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was wrong. It was not three years I waited, it was two, but that is only because I did not read An Echo in the Bone until it had been out for three years. After having read this book again, I can now say it is as amazing as the rest of the series has been. Since I have full recall of all the characters, especially Lord John and William, I feel vastly different toward their part in this book. I love Lord John’s character and now plan to read all of his stories. His integrity and honor is beyond compare.

I am not going to do a synopsis of this story. I will just say: Jamie and Claire have grown into a mature, deeply loving couple. Their love for each other is how all of us would like our own marriage to mature to when we are their ages. They are now beginning to enter their twilight years with grace and dignity. They still live life with zest and vigor, and it is difficult at times to remember how old they actually are, especially when you consider what those ages would mean in the period of history they live in.

While it may be difficult to wait years in between each of the books, I can now appreciate the amount of research and time that goes into writing this series. Ms. Gabaldon is not just writing an enjoyable historical fiction novel, her books are so much more than that. When I read the parts involving the battles at Ticonderoga and again at Saratoga, I truly appreciated her historical accuracy in getting the details right while still giving her own spin on Jamie’s part in both battles, along with his interaction with Benedict Arnold and the other historical figures in the work. She does this with a masterful touch.

Now I want to mention how differently I feel about the ending after this second reading. Of course it helps that I have Written in my Own Heart’s Blood ready and waiting for me., but An Echo in the Bone does end on a positive note. I just did not realize it until I read it again. There is an incredibly beautiful scene between Ian and Rachel that truly touched my heart. That totally escaped me on the first reading. As I mentioned earlier Davina Porter’s voice carries so much emotion, I am sure that is why I feel so differently this time around.

This has been an awesome adventure, and I am so glad I decided to read this wonderful series again. If you have only read them once, then I hope you will decide to read through them again and make sure you listen to the audio narrated by Davina Porter. It is well worth the money and you will not regret spending as it will only enhance your reading/listening experience, making it richer. Happy reading!

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