42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
The Frasers Build A New Life In America - Outstanding Drama!,
This review is from: Drums Of Autumn: (Outlander 4) (Paperback)
"Drums Of Autumn" is the fourth book in Diana Gabaldon's extraordinary "Outlander" series. It amazes me that Ms. Gabaldon has been able to continue to delight readers with her consistently good writing, excellent plots, superb characters and meticulous historic research for thousands of pages and four novels. "Drums Of Autumn" most certainly will not disappoint fans of the series. If you have not read the three preceding novels, I strongly urge you to do so before beginning this book. "Drums of Autumn" may be able to stand as a novel in its own right, but I think it would be too confusing to enjoy it thoroughly without having read the historic and personal drama that Ms. Gabaldon details so well in her previous books.
To label the "Outlander" series as merely historical romance fiction would be to do it a terrible injustice. This is an epic historical romance, yes...and so much more. The relationship between Claire and Jamie is one of the most caring and intimate I have ever encountered - in fiction or real life. This is a couple who are solidly committed to a life together for better or worse. Theirs is a love that truly transcends the boundaries of time.
More than twenty years before this novel begins, Claire Beauchamps Randall, vacationing in post WWII Scotland, stepped through the ancient stone circle known as Craigh na Dun - and was suddenly sucked back in time to 1743 and war-torn Scotland. It was here that she met and married her own true love, highlander James Fraser. Before the tragic battle of Culloden Moor she was forced to return to the 20th century to protect herself and her unborn daughter, abandoning Jamie in the process. Two decades later Claire made the journey back through the stones to reunite with James in the 18th century, leaving their grown daughter, Brianna, behind.
James and Claire both agreed that there was no possibility to build a life for themselves in Scotland. The clans had been forced to disband, the people were starving and living in abject poverty, most of the men were dead, crippled, imprisoned and or jobless as a result of the doomed Jacobite uprising. The Frasers along with a few friends and James' nephew, Ian, cross the Atlantic and make their way to North Carolina where Jamie's aunt has a plantation. At the same parallel time, 20th century Brianna and her beloved Scottish boyfriend Roger discover some terrifying information about Claire's and Jamie's fate. Brianna is determined to reach her parents somehow and warn them of coming events, hoping to change the future. The inevitability of these events and the frustration and inability to change the future continue to be strong themes.
This is a phenomenal novel! Ms. Gabaldon details frontier life in beautiful 18th century North Carolina so clearly and accurately that one literally feels swept back in time. Claire and James have grown tremendously as characters, as have the love and intimacy between them. New characters are introduced, as well as a marvelously vile villain. This is also Brianna's story. She becomes a woman with a woman's responsibilities in "Drums Of Autumn." I cannot recommend this book and series highly enough.