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The Drums of Autumn Mass Market Paperback – November 10, 1997
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Set in pre-Revolutionary War America, readers finally have the much awaited fourth book in what will probably become a six book series (The Outlander series). The talented Diana Gabaldon continues Claire and Jamie's romantic love affair, and introduces Brianna and Roger's story. Eight hundred pages, and several wonderful new characters later, we wonder why we were waiting for a conclusion. It'll be a long wait for book five, so I recommend you go back and reread Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, and Voyager to keep yourself sane. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Gabaldon has few rivals in writing exciting?and hefty?historical romances. The fourth in a series of linked sagas (Outlander; Dragonfly in Amber; Voyager), her new epic has a delicious premise. Claire Randall, the post-WWII bride of historian Frank Randall, steps through a skew in the Scottish stone circle Craigh na Dun and lands in Revolutionary America and the arms of Highlander Jamie Fraser?putting a new spin on the notion of a two-timing woman. Bold and bawdy, but a believing Catholic, Claire struggles to live a rich and moral life?or, rather, rich and moral lives?under these extraordinary circumstances. Claire's adventures in 18th-century Charleston alternate with equally engaging chapters devoted to her 20th-century daughter, Brianna. Raised as Frank Randall's child, Bree discovers that Jamie Fraser is her real sire. She takes off on a harrowing, confrontational quest through time and space with her suitor, Roger Wakefield, in hot pursuit. Gabaldon's range is impressive, whether she's evoking the rawness of colonial America, the cozy clutter of a modern Scottish parsonage, the lusts of the body or the yearnings of the spirit. Her legion of fans will love diving into this ocean of romance. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club featured alternates; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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There is a large cast of characters and the reader sees each of their growth as they plow their way through perilous situations with action. The characters old and new are larger than life. We meet Jamie's Aunt Jocasta and her glorious estate which also causes personal dilemma to our heroes when faced with the immorality of slave owning. They retreat to the mountains and stake a claim, and create their own homestead. Old friends come to visit. The reader is drawn to Jamie and Claire just as they are. Once again, Claire heals all and survives despite herself while Jamie shows his physical and moral strength, and leadership qualities. . . until he messes up big time.
<<spoiler alert>> Finally, Jamie sees his illegitimate son again, and is able to spend some time comforting him after losing his mother. Also, he meets his daughter, Brianna. Even though they are miles apart and from different times, their shared sensibilities are evident. When Jamie assumes Roger a rapist due to a name mix-up, he condemns him to be a slave for the local natives. <<end spoiler>>
From midpoint of the book until the end terrible situations happen and the pace quickens. Each main character, Jamie, Brianna, and Roger, being strong willed and dynamic in their own right, bring lots of action packed adventure. Also some heroic acts by the other characters like Ian and John Grey. One of my favorite scenes took place at a Mohawk camp where they were holding a Jesuit. I would have liked to have read more story about Father Alexandre. He was an interesting new character, however his presence was short-lived, so there will never be more to learn about him. I also liked the scene when Brianna faced Bonnet and the emotional support she was given by John Grey. It's refreshing to read about characters living by their high morals.
This story had many character arcs, and some unexpected situations which kept me reading. The author does get a bit long-winded in some of the scenes, however it's worth the time for the overall story. The ending was a trite Pollyannaish, however after everything the cast went through, they deserved a happy moment. Very exciting book - I'd recommend it to anyone who likes action adventure and/or historical fiction. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.