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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 Paperback 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 Paperback edition.
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Unfortunately her character arc was a little flat since her paramour, Roger, didn’t give her much to play off of. He was such a spineless whus that I had to force myself to like him. When he finally did get some backbone, it seemed contrived. Bottom line, I just never really cared if they stayed together or not. ’Tis a pity.
As far as Jamie as a father figure, good Lord he’s a tough one! Fortunately, Jamie can be at his most endearing during his apologies. By necessity, Jamie and Claire’s relationship takes a back seat, and I missed some of Claire’s fire as she was relegated more to the role of peacemaker.
Oddly enough, my absolute favorite moment for Bree was when she was very pregnant and left behind while Jamie, Claire, and Ian take off in search of Roger. With an aunt trying to marry her off to some local gentry, she latches on to Lord John Gray as a “solution”. Their dialogue gave me the only real laugh out loud moments in the book. It would’ve been nice to see more of that great back and forth repartee between the real couples throughout. On a positive note, I fell in love with Lord John Gray.
Still, it was fun reading about North Carolina in the 1760’s, especially how Gabaldon juxtaposed Bree’s 1967 sensibilities against the social ones of the day. Plus, it was interesting to read about the steps it took for Jamie and Claire to build a homestead from scratch.