An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

For some reason it seems to me that Gabaldon’s books are less and less of what they used to be. While this one is still good, it didn’t quite have the charm that some of her earlier ones did.

In the previous books, Claire discovers she’s a time traveler and travels from 20th century Scotland to the 18th century. There she meets Jamie and eventually falls in love with him. They have numerous adventures, ending up in America where they become rebels in the War for Independence. Along the way they are joined by their daughter and her family in the past before they eventually return to the future for medical help for one of their kids.

This book has them in Fraser’s Ridge, where after a recent fire, they are homeless. They decide to travel back to Scotland to pick up Jamie’s old printing press. However, in their efforts to reach Scotland, they find themselves in sea battles and back in the United States, fighting and in Claire’s case healing for the rebel army. Also in this novel is how Briannah and her family are coping in the future, and a side story about the lost son of Jamie, William Ellesmere. Together these three stories take place on two continents and span about a year (as near as I could tell).

Once again, with Gabaldon’s penchant for words, this is a lengthy book. Its very descriptive and has quite a bit of dialogue between characters. There are some raunchy parts in it and sex scenes so its not for younger or sensitive readers. My main complaint about the writing would be that sometimes there’s so much description its hard to keep track of things and it turns boring.

Gabaldon runs a very complex plot and I feel it was a bit lost in this story. Their main aspect, getting to Scotland is put off towards near the end of the book (and then in the last fifty pages there is a way off base change in plot) and we are taken to a completely different place entirely. There was also a lot of focus on William and Lord John in this novel. To be completely honest, I could care less about these characters. I want to read about Claire and Jamie (and every once in awhile their family) as they are supposed to be the main protagonists in this novel. They maybe were in a little over a third of it which was disappointing.

I know I have quite a wait till the next book comes out as she seems to take several years between books. Hopefully that’ll translate into a better next book than the last few she’s put out. I look forward to continuing the story.

An Echo in the Bone
Copyright 2009
814 pages