Well, I have finally finished the book! At last! OK, it was very long, almost 900 pages, and I was enjoying it, but illness and distraction got in the way of concentration. I simply found it very hard to focus properly.
Anyway, here it is…
So the book was Diana Gabaldon’ latest episode (9th!) in her Outlander series: Tell the Bees that I am Gone. This is the blurb:
“The past may seem the safest place to be . . . but it is the most dangerous time to be alive. . . .
Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall were torn apart by the Jacobite Rising in 1743, and it took them twenty years to find each other again. Now the American Revolution threatens to do the same.
It is 1779 and Claire and Jamie are at last reunited with their daughter, Brianna, her husband, Roger, and their children on Fraser’s Ridge. Having the family together is a dream the Frasers had thought impossible.
Yet even in the North Carolina backcountry, the effects of war are being felt. Tensions in the Colonies are great and local feelings run hot enough to boil Hell’s tea-kettle. Jamie knows loyalties among his tenants are split and it won’t be long until the war is on his doorstep.
Brianna and Roger have their own worry: that the dangers that provoked their escape from the twentieth century might catch up to them. Sometimes they question whether risking the perils of the 1700s—among them disease, starvation, and an impending war—was indeed the safer choice for their family.
Not so far away, young William Ransom is still coming to terms with the discovery of his true father’s identity—and thus his own—and Lord John Grey has reconciliations to make, and dangers to meet . . . on his son’s behalf, and his own.
Meanwhile, the Revolutionary War creeps ever closer to Fraser’s Ridge. And with the family finally together, Jamie and Claire have more at stake than ever before.”
Phew! That’s a long blurb. Well, this is a very, very long book. And this is what I had to say about it:Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
There’s a lot I like about this book, although I also have some serious reservations. I really enjoyed meeting the main characters once again and finding out about the descendants of Jamie and Claire. I also loved the amazing detail about life in the mountains in the 18th century: the food, the living conditions, the minutiae of domestic management. Gabaldon has obviously done an incredible amount of research and this shows.
I also enjoyed much of the plot. There were highs and lows and some nail biting moments that sustained me through this very long book. A lot happens in the story.
But, and it is a big but, the book is far too long and rambling. The plot moves from one set of people to another, often with no obvious purpose except to squeeze in another piece of research driven information. There are long sections that were just unnecessary and should have been cut. And we didn’t need the details of every meal prepared by Claire! As for her new “powers” – well, this emerging story line is absurd!
I will, no doubt, read the next book, but can someone please rein Gabaldon in before she writes it?
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Now I can’t decide what to read next! Well, I hope that I can manage a couple of books before next Wednesday’s post. Until then…
Happy Reading to you all!
Love and best wishes,