Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
Rating: 5 stars
This review is a bit past due. I read this novel by the second week of January, having grown ravenous for my beloved James Fraser after reading Outlander. And as you may see, if you’ve seen the first review, I only gave Outlander 4 stars.
This one (And Voyager to follow) slaughtered me.
Dragonfly in Amber is the continuation of time traveler, Claire Fraser, nee Beauchamp, and her Scottish husband from another time. It follows the pair throughout their efforts to thwart the Jacobite Rising and the massacre that takes place at Culloden. These efforts bring them to France, to the court of King Louis, to James Stewart, to mysterious apothecaries, barbaric hospitals, the gutters of Paris, and finally to the dawn of Culloden.
Without giving away too much of the tale, by the end of this novel, our pair have been torn apart and returned to one another (a plot device Gabaldon will continue to use throughout the series, though she does take a bit of a break from it after Voyager and starts taking out that bloodlust on OTHER innocent characters, but what can you do?) so many times that you’re propelled on in desperation to see them reunited.
Well, at the end of Dragonfly we bear witness to a parting so profoundly painful that I was beside myself. Literally, I sobbed openly, uncontrollably, for an hour reading the last chapters of this book.
It is for that sobfest that I give this book 5 stars. It is easy to move me to the point of tears, it’s true, but to move me to the point of all out sobbing? Not so much. (Unless I’m pregnant, which I am not, yet. I’m a softy for certain, but I can tighten my throat and tough it out with the best of them.) Move me with words, be it tears, rage, shock, joy, anything, and you’ve earned my loyalty, my readership, and my stars (Jennifer Egan can lay claim to such skill in The Keep. Review to follow.) I ran to my used bookstore for Voyager and all other installments available. Let me tell you, at the rate I am going, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, the next installment in the series, will NOT be coming out soon enough (Slated for a June 10th release… right before I leave to spend my summer in Scotland.)
This was also the novel where I had a moment of sincere wonder. In a scene where Claire and Jamie are to be pulled from one another, in a moment of desparation, Claire begs him to mark her. He does so, carving a tiny ‘J’ into the pad of her thumb on her right hand.
I have a scar, a tiny ‘J’ just below the pad of my thumb on my right hand. Let’s just say, I took a moment. It didn’t help the sobbing, let me tell you. I kept reading. Currently in the middle of A Breath of Snow and Ashes, I look forward to my bed and my book just about everyday. Thank goodness there are thousands more pages left for me to read.