Drums of Autumn

Outlander, Book #4

By Diana Gabaldon

ISBN# 9780525618737

Author’s Website:  http://www.dianagabaldon.com/

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

*Beware of spoilers*

This novel starts out with a hanging.  Jamie is there to stand witness to his friend in his final moments.  However, one of the other men being hung escapes and is later found hiding in Jamie’s wagon.  They help him get past the soldiers hunting him.  Afterwards, Jamie was worried that he helped a villain.  And throughout the rest of the book, we watched Jamie’s fear prove itself true.  Stephen Bonnet ends up touching all of Jamie’s loved ones in a most negative way.

Meanwhile, in their own time, a relationship is budding between Brianna and Roger.  Brianna wants to find out what happened to her parents and Roger is more than willing to help her.  That is until he finds out something that could send her right through the stones of Craigh na Dun straight into their arms.  He decides to keep it from her.  Months later, she discovers it on her own and does exactly as Roger had feared she would.  However, this time she doesn’t ask for his help and goes on her own.  Roger is determined to go find her in the past even though it’s believed that only females can travel through the stones.  With the help of Fiona, and Geillis Duncan’s book Roger embarks on a quest to find the woman he loves and bring her home safely.  However, things don’t always go as planned.  Will Brianna and Roger’s love survive the trials of living in the past?  And, will Brianna finally see what her mother sees in Jamie Fraser?

I actually took a long sabbatical from this series (a good long NINE years) because I was getting frustrated with some of the things Jamie had been doing.  I thought a break may help me forget and let me come back to the series with a fresh start… or restart.  I no longer harbor the frustration I had with Jamie.  However, I had forgotten a lot of other things as well.  Luckily I was able to pick it all back up rather quickly.  And, starting the Outlander television series again didn’t hurt either.

I think a lot of my frustrations with this series comes down to the massive size of the books.  It’s impossible to keep me interested and happy for so long.  There is usually a section of the novel that I really like and other parts that bore me to tears.  I feel like sometimes Gabaldon is just too detailed.   Occasionally, I’d prefer a more cliff notes style of summary of what has happened instead of the boring day-to-day every move and every conversation play-by-play.

The first half of this book was so boring to me.  It really made me question why I decided to come back to the series after all.  Thankfully, the story started to pick up for me when Brianna came through the stones.  Her and later Roger’s trip to get to Fraser’s Ridge was a bit tedious as well, but the book was mostly good from then on.

I absolutely loved the scene where Jamie finally got to meet his daughter!  It was probably my favorite of the entire novel.  And, it was nice seeing the two getting to know each other.  It gave Bree a new understanding of her mother and the relationships she’s had.  Jamie took on a new role in this book and I loved it and can’t wait to see more of it!

I felt bad for Jamie though.  He did what he thought he must to protect his daughter and it turned out being the wrong thing to do.  It definitely caused a rift in their relationship.  However, if only she and Claire had been honest with him, it could have easily been avoided.  I actually enjoyed the scene.  I liked Jamie’s brutal protective side and I can’t blame him for what he thought considering how little he was told.

“My God, he thought, I’m going to die before I’ve been born.”

Unfortunately, Bree is her mother’s child and did stupid things throughout the book that frustrated me to no end.  Like going to meet a strange man by herself on his ship.  Or trying to blackmail someone into a fake marriage while her parents are out doing whatever they can to bring Roger back to her.  Which led to the most upsetting part of the book for me; Ian.  I’ve never been overly fond of Brianna and Roger and this book didn’t really change things for me.  And, they cost me to lose something I loved.

Ian has become one of my favorite characters of the series and what he did in this book for Brianna broke my heart.  I expected him to end up where he is, but under much different circumstances.  I can only hope this gets corrected later in the series.  I’m not willing to lose him quite yet!

This book had ups and downs as you’d expect.  It didn’t turn out as good as I had hoped and as good as others seem to think it is.  Overall, I just found the book to be an okay read.  However, I do feel that I need to stick with it and finish the series once and for all!  This author has managed to evoke emotions from me and even having me think of the book, the characters, and what has happened in the story when I’m not reading it so I at least need to give her props for that!