I am so sad to be finished with this book. It is definitely one of the best novels I have read in a long time. I love the Outlander series in the first place but this addition to the series blew me away.
First of all, I love reading about the Scottish Highlands. They sound beautiful and I love seeing them in the show. This books went everywhere though! The setting starts off in Scotland in the 1960’s then goes back to the 1700’s. They are in and out of Edinburgh and Lallybroch though. The story then switches to an almost piratical setting. They set sail to the Caribbean in search of “wee Ian.” In the end they end up in the New World! You literally go all over the place!
The next thing I loved was the characters. Mr. Willoughby made the novel! Well maybe not by himself, but I really enjoyed his parents. He added that comic relief, but was also an unlikely hero. He added something different to the story and it was interesting to learn some new things about the Chinese culture back then. He trained a freaking pelican to bring him food and to be his pet! Loved it! I do feel as if I did not completely understand his part in the end. He mentioned how in the Chinese culture they are afraid of ghosts but he realized through his experiences that he is the ghost? I’m still a little confused on that.
I won’t tell you who, but there is another surprise guest from the first few books. They come back from the dead it seems at first. I was wondering when they were going to make some sort of appearance or have some explanation as to what the hell happened to them. This person also seemed a little bit more sinister than what I had them pegged for in the first book. I was a little disappointed as to how much I wound up hating them by the end of this book.
I was also a tad shocked to as how much I started disliking Jamie in this one as well. I usually like him way more than Claire. She has always seemed borderline pretentious to me and he was also just so honest and naive I guess. It made him refreshing. But man! Galbaldon pulled out all the stops for this one. More like she threw curve balls at you the entire story. I could forgive him once for straying with Geneva because she basically blackmailed him into it and then she was no longer in the picture for obvious reasons. But Laoghaire! What in the world! That threw me off something fierce. How could he!? And he basically adopted her two daughters! I was practically yelling at the book at Claire for her to leave him when her and her daughters barged in on them! And Jenny! I always liked Jenny in the books but then she seemed kind of conniving and passive aggressive. I didn’t like it one bit.
This book gave the readers lots of answers to questions left dangling just out of reach to us after the other books though. Like what happened to Murtagh! It was driving me crazy. He was just always there and then he wasn’t after Culloden. You gather that he was killed there but Jamie never really reflected on it or anything. You finally get some answers to that in this book.
You also get more insight on Frank and Claire’s married life for so many years. I think that’s what finally made me warm up to her as well. It was sad. And lonely for both of them. Frank still sucked the most though.
As to where Gabaldon may be taking the story in the next book… I have no idea. I’m guessing it will mostly be set in America but I hear that Breanna ends up traveling to the past. I wonder if she will be able to find them? I can’t wait to get it!