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Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
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Dragonfly in Amber (1991)

by Diana Gabaldon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Outlander (2)

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English (119)  German (2)  French (1)  All languages (122)
Showing 1-5 of 119 (next | show all)
Really? I don't know how I am expected to not be a blubbering mess while reading this. I was warned about this book but that didn't prepare me for it. After all that happened in the first book in the series I had hoped that there might be happiness for these characters I have grown to love. Nope, lets just give you sadness, horrors, some deaths, and an ending that left me sobbing. This series has just become depressing. I don't I can handle much more sadness for these characters. I think I will be taking a long break from this series. ( )
  dpappas | Apr 2, 2014 |
Note: Dragonfly in Amber is the second novel in the "Outlander Series." There will necessarily be spoilers for the first book in the series, Outlander.

In Outlander, Claire, a young married English nurse on vacation in Scotland after World War II, accidentally traveled back in time 200 years to 1743. There she took up with Highland Hottie Jamie, and developed her skills as a healer. As Outlander ended, Claire was pregnant, and Jamie insisted she go back to the future to save herself and her unborn child, since he thinks he is about to die in battle.

As Dragonfly in Amber begins, we meet Claire again, but now it is 1968. Claire has brought her 20-year-old daughter, Brianna - the spitting image of Jamie - with her to Scotland. They traveled from Boston, where Claire is a doctor, and they have come to see Roger Wakefield in Inverness, who is an historian. Claire’s husband Frank Randall has died, and so she plans to tell Brianna that her real father is Jamie. But first she wants to discover, if she can, what happened to Jamie after she left twenty years earlier. She knows that Roger's late father collected a great deal of materials from that time period.

For most of the book, Claire, in the process of telling Roger and Brianna the truth about who she is, takes us back to the 1700s to fill us in on what happened since the end of Outlander. As the book ends (some 743 pages later), Roger has discovered a clue to Jamie’s fate that changes everything Claire thought she knew.

Discussion: The author provides a more lucid account of the political issues behind the Jacobin rising in this book. She also has a bit of a “meta” reverie (played out between Claire and Roger) on the ways in which the historical record is mutable, depending on a complex web comprised of ideology, values, and political agendas. In the case of Scotland in the 1700's, Claire was there and knows things were not as they were later depicted. Claire explains to Roger that her bitterness is not against historians themselves:

"Not the historians… For the most part, they think what they were made to think, and it’s a rare one that sees what really happened, behind the smokescreen of artifacts and paper. … No, the fault lies with the artists…. The writers, the singers, the tellers of tales. It’s them that take the past and re-create it to their liking. Them that could take a fool and give you back a hero, take a sot and make him a king.”

This is only one of the instances in which Gabaldon takes a critical look at herself through the voice of her characters: about writing historical fiction, about writing very long books, about writing romance novels. It’s a nice touch.

One troubling aspect of the story is the fact that Claire waited all that time to check on whether Jamie was really dead. That seems hard to swallow, given Claire's character, and given her abiding love for Jamie.

Evaluation: You can’t help but get caught up with these characters, and want to know what happens to them. And indeed, you get a blow-by-blow account in these books of almost every minute in almost every day. But it’s not a bad vicarious life to be living. Claire may be over-confident for a woman of her generation, but one must grudgingly like her or at least admire her adaptability. Jamie is handsome and heroic and smitten with his woman - not bad traits about which to fantasize. And Jamie’s friends and family are all you could wish for in a loyal, loving, bonded group. Play on, Gabaldon! ( )
  nbmars | Mar 19, 2014 |
Continuing the saga, this book was less entertaining due to the level of spy vs spy in it. If the reader enjoys the court gossip, then you will probably enjoy this book. ( )
  Sovranty | Mar 17, 2014 |
This was so much better than the first one. Less violent for one thing. Looking forward to the next one. ( )
  bearette24 | Dec 26, 2013 |
Fifth reading. As wonderful as always. Jamie and Claire, especially Jamie. Sigh. ( )
  hobbitprincess | Dec 15, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Gabaldonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sallamo-Lavi, AnuirmeliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Er verdwijnen altijd wel ergens mensen. De meeste vermisten worden uiteindelijk teruggevonden, dood of levend. Voor verdwijningen bestaan nu eenmaal verklaringen. Meestal.
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For my husband,
Doug Watkins-
in thanks for the Raw Material
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I woke three times in the dark predawn.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385335970, Paperback)

With her now-classic novel Outlander, Diana Gabaldon introduced two unforgettable characters — Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser—delighting readers with a story of adventure and love that spanned two centuries. Now Gabaldon returns to that extraordinary time and place in this vivid, powerful follow-up to Outlander....

For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones ... about a love that transcends the boundaries of time ... and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his....

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart ... in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising ... and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves....

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:10 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In eighteenth-century Scotland, Claire Randall and her raven-haired daughter, Brianna, return to the majestic hills where Claire recalls the love of her life--gallant warrior James Fraser.

» see all 8 descriptions

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