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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 (186)  German (3)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All (191)
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4.25*
Full review: http://pepitamagica.blogspot.pt/2016/10/livro-libelula-presa-no-ambar-de-diana.h...
Review in Portuguese: http://pepitamagica.blogspot.pt/2016/10/livro-libelula-presa-no-ambar-de-diana.h...


Firstly, I would like to mention that, differing from the first book, this one is a bit different from the TV series – in a good way, in my opinion. The book focus on two distinct parts: Jamie and Claire in France, in the XVIII century, and Claire and Brianna, in Scotland, in the XX century. I really enjoyed reading Jamie and Claire’s adventures in France, and this book is so well written that the emotions the characters feel pass through us, and make us feel them almost in the same intense way as they do.
(...)

Jamie was forced to flee Scotland and ends up living in France with Claire, as a liquor dealer, a job given to him by his cousin Jared, in exchange for his house in Paris for the time being. Here, the couple tries to stop the Battle of Culloden to happen, saving thousands of Scottish lives (and British ones too, let’s face it). Pretending to be Jacobites, Jamie and Claire infiltrate in Charles Stuart’s close group of trusted friends, and they start to discover his plans, with the help of young Fergus, a pickpocket who was born in a brothel in Paris. Fergus, whose original name was Claudel, was renamed and got a job working for the Frasers, in exchange for food and bed. This little helper becomes part of the family immediately and it’s with great joy that I accompanied his evolution. Charles Stuart manages to raise an army and he goes to Scotland to fight for the throne.

Still in Paris, we find an important character from the previous book: Jonathan Wolverton Randall (Black Jack Randall). Every moment this character appears is filled with emotion because of the implications that he entails. Both Jamie and Claire thought he was dead, until he showed up in the French Court. And, after that moment, Jamie is glad that he is alive, so that he can kill him himself. However, Claire begs him not, to wait just one year, and Jamie ends up promising Claire he will do it only when she asks, so that Frank Randall’s future is assured. Although Jamie is the love of her life, Claire is unable to not let Frank, an innocent man that she once loved, be conceived, to be killed – or, better yet, to never exist. Let’s not even consider the huge, gigantic amount of paradoxes that these books create, otherwise we will never truly enjoy them.

During their stay in Paris, Claire is pregnant and that brings the couple together, and it gives them great happiness. I mention this because it ends up being a very important thing later in the book, but I don’t what to develop it much more, or I’ll ruin the story that is created around this child.

While Jamie is hanging around the prince and the Jacobites, Claire decides to go to work at L'Hôpital des Anges and, when they realize that she actually knows what she is doing, both the volunteers and the sisters that work there respect her and let her be alone with the patients. Claire befriends the Mother Superior, Mother Hildegarde, and they have a very strong and lasting friendship.

Claire also makes some friendships with women of the French Court, like Louise de La Tour, who ends up having an affair with Charles Stuart (and eventually gets pregnant). Although she’s very superficial, Louise ends up being a good friend and she supports Claire. She is the one who introduced her to Mary Hawkins, a young and very jumpy English girl that, according to the genealogy that Frank Randall had done, was married to Black Jack Randall and, hence, his ancestor. Claire and Mary become friends and Claire discovers that Mary is in love with Alexander Randall, Jonathan Randall’s brother, which, as I’m sure you can imagine, mixes things up a bit.

Between plots in the French Court, Claire and Jamie end up meeting the Conte de St. Germain and he makes their life very difficult while they are there, specially Claire’s. On a trip to the apothecary, she meets the owner, Monsieur Raymond, an apothecary that has something magical in him. He is an incredible character, maybe my favourite of the French characters, along with Mother Hildegarde. Monsieur Raymond becomes a close friend and even a confident of Claire’s, and he calls her Madonna, in a very loving way. When he tells her the reason he does so (and if you check the author’s website -spoiler! - about him), it’s actually a very sweet moment and a very interesting reason, which is well explained.

Claire and Jamie go through a rough patch (I’m not going to say what exactly happens so that you can feel everything as a novelty), and end up going back to Scotland with Charles Stuart, to fight by his side, now trying to help him in the battle of Culloden, and maybe even the war. And this is when Claire and Jamie get separated. Claire goes back to the XX century through the stone circle in Craigh na Dun and says her goodbyes to Jamie for good… It’s a very emotional and physical farewell, because both Claire and Jamie know that’s he’s going to die at Culloden (they are almost 100%s sure), and so this farewell is final.

And we’re back at the XX century. Claire decides to take Brianna, her daughter, to Scotland for the first time, with the purpose of telling her who her real father is – and in the meanwhile, to find out what happen to her friends and Jamie. And this is where it becomes interesting. As a History student, I’ve always been fascinated by almost every kind of research, and I really liked seeing how Claire and Brianna started looking for information about the Frasers and the MacKenzies, with the help of young historian Roger Wakefield MacKenzie, the adoptive son of the Reverend Wakefield, whom we had already met in the first book. He helps them with their research, both in the archives and in the field. Brianna and Roger get along very well and you can clearly see a romance starting between them.

But most importantly is the moment they discover about Jamie, of course, but also about Geillis Duncan, the woman who had been accused of witchcraft alongside Claire in the first book. Geillis saved Claire’s life of being burned in the town square, and it was at that time that Geillis told her that she was also from the XX century. Claire discovers Geillis at almost the exact moment she is crossing the stones at Craigh na Dun and it’s at that moment that Roger and Brianna truly believe Claire and see that she is not crazy, but telling the truth and Jamie is really Brianna’s father. After this, Brianna fully commits to find out more about her biological father and the three of them end up discovering that… Jamie did NOT die at Culloden!!! And the book ends up with Claire receiving this news from Roger..

What a cliffhanger, right????

I must say I think I even liked this book better than the first one. Even though the book was huge (1000 pages!), it was not boring and it kept a fast pace throughout the narrative. The characters hooked me into their emotions and I felt connected with everything that was happening around them. The writing is easy enough to follow and the story has a bit of everything, from romance and adventure, to mysteries and betrayals, to the scandals and journeys that show us the great imaginary world of Diana Gabaldon. A book series to follow, for sure. ( )
  Joana_v_v | Dec 19, 2016 |
If I ever need to point to a novel and state that there is an example of how an author feels a need to put all the research on the page, I've given out before about titles that have too little information but this one goes in completely the opposite direction, and the framing narrative doesn't work, no-one could narrate all that in a small number of hours, and I wish the story had been pared down to that narrative.

After many years Claire returns to Scotland with her adult daughter, her modern husband being now dead and tells her the story of what happened next and her conception.

It's not a bad read but it could be pared down. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Dec 8, 2016 |
I feel like I'm missing something here. A great number of people are continuously rating these books as 4 & 5 stars. So what am I missing in these tales that I still feel these books are just a bit more than okay, and certainly not excellent? My update from the near halfway point of the book still applies-"I struggle with thoroughly enjoying parts of this book and feeling suffocated by the sheer magnitude of melodrama. The constant fighting and bickering between Claire and Jamie is outright exhausting, and the cycle of quarreling and making-up had become redundant and boring. And there's another rape scene. Can Ms. Gabaldon write one book without using this as a plot device? It's wearisome." I will at some point move on to Voyager, because I truly do wish to know what actually happened to Jamie. There are a few really great sections that lie in these books. I love good historical fiction, particularly exploring another person's fantasy of what may or may not have transpired to real people and places of history. I'm by no means a prude, but the "love" and rape scenes in these books make it very difficult for me to take the stories seriously. They detract from the quality of the books. Ex: It's wonderful that Claire and Jamie managed one last copulation before she made her way to the stones and returned to present time. I did not need to know that her thighs were slimy with semen. It added nothing to the story for me, and left me once again rolling my eye and reading the passage aloud to my husband so he too could enjoy a good laugh. I'm so very torn between loving and hating this series. I hope my endurance in reading these pays off down the road in a later book. ( )
  Heather_Brock | Nov 23, 2016 |
Having given ‘The Outlander: Book 1’ five stars on Goodreads, I was so excited to read ‘Dragonfly in Amber’ which was the ensuing novel in the Outlander series. Although this book presents captivating information about the Jacobite movement in Scotland, and it further engages in the passionate romance between the Scottish warrior, Jamie Fraser, and his beloved Claire, I felt a little disconnected at times from the plot. When Jamie and Claire travel to Paris, the novel often wanes and plods on. Even colorful characters, such as Master Raymond, the sorcerer extraordinaire, fail to jumpstart this novel from the lagging plot line. Told from the present tense, as Claire Randall takes her daughter to Scotland to reveal the secrets of her past, this story does weave into the context of the first novel, as the reader learns about what really happened between Jamie and Claire. Given some disappointment with the novel, I will say that Diana Gabaldon continues to write with exacting detail and beautiful vernacular, using lovely, Scottish prose from the Jacobian era. For example, she has Jamie profess his love for Claire. ““Blood of my Blood," he whispered, "and bone of my bone. You carry me within ye, Claire, and ye canna leave me now, no matter what happens, You are mine, always, if ye will it or no, if ye want me or nay. Mine, and I wilna let ye go.” Who cannot love the sexy Scottish accent and the evocative prose? ( )
  haymaai | Nov 5, 2016 |
This has always been both my least favorite, and very favorite, of all the Outlander books. I loved the whole climatic ending with the final battle, but hated the fact that you start reading about present stuff and past stuff, and hated the whole living in France bit. Everything that happened in France just bored me silly, and everything was just way, way too neat/simple/polished/fell into place. Grr. I hate books like that. ( )
  anastaciaknits | Oct 29, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Gabaldonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Craft, KinukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Regös, FerencCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sallamo-Lavi, AnuirmeliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schumacher, SonjaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seuß, RitaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steckhan, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:45 -0400)

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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.

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