Because An Echo in the Bone is the seventh entry in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander historical fiction series, it's near impossible to write a summary without giving spoilers to the earlier books. The review contains no spoilers for this novel but assumes you've read all the others. If you haven't read A Breath of Snow and Ashes yet and can't stand even a hint of a spoiler, then skip down to below the asterisks.
The bulk of An Echo in the Bone finds Claire and Jamie dealing with the realities of the U.S. Revolutionary War during 1776–1777. Although they, of course, have the advantage of knowing that the colonists will win, they are not able to use the knowledge to avoid becoming involved.
Once they make the painful decision to leave Fraser's Ridge, they see the revolution up close. And this leads us to some of the best scenes in the novel: when Claire meets, sees, or hears about historical figures. What would it be like to come face to face with one of our Founding Fathers or a war hero or even an infamous enemy?
At the end of the previous novel, Roger and Brianna discovered a trunk in twentieth-century Lollybroch that held letters and trinkets from Jamie and Claire. We thus learn some of the eighteenth-century story through those letters and from a more modern perspective.
The novel also contains continuing story lines concerning Fergus, wee Ian, and Lord John and his son in America and Jenny and Ian in Scotland.
An Echo seems to be the setup to what is supposedly the final entry in the Outlander series. It reminded me of The Fiery Cross in the sense that, although there is a lot of action, there is not a lot of moving forward. I was left with a little bit of an empty feeling and the dismal thought that I'm going to have to wait a long time to see how it will all work out.
I am a huge fan of this series, and so when I say this isn't the best one of the lot, I am not saying it is bad. It's a must-read novel for those of us who are addicted to the Frasers, and some of the plot lines have taken interesting and intertwined paths. I'm pouting because I want to know what happens next.
I listened to the unabridged audio of the novel. Davina Porter does her usual brilliant job as narrator, and I never tire of listening to her voice. She adds just the right amount of drama and emotion to the audio to make the book come alive.
Diana Gabaldon has a wesbite where you can keep up with all the news, including rumors of the Outlander movie.
An Echo in the Bone at Amazon
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Published by Random House, 2009
YTD: 93Source: Bought (see review policy)Rating: B