Sunday, April 10, 2016

Novel of The Week: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

The wait is finished...at least, in the US: the second season of Outlander is finally here! In Italy we'll have to wait until June, but that doesn't bother me because I already read Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. It took a while before I decided to read the second novel about Claire and Jamie’s adventures, but like the first one, also this second novel was no disappoint. Here’s my review and thoughts, enjoy!
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1968 - Clare Randall is back to Inverness, Scotland...and she's not alone. She's with her 20 years old daughter, Brianna, as she wants to share with her a special holiday in a place very close to her heart. While there, Clare and Brianna meet with Roger Wakefield, adopted son of the late Reverend Wakefield and Clare gives him an uncommon task: she hands him a list of Highlanders' names and asks Roger to find who survived the Battle of Culloden in 1745.

Roger is a bit confuse, but accepts. He has no idea what he will discover, but one day, during a trip with the two women, Clare will unveil to them a secret she has been keeping for over 20 years...

1744 - Jamie and Claire have left St. Anne monastery and are headed to Paris, where they'll be guest at Jamie's cousin Jared's house.
There Jamie will be assigned to an important (and, as it will turn out, very dangerous) duty: to help prince Charles Stuart, son of James Stuart exiled King of Scotland and England, enter and be presented to King Louis XV, cousing of James.

Clare is pregnant, but can't adjust that with staying at home hosting dinner parties and tattle with Princesse Louise de La Tour, so she finds a "part time job" as a nurse in a Catholic dilapidated hospital, run by Madre Hildegarde, who ends up liking Clare and will help her whenever she'll need it.

Jamie and Clare are going to face conspiracies, subterfuges and make unpleasant decision in order to help preventing the disastrous and bloody battle of Culloden and, meanwhile, trying to hide the fact that Clare is from another century. They'll have a faithful friend in Murtagh and in Fergus, an hapless French orphan that Jamie saved, but troubles and old enemies from Scotland are coming...

What I liked
I loved the setting and how well the author managed to switch from the unspoiled territories of Scotland to Paris, its intrigues and the suspicion that lingers throughout the city. The descriptions of dresses and place were incredible and they helped me to visualize the scene.

What I did not like
I couldn't stand Clare, I really hated her in this novel!! I get it, she's an indipendent XX century woman and I love that aspect of her, she's not just a beautiful woman, she's also have a brain, principles and values...but if you decided to live in a era that's not yours, you have to at least try to fit in a bit...I believe that half of the problems they ended up to have in this book could have been spared if only she had listened to Jamie!

I found this book a bit darker than the first one and, believe me when I say that you'll need a few days to adjust with all its events and misfortunes, after I finished reading it. Over all, I think it's a good continuation of the saga and I'm thrilled to see how the protrayed it on the second season on TV.

My vote: 7¾ /10

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