Genre: time travel/historical fiction
Length: 743 pages
Setting: France and Scotland, 1740s, Inverness, 1968
Summary: Claire has brought her daughter, Brianna, to Inverness to tell her about her real father, Jamie. Claire then relays to Brianna her live in France after fleeing Scotland with an injured Jamie (the events at the end of Outlander). Jamie is given control of his uncle’s trading house in France, which give him access to the courts of Paris. Jamie and Claire walk a fine line – acting as Jacobites but secretly attempting to prevent Prince Charles from trying to regain the Scottish throne. Their attempts are unsuccessful and Jamie realizes his best chance now is to support Prince Charles as he brings some of the Scottish families together in rebellion against England. When all hope is lost, Jamie sends a pregnant Claire back through the stones to live with Frank and raise their child.
Final thoughts: I didn’t remember this book at all. I know they go to America, but now I’m not sure how since Jamie dies at the big battle of Culloden and Claire is back in modern times. It feels almost like the story is over since all the loose ends have been wrapped up, but I know the series continues.
It’s interesting that the first book is told in real-time, but this one is essentially one big flashback. It feels much the same as the first book, though, so if you liked Outlander, you’re likely to enjoy this next book. We get more details of life in the 1700s, this time including court life in Paris. There’s a lot more political intrigue as well. Jamie and Claire have both matured and are taking a more active role in deciding what to do with their lives instead of just going along with whatever’s going on.
I’m always intrigued by what details authors focus on in their books. Some like physical descriptions of their characters, some the clothes, and some the food. Gabaldon likes to focus on sleeping together. I’m not just talking about the sex, although that is definitely present as well in this book. She constantly refers to Jamie’s solidity and warmth as Claire snuggles with him in bed. Gabaldon also shows Jamie being very tender to children, which isn’t something you often see in a big warrior like Jamie.
Title comes from: Clare has an amber necklace containing a dragonfly and at one point she said she felt as trapped as the dragonfly.
Reading challenges fulfilled: book #38 for the year, a D in my Title Reading the Alphabet Challenge, and #2 in my Reread Challenge for this year
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