#3 in the Outlander series was quite different from the first two books. We left off with Claire going back to her own time to save her unborn child and for Jamie to meet his death at the battle of Culloden. Well we know that the only way the series is continuing is if...
...YES Jamie is alive!!! This book starts by revealing that Jamie lived through the battle (surprise! but not really) and what he went through after his unfortunate survival. The man that was supposed to execute him realized that he was 'Red Jamie', and the man also happened to be the brother of John Grey whose life was indebted to Jamie. He was put on a carriage to Lallybroch with a festering wound in his leg and lived in a cave for a long time.
Claire, believing Jamie to be dead, raised their child in America with Frank until his death (and also studied to be a doctor/surgeon). She felt that it was time to take Brianna to Scotland to tell her about her real parentage and also to look into whether Jamie was able to save his kinsman from the battle. It was during this inquiry with an old friend that Claire learned that Jamie did not die as planned, and she's determined to go back to him and leave her life (and daughter) behind to do so.
There were a few problems I had with this one, but first I have to mention that it is written just as beautifully as I now have come to expect from Diana Gabaldon. I wasn't bothered by Claire leaving Brianna behind just because she was old enough to care for herself and I felt that the author really captured her being torn between her love for Jamie and her love for her daughter enough to portray the emotionality behind how hard the decision was for her. What I was bothered by was how the books are set in our world, which we know to be very large, and yet they met the same characters continuously around the globe. How did it happen that all of these people just happened to go from Scotland, to France, to Hispaniola and all at the same time? And it's not just one or two people, it's upwards of 5 just bumping into each other casually on different continents.
What really bugged me was the random appearance from Gillian, again. Now there are prophecies mixed in and actual witchcraft and it's getting a bit tangled. I am glad that they ended up in America, because I'm anxious to read more about the history I grew up learning about as opposed to Scottish history that I know almost nothing about, but it sounds like we're going to hear more from Claire's daughter based on the blurb for the next book and I would rather stick with Claire and Jamie.
This book was okay, I think that there were some parts of the plot that were truly unnecessary or unbelievable for characters (Jamie having a bastard, particularly), but it did seem to move faster than DiA. I have high hopes for Drums of Autumn.