Saturday, July 23, 2016

Diana Gabaldon's 'Drums of Autumn' - A Review

Knowing what the future holds can be a curse. . .

From erstwhile travellers passing through with no fixed address, or evidence of killings and the burning of property, the warning signs are clear. Roving bands of looters and opportunists are combing the ridge areas trying to find out who is on the side of the Crown and who is with the rebellious colonists. The drums are starting to beat a refrain: war is coming. Even when you know what is on the horizon, as Claire does, you know that the juggernaut of war can't be stopped.


The story of Jamie and Claire Fraser, the two main characters, is primarily about the Highlanders. This specific novel is one of a few set in the years leading up to the American Revolution, when the 'colonies' decided to make a stand for their independence.


The story begins in Charleston 1767, where Jamie and Claire have come to see their nephew off as he goes back to Scotland. Only, it doesn't happen that way, much to the nephew's delight. On their arrival, Jamie is surprised to learn that Jocasta Campbell, his aunt, wants him to assume control (with her as advisor) of River Run - her plantation estate. Jamie balks, not sure he wants to accept. His aunt is a formidable woman who likes to run things her way and he knows that. 

Jamie has also been offered land in the highlands of North Carolina, with the proviso that he becomes the leader of those he settles on the large property he will get from the Crown's representative. This suits Jamie better, having been laird of his own property in his past. Of course, Fraser's Ridge becomes a gathering point for many of the Scottish who arrive after the Battle at Culloden. Claire becomes the 'doctor-healer' of the area, even though some still view her as part healer, part witch.

This is a well-woven tale of early America. I enjoyed it as I have all of Gabaldon's books. This novel, Drums of Autumn comes after Voyager and before The Fiery Cross. All focus on the coming American War for Independence, but at a personal level.

This book will be of interest to those who reside in the southeastern USA, as most of the action takes place on that coast and further inland in the eastern coastal mountains.  It will also appeal to those who enjoy reading about the clans of Scotland in the 1800s and their lives as colonists in the 'New World'. The historical details enrich the story and reveal a life before electricity and formal medicine. Recommended, of course.

I'm currently reading  the next Gabaldon book, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, and a steampunk story, a Roland Yeomans book, The Not so Innocents Abroad. 


Does this book sound like something you might be interested in reading? Are your ancestral roots in the southeastern USA? If you're a Gabaldon fan, have you read this one?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here and I'll respond.  Thanks for dropping by! 

I apologize for he infrequency of posts, but until I get the family issues stabilized, I'm going to be posting as I can. Hope your summer is going well!