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review 2021-06-26 18:21
Book #911 - 368,991 Pages Read
Drums of Autumn - Diana Gabaldon
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review 2017-03-30 13:36
Book Review: Drums of Autumn
Drums of Autumn - Diana Gabaldon

It's been about 3 years since I read the last book in the series, and I honestly have no idea why I waited so long to continue! I just finished watching the 2 seasons of Outlander that deals with the first two books, so that's what prompted me to pick where I left off... but I honestly couldn't remember a single thing about the 3rd book except that it involved pirates and they washed up on the shores of America... even after reading the wiki for book 3 I still had trouble remembering, though I'm 100% sure I read it and enjoyed it! Luckily the wiki reminded me enough to not be completely lost, and there were also a couple of references and reminders in DoA, so at least I don't feel like I have to re-read it to know what's going on... not that re-reading it would be a bad thing, but my Reading Challenge would suffer immeasurably.

DG is a brilliant storyteller and has such a way with words that you don't even notice the pages flying past. Even though this was another monster sized book, I didn't feel like it was that long. Not a lot of huge exciting stuff happened, though at the same time, a lot of exciting things happened in a normal run-of-the-mill daily life in the 1700's kind of way...

Drums of Autumn picks up after Jamie and Claire wash up on American shores, and chronicles their years there. You've got slaves, Red Indians, Immigrants... and all the drama that goes along with it. It's another fascinating look at the history of a place, and this was very close to the beginning years of modern America. Generally it's a well known history, so it's nothing that you didn't really know, but DG goes into much more detail for a closer look at customs etc.

The characters are still lovable and it felt like catching up with old friends. Jamie is still his hard-headed self and Claire is still feisty. We're also seeing much more of Brianna and Roger this time around, while other characters like Fergus fades into the background. That's the one thing that GB does that I don't really like -- she spends a lot of time building characters, and then she discards them. I guess I can live with that as long as Jamie stays front and center <3

There was a lot happening in this book, and I'm guessing that I'll probably forget a lot of it over time as I did with Voyager. There were scenes that made me cry and Jamie made me laugh more than once. The part where (view spoiler) was so well done that the tears were rolling down my cheeks while I was laughing and my heart filled with emotion. I wasn't that worried during the "stressful" bits because you kind of know that nobody is really in life danger, but still... I actually really want to read the next book and find out what happens with Ian and his situation. Ian and Rollo has definitely grown on me and I hope to see more of them in the next book.

On the other hand, we have Lord John who I never really liked, though I don't actively dislike him either. I think he's a cool dude though, and his actions during this book did endear him to me quite a bit. He's definitely a more complex character than can be addressed in Jamie and Claire's books, though I've read a couple of the Lord John stories, but they weren't great tbh...

Jamie Fraser is still my favorite book-boyfriend, and although I usually don't like the female characters, I find myself really liking Claire. Even Bree is pretty cool. I think what makes them so likeable is the fact that they are flawed. Jamie is high-handed and stubborn and I would sometimes like to kick him in the shins. Claire is hot-headed and doesn't think before talking or acting, and sometimes you just feel like shaking her. But at the end of the day you love them, and the love they share feels more real than many other "romances" out there.

I would really recommend this series to pretty much everyone, though I wish DG would cut out some of the excessive stuff. It really doesn't need to be these huge long books, and most of the time they can probably be split into various other books! Still though... read it!

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review 2016-11-02 00:00
Drums of Autumn
Drums of Autumn - Diana Gabaldon,Davina Porter This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

This series. I just can't even say how much I am in love with this series. I first read this book years ago and my family nicknamed it "the brick" because it is quite a large book. I have been working on re-reading the first four books in the series before moving forward with books that I have yet to read. I am so glad that I decided to listen to this book because the narrator brings the story to life. I actually believe that I liked this book even more during this second read.

This story is epic. There is really so much going on in this book and all of it is completely entertaining. Jamie and Claire are in America working to find their place. The story also has a focus on Brianna, their daughter, and Roger. There are so many exciting things that happen in this book. There are pirates, bears, Indians, and even a dinner party surgery.

I am in love with the characters. Maybe a bit obsessed as well. I just love Jamie and Claire. Over the span of 4 books, I have grown to know them and really almost feel like they are real. I love how much they care about each other and how easy it is to feel their emotions throughout the book. I liked Brianna and Roger but not nearly as much. This is really the first book in the series that their role is so pivotal to the overall story. They are still working to figure out their relationship and they really go through a lot in this story. Some of it was very painful to watch.

The narration of the audiobook was phenomenal. Davina Porter is the voice of Claire and Jamie. She is able to differentiate between all of the characters wonderfully. I think one of her strengths is her ability to bring the characters' emotions into the story. This is an emotional book and I really felt everything along with the characters as I listened to the book. I was able to listen to this book for hours at a time largely because of the quality of the narration.

I would highly recommend this series to others. This is the fourth book in the series and this series really should be read in order. I can't wait to continue with this series. I am ready to move on to the fifth book, The Fiery Cross, which will be a new read for me and I can't wait.

Initial Thoughts
I am so in love with this series. Everything about it is just wonderful. The characters are so vivid that I sometimes have to remind myself that they are not real. I listened to this audiobook for hours at a time and liked it as much if not more than I did the first time I read it.


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review 2015-08-13 02:02
Outlander - Diana Gabaldon
Dragonfly in Amber - Diana Gabaldon
Voyager - Diana Gabaldon
Drums of Autumn - Diana Gabaldon
The Fiery Cross - Diana Gabaldon
A Breath of Snow and Ashes - Diana Gabaldon
An Echo in the Bone - Diana Gabaldon


An amazing series, so much so that I'm halfway in just over a month! 


Very interesting historical plot line without being solely about the history - the story it tells is so intriguing it hurts. The characters are so well written and you become so attached it honestly made me cry a few times.


The TV show based on the series is equally as inciting and very good at keeping to the books which I find alot of other versions end up going away from the books or changing lot of key events (ahem GoT). 


10/10 would recommend to everyone who loves a good series to sink their teeth into!  

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review 2015-04-18 18:32
Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4) by Diana Gabaldon
Drums of Autumn - Diana Gabaldon

The love affair between the highlander Jamie and his Sassanach Claire continues.  Having successfully reunited and finding themselves in America, it's time to build a life together at last, after a twenty year separation.  Though Claire and Jamie love each other, their life path certainly cannot run smooth and whether it is the Indigenous people of the area, the untamed land, or the continual threat from the English, they must stay on their toes.

For her part, Brianna is having trouble reconciling the fact that her mother is gone. Due to the difference of time between them, Claire is technically long dead but for Brianna, her mother remains alive in many ways.  Chief among Brianna's concerns is to discover whether Claire found Jamie and if they are happy in the life they share together.  Brianna must also deal with the growing love she feels for Roger but before she commit her life to him, she must find her parents, no matter how dangerous the journey is.

The POV for Drums of Autumn changes several times but the story remains easy to follow, even if the characters seem to become more and more despicable with each word they utter.  Gabaldon continues along with the homophobia, racism and yes, rape that we have become accustomed to in this series. At this point, I believe that Gabaldon must deem these problematic elements necessary to her story.

Having the Frasers in the New World and exposed to Indigenous people gives rampant opportunity for racist behaviour.  To some degree, Jamie is a man of his time and has a racist attitude towards the Native Americans; however, this didn't have to happen this way simply because the Outlander series is a  historical fictional novel.  Obviously, even then, there were those who saw the humanity of the indigenous communities and it would not have broken the tenuous historical setting of the series to have Jamie see people of colour as his equals.  Jamie and Claire both consistently refer to the Native American tribes with which they interact with as savages.  Claire however does not have the same excuse as Jamie, because having lived in 1968, she is completely knowledgeable about the disastrous effects of colonization on the Indigenous peoples of America. Claire is only interested in the Indigenous tribes to the degree that she can learn about herbs from them.

Since the Frasers are in pre-revolutionary America, slavery as an institution is flourishing.   For her part, Claire continues to be extremely against  slavery and considering the problems Jamie has had with the English, he is not in favour of it either.  Jamie turns down a large inheritance, in part because it would make him the owner of a large amount of slaves.  Don't get excited, remember whose series this is.  Claire and Jamie's daughter Brianna feels akin to her parents on the issue of slavery and also attempts to reject the same inheritance her father turned down to avoid becoming the owner of slaves.  Brianna, however, is partial to the way she benefits from slavery.

"She ought to feel guilty at being waited on by slaves, she thought drowsily.  She must remember to, later.  There were a lot things she didn't mean to think about until later; one more wouldn't hurt." (841) 

 Owning slaves is wrong but having them do labour for you apparently isn't all that bad.  Yeah, for soul crushing white supremacist institutions, as long as those near it can manage to twist the narrative away from their privilege and culpability.

Since the Outlander series is at its heart historical fiction, in Drums of Autumn we are offered what at first seems like the star crossed love affair between Brianna and Roger.  Roger, like Frank, is a historian and, like Jamie, he is a horrible love interest by any stretch of the imagination.  When Roger pursues Brianna and asks her to marry him, she refuses and instead suggests that they have sex. Roger is quick to reject the offer and slut shame Brianna.

"What d'ye mean by making me such an offer - and you a nice Catholic girl, straight out of Mass! I thought ye were a virgin." (341)

Keep in mind that this is happening in 1968 and not the 1700's and yet Roger is scandalized.  Instead of considering the offer or reasonably turning it down,  Roger pulls Brianna into an embrace and forces a kiss on her, though she kicks struggles and even bites him.  Isn't he romantic folks? Nothing screams romantic like a man being horrified by being propositioned for sex and then forcing himself on you because he wants to mark his territory.

That's right, Brianna is a virgin and Roger has had his dalliances.  So much for the earlier subversion of Claire and Jamie.  Roger is absolutely insistent that he and Brianna marry before they have sex. Brianna's virginity will feature largely in the story.  In many ways, Brianna is little more than a possession to Roger.  When Brianna travels through the stones to find her parents, Roger swiftly follows, fearing that Brianna isn't prepared to deal with harsh life in pre-revolutionary America. When the two are finally reunited, Roger's first instinct is to threaten violence.

He slid a hand down her back and got a firm grip on one round buttock. She wore no underclothes beneath the loose breeches.

“I mean that were I a man of this time, instead of my own, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to lay my belt across your arse a dozen times or so.”

She didn’t seem to consider this a serious threat. In fact, he thought she was laughing.

“So since you’re not from this time, you wouldn’t do it? Or you would, but you wouldn’t enjoy it?”

“Oh, I’d enjoy it,” he assured her. “There’s nothing I’d like better than to take a stick to you.”

She was laughing. Suddenly furious, he shoved her off and sat up.

“What’s the matter with you?”

“I thought you’d found someone else! Your letters, the last few months…and then that last one. I was sure of it. It’s that I want to beat you for—not for lying to me or going off without telling me—for making me think I’d lost you!”

She was silent for a moment. Her hand came out of darkness and touched his face, very softly.

“I’m sorry,” she said quietly. “I never meant for you to think that. I only wanted to keep you from finding out, until it was too late. (pg 660)

So, he crosses space and time and survives the treacherous travel from Scotland to America to find her because he loves her so much but it would give him pleasure to beat her?

This isn't even the last time Brianna is attacked.  On her way to finally meet her parents, Brianna seeks to retrieve Claire's gold wedding band from a pirate and is raped for her trouble.  What would a Gabaldon novel be without rape? Like many rape victims, Brianna blames herself, wondering whether or not she would have been victimized if she had fought.  As a fellow rape victim, Jamie decides to assure his daughter that she could not have prevented what happened and of course, the best way to accomplish this is to physically assault her.  Nothing like re-victimizing a victim to make them feel secure I suppose (yes, that's snark).



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Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2015/02/drums-of-autumn-outlander-4-by-diana.html
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