Duchess Nicole's Reviews > Dragonfly in Amber

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
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"For I had come back, and I dreamed once more, in the cool air of the Highlands. And the choice of my dream still echoed through ears and heart, repeated with the sound of Brianna's sleeping breath."

For those of you who haven't read Outlander, I'd think any reviews for books further in the series would be spoiler-ish...mine included.

I'm sitting here dumbfounded, having just finished Dragonfly in Amber. I'm thinking about what to say in a review and trying to think back to the beginning of the book and it seems like years ago. So much has happened in the last 900 pages. Certainly, Jamie and Claire are vastly different people but so am I. I never knew I could forgive like this. Both Jamie and Claire do things in this book that, had this been any other 300 page Historical Romance or Historical Fiction, I'd have closed the book feeling angry and confused as to why an author would do that to her readers...why make her hero/heroine do such awful things to each other? Why overshadow the rest of the book by throwing in that two or three scenes that makes me question my loyalty toward them?

"Aye," he whispered, as though to himself, "I'm a big chap. big and strong. I can stand a lot. Yes, I can stand it." He whirled on me, shouting. "I can stand a lot! But just because I can, does that mean I must? Do I have to bear everyone's weakness? Can I not have my own?"

Why?

I know why, in this case. Because it made Jamie and Claire into such fallible humans, capable of such error and anger and stupidity...only to continue their lives and prove to also have such devotion, such dedication, loyalty, and this enormous love for each other. IT only truly becomes real to me when all aspects of their character are revealed, such as in this book. And this is only book two!

"Well, I'll tell ye, Sassenach, 'graceful' is possibly not the first word that springs to mind at thought of you." He slipped an arm behind me, on hand large and warm around my silk-clad shoulder.
"But I talk to you as I talk to my own soul," he said, turning me to face him. He reached up and cupped my cheek, fingers light on my temple.
"And, Sassenach," he whispered, "your face is my heart."




From the 1960's to eighteenth century France, to Scotland and the battles of Falkirk and Culloden, Dragonfly in Amber just blew my mind.

I could not help remembering one historian's description of the Highlanders' fate at Culloden - "the dead lay four deep, soaking in rain and their own blood."
The Highlanders, mismanaged and starving, but ferocious to the end, would be wasted in one decisive half-hour. They would be left to lie in heaps, bleeding in a cold April rain, the cause they had cherished for a hundred years dead along with them."


As I began reading, it was hard for me to admit what was plainly being told to me...Claire was no longer with Jamie in Scotland. No, for most of the book, she is relaying her tale of her adventures with Jamie during the Jacobite uprising over 200 years ago. These details are rich as ever, more political in the telling than Outlander was, and gives such insight into the way of life both for the aristocratic rich folks back then, but also the rabble, the workmen, the poor, the farmers, the normal people who only wanted to live their lives and raise their families and love their husbands and wives.

But men who grasp for more didn't much care for the lives of their peasants, and most everyone somehow became wrapped up in the games that kings played. Whether it was wives sending husbands and sons to war, the men themselves trotting off with pitchforks and rusty swords, the nurses and doctors and children and the list goes on. This nine hundred pages right here gives all of those details that you don't think about, and Gabaldon shoves them in your face until you can see nothing but.

And I can't help but feel such a sadness for the real men and women that this story shadows. It's such and intense feeling, to put the book down and research it on my own and realize that so much of this is true...minus the time travel, of course :D But it's hard to not dwell on the realities that are brought to light and the tragedies that played out, things that I'd never have thought of. And it is humbling...and it makes me feel guilty that I know so little of history. And I know, I know it's fiction. But what a remarkable talent to make me have all of these intense feelings, to cry for these people as if they were my own, if only for a little bit.


"I will find you," he whispered in my ear. "I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, tow hundred years without you - then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest."
His voice dropped, nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me.
"Lord, ye have me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well."


The beginning of this story was confusing and shocking and I didn't want to read it. It alludes to something that breaks my heart, and I just wanted to get to the good parts...forget about the current Claire and go back to eighteenth century Scotland. But if there is one thing that I can take from this book in particular, it is that the journey is what it's all about. I still have no idea how this will all turn out...I have no idea, in fact. The getting there is all the fun...and heartbreak...that I can take. Let the ratings speak for themselves and make your decision for you. To read or not to read? With millions upon millions of rave reviews, I think the decision is easy.

"D'ye think I don't know?" he asked softly. "It's me that has the easy part now. For if ye feel for me as I do for you - then I am asking you to tear out your heart and live without it."

Buddy read with Raquel and Anna :D Ladies, I don't think I could have made it through without you!!



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Reading Progress

March 19, 2011 – Shelved
May 17, 2011 – Shelved as: e-pcs
August 14, 2012 – Shelved as: genre-historical-romance
August 14, 2012 – Shelved as: genre-time-travel-romance
March 29, 2014 – Started Reading
March 29, 2014 –
page 1
0.13% "Starting a buddy read tonight! This is such a great series to read with friends."
March 31, 2014 –
22.0% "Gah, I feel like this is constantly on the verge of something big happening. From the way it started, I'm just sort of lost. I know what's coming but can't bring myself to believe it."
March 31, 2014 –
34.0% "Okay, I love Jamie. I really do. But does he HAVE to do something so terrible that I question whether or not I'll forgive him in each book? Serious...what the hell was that?"
March 31, 2014 – Finished Reading
April 1, 2014 –
50.0% "Gosh, this is such heavy reading material. I almost want to take a break, not because it's not wonderful but because there are just so many emotions, so many things to consider...\n "
April 1, 2014 –
59.0% ""And then, those few brief months with Frank, before we came to Scotland, seeking to find each other again. Only to lose each other once and for all, when I had walked into a stone circle, through madness, and out the other side, into the past that was my present." It's sad, because she and Frank really were in love."
April 6, 2014 –
100.0% "Who cried huge, loud sobbing tears for about forty pages? Oh yeah...that would be ME! Wow, wow, wow!"
April 11, 2014 – Shelved as: need-to-review
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: 4-star-read
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: big-thinker-book
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: cliffhanger-crap
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: currently-reading-series
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: epic
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: favorite-heroes
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: favorite-heroine
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: favorites
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: genre-historical-fiction
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: hero-is-an-alpha
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: highland
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: highly-rated
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: lessons-learned
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: hyped
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: make-me-cry
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: read-in-2014
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: recommendations

Comments Showing 1-32 of 32 (32 new)

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Ingie Full review or not, it is great so far. Glad you enjoy this wonderful series.


Duchess Nicole Ingela wrote: "Full review or not, it is great so far. Glad you enjoy this wonderful series."

Thanks Ingela! I'm so glad I finally started it.


Duchess Nicole Nenia wrote: "Great review. I just bought this book and I am so excited to read it!"

Hope you love it! It had a few slow-ish parts but it all feels necessary to me...so much detail, its really amazing. And the last 20%...gaaaaah! Then the end...double gaaaah!


Nenia ☠️ Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Protector of Out of Print Gems, Mother of Smut, and Actual Garbage Can ☠️ Campbell Ohmygosh. Does it have more feels than book #1? Because book #1 had me riveted.

/angstwhore


Duchess Nicole Nenia wrote: "Ohmygosh. Does it have more feels than book #1? Because book #1 had me riveted.

/angstwhore"


Oh, yeah...I cried for about forty pages at the end. But its a different kind of feels than book one. That was horrified and nail biting feels. This one broke my damn heart.


Duchess Nicole Enjoy! I'm waiting a bit for the next one but not too long :)


Nenia ☠️ Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Protector of Out of Print Gems, Mother of Smut, and Actual Garbage Can ☠️ Campbell I have to find my copy. ^___^;

My room is a black hole of books. I just found like eight ARCs I won from Goodreads that had fallen behind my bed. Time to catch uppppp. /fail

I've seen some people read these on binges! They must have feels of steel!


Duchess Nicole I have to have a break. Too intense. I actually put this down at around the halfway point, not because it wasn't good but because it was just too much.


Duchess Nicole And one can never have too many books ;););)


Nenia ☠️ Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Protector of Out of Print Gems, Mother of Smut, and Actual Garbage Can ☠️ Campbell Duchess Nicole wrote: "And one can never have too many books ;););)"

Anyone who says that hasn't seen my room. :D


message 13: by Jen (new)

Jen Terrific review Nicole! Hope your weekend was great, and I am sending you big hugs!♥


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish One of these days I'll read the books. GREAT pre-review review, honey!


Duchess Nicole Jen wrote: "Terrific review Nicole! Hope your weekend was great, and I am sending you big hugs!♥"

Thanks m'dear! Weekend was great. Bobby was home, so it was so nice.


Duchess Nicole UniquelyMoi ... So I Can Shine... wrote: "One of these days I'll read the books. GREAT pre-review review, honey!"

It's quite the undertaking but SOOOO worth it!!!!


message 17: by ᴥ Irena ᴥ (last edited Apr 27, 2014 10:05AM) (new)

ᴥ Irena ᴥ Lovely review, Nicole. :)
I almost envy you guys for being able to read this. :) Right now, this series isn't for me, but I'll be reading these reviews.


message 18: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda Stees-marcial amazing review Nicole. you captured everything I felt about this novel and more


Robyne Me too ='(


Kim  *Mo Chridhe* Reading the quotes you included made me tear up. Gawd I love these two. Awesome review, Nicole!


Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞ wonderful review Nicole. reading all that just gave me chills all over again. i hope u get to Voyager soon...its one of my favs!


message 22: by Wendy'sThoughts (new)

Wendy'sThoughts this review is worthy of the the subject matter you discuss... you took the time to realize the impact of those who came before us... took a moment and relayed to us your readers what it felt like... This is why i read your reviews and am thankful to have you as a friend here on GR. Your style of writing is always clear; but the bonus is your heart and sense of the things you have experienced and how you share them. A true gift.


Mistress Oh wow, your review brought tears to my eyes. Your quotes brought back a flood of emotions I buried a long time ago. This review is really great! You did a wonderful job!


Duchess Nicole Irena wrote: "Lovely review, Nicole. :)
I almost envy you guys for being able to read this. :) Right now, this series isn't for me, but I'll be reading these reviews."


Thanks Irena. I'm glad you're waiting for when the time is right. It's an odd crapshoot of emotions during the entire book. Not a lot of happy but soooo evocative.


Duchess Nicole Rhonda wrote: "amazing review Nicole. you captured everything I felt about this novel and more"

Thank you so much Rhonda!!!


Duchess Nicole Robyne wrote: "Me too ='("

((hugs, my friend!))


Duchess Nicole Kim wrote: "Reading the quotes you included made me tear up. Gawd I love these two. Awesome review, Nicole!"

I'm so glad I finally started the series. And I'm enjoying book three even more!


Duchess Nicole ✽ Sharon is an emotional book junkie ✽ wrote: "wonderful review Nicole. reading all that just gave me chills all over again. i hope u get to Voyager soon...its one of my favs!"

I just started it yesterday!!


Duchess Nicole Wendy'sThoughts wrote: "this review is worthy of the the subject matter you discuss... you took the time to realize the impact of those who came before us... took a moment and relayed to us your readers what it felt like...."

Awww, Wendy!! I need a pocket sized you to carry around with me, one that can say nice things and make me feel better when I've had a bad day :D You make me smile. Thank you so much. It's lovely to hear that.


Duchess Nicole Mistress wrote: "Oh wow, your review brought tears to my eyes. Your quotes brought back a flood of emotions I buried a long time ago. This review is really great! You did a wonderful job!"

Thank you Mistress! I can't help but gush about it, because my gosh, the emotions!!!! Such a crazy book, in more ways than one.


message 31: by Karla (last edited Apr 30, 2014 07:17AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karla Amazing review Nicole. I have read this series a few times, but I'm in the process of listening to the series now, a first for me, and a very pleasant first. I'm doing it with a friend and this is her first time around. She's experiencing a lot of same feelings you did, and for me it's wonderful to see it through her eyes. I know how it all plays out and I have to be very careful what I say to her, so I just let Kim talk and just nod my head and say..."you'll see, keep reading, my lips are sealed"!!

Enjoy the rest of the series, the ride has just begun!


Anabel I just started reading the Outlander series and the 2nd installment yesterday. I thought it could only be me that I could be brought to tears by this wonderful writers words but I am so glad to hear that the feelings I am experiencing are not limited to me.


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