Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4) Drums of Autumn question


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Bree Fraser - fearless heroine or fricking psychotic imbecile?
Paulette Paulette (last edited Feb 23, 2012 06:18AM ) Feb 23, 2012 06:10AM
Was anyone else flabbergasted by the constant stupidity, ignorance and arrogance of the dipstick that is Breanna Fraser? I can't understand what Roger saw in her besides her alleged beauty. Right from the start he wanted her but she was all oooh, how do I know it's me and not my mother you want? You must tell me over and over and prove it again and again and still I'm going to find every opportunity to fly off the handle or become all sullen.

Everything that went wrong was her fault.

First idiotic move - leaving without telling Roger. He might have tried to talk her out of it but failing that he would have insisted on coming with her - possibly avoiding all the gratuitous rubbish that happened because of her dumbass bloody mindedness.

- choosing a shy, sickly 14 year old girl as her companion in a completely wild and dangerous century where two women travelling together is just asking for trouble.
Could she really be that stupid?

- Marrying (hand fasting) Roger, making love to him and then flipping out like a deranged banshee when she discovers he'd known about her parents deaths and sending him off. Huh?

- Being so arrogantly ignorant of her vulnerability she waltzed into a situation where she was out of her league and was raped. Gratuitous decision as it was by the author it would have been a danger for any woman travelling without a man to protect her in that day and age... duh! - stupidity.

- not explaining Roger or even introducing him to Lizzie causing Lizzie to draw the wrong conclusion - her fault

- reverting to Wakefield when she knew full well Roger was calling himself MacKenzie - her fault

- Jamie believing Roger was the rapist because of the above two points and her refusal to enlighten him - her fault.

- Jamie beating Roger and sending him off with the indians, not her fault but easily avoided if she hadn't been so stubborn, so kind of her fault.

- loosing Ian to the Indians - her fault because none of it would have happened if she hadn't been such a stubborn, secretive drama queen

Other reasons to dislike her - her tantrums because of her complete inability to see it was all her fault: the disgusting threat she made to Lord John - she took it back but to have threatened it in the first place ugh!; her insistence that Roger keep proving his love despite what she'd put him through and the fact that he still chose to return to her.

There were many other instances that made my blood boil all through this long winded section of the book. If the author intended to create a brave, independent female character to admire, Breanna Fraser fell far short of it in my opinion... yuk.



I've had to put the book down many times because of how annoying Brianna is. That being said I was shocked that Claire let her curse at her in Dragonfly in Amber. She just let her get away with it and it left me gobsmacked. Maybe I'm just too old to sympathize with her but knowing what Claire went through to have Brianna chew her out and then act arrogantly (thus far in Drums of Autumn) I'm just over her. I'd hate her in real life and I don't much like her in the book.


K Jul 27, 2018 06:57AM   0 votes
I have to say that while I don't like Brianna all the time, she didn't owe Roger an explanation or a notice of her leaving. She was a free woman. Honestly i'm annoyed that she's even with Roger because I don't particularly like him. I began to like him more after he stepped up to Jamie. She's young and headstrong and I wish she would've stayed single longer.


I'm about 100 pages away from the end of The Fiery Cross myself. This book has been a long and arduous task for me. It seems to have just dragged on and on.
One of the hardest things about this book has been following Brianna's relationship with Roger. Brianna is downright abusive most of the time. Roger is always being "glowered" at. He's walking on eggshells with her temper.
Jamie and Claire for instance. Claire will play around with Jamie and pinch him or something else cutesy. But Brianna comes at Roger swinging her fists. She's always "narrowing her blue eyes" at him. He's always second guessing himself when he goes to say something to her for fear of upsetting her. I swear, when I read from his perspective it's like he has battered husband syndrome. There should be a difference between feminism and abuse. And to be perfectly honest, if you're a gung-ho feminist, these probably aren't the books for you anyhow.
I just keep hoping that Brianna will ease up on Roger. I like the way her character interacts with the others. She's a good mother and daughter. She's complex and interesting in so many ways! But as a wife, she seems to leave a lot to be desired.


Mrsbooks (last edited Jul 02, 2014 04:35AM ) Jul 02, 2014 04:20AM   0 votes
Haha, yes! So annoying. I didn't like Brees character much but she grew on me in later books. But you know who the early Bree reminds me of? All the feminists who hate this series for the way Claire allows herself to be treated (esp spanking/beating scene).

I'm not saying that I'm not all for female rights. After all, I am a female. But almost every time I read a bad review or someone complain about modern Claire and her lack of feminism, I'm thinking, what on earth do you expect???

Well the answer to that question is Bree in DOA and look where it got her. You can't just act all modernly independent and vocal back then especially without male protection. But I'm thinking these bad reviewers might act quite similarly since they just don't get it.

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Sunda Hey @MrsBooks -- I didn't see your comment until just now -- I certainly didn't mean to not answer you -- apologies! I guess I just attribute it to ge ...more
Apr 02, 2015 05:16PM

Psychotic for sure. She is certainly abusive of Roger. She just tried to hit him in the head with a broom in ABOSAA, and I know there were other times where she abused him.


I think it's really interesting you feel this way... and I don't feel strongly enough about Brianna one way or another to really argue. But I will mention that there are a couple of items you listed that I don't necessarily agree with.
A few of your points relate to her seeming blindness to the danger of the times. And I don't think it's blatant stupidity so much as she's grown up in the 1960's. A relatively safe time, (like Claire, when Jamie would scold her constantly for not understanding the time she was in and having romanticized ideas of it all) and academically knowing that something is dangerous, and ACTUALLY knowing that something is dangerous can be two completely different things.
I completely agree with you though, that she should have opened her mouth about Roger to avoid the stuff that resulted from her silence.
The other part I'd have to argue is regarding her constant need for Roger to prove himself. Roger took off on her. He left.(Or was it that he just failed to return... I haven't read the book in a while) That's no small misunderstanding. He honestly didn't know if he could stay by her side or not, and she knew it. That's enough to rock the foundation of any relationship. Speaking from experience, it will demolish trust, and the loss of trust can infect and destroy a relationship. The fact that she is constantly seeking proof of his love is no surprise to me.
I guess my last point would be that while she's done some stupid stuff, the book wouldn't have been nearly as interesting if everything had all gone perfectly!
I tend to ramble, so I hope that made sense :)


- are you saying that you wouldn't have been pissed off if you found out that your husband knew that your parents had died and hadn't told you? remember, Roger had found out a while before she went back in time...maybe as much as a year...I would be pissed and likely kick his ass from here to kingdom come - a marriage should be based on trust, and that would kill a lot of that trust for me

- Wasn't she actively looking for Roger after she got rid of him? She only knew him by the name Wakefield, so that makes sense...she had Jamie asking people in the town, and stuff looking for him...it wasn't until he had her draw the picture of him that he realized who it was...Lizzie is the one who told Jamie about MacKenzie and him hurting Brianna


What about going to see Bonnett when almost ninth months pregnant and then ending up setting him free? Because she feels the need to talk to him?

Or blackmailing Lord John Grey to marry her? Those are my top two stupid Bree moves!


I absolutely despise Bree's character now, she was tolerable right until she threw all common sense out the window after Roger left to get the gemstones.

It wasn't that she made mistakes, it was how she made them. She is suppose to have some knowledge of the 18th century, she gets warned about her outfit, but chooses not to listen and throws a fit about it. Regardless of how angry she felt towards Roger, she behaved foolishly to a fault. So much so that I couldn't see her mistakes as errors of judgement, but a part of her personality which turned out to be even more ''colourful.'' Stubborn and Foolish being key aspects.

She may have been accustomed to the safety she felt in the 60s, but honestly I wouldn't walk into a closed room or place I couldn't escape with someone I didn't trust or know alone NOW, in the 21st century. It is after this point of the story, my thoughts on the whole book start to diminish. As for some reason all the other characters starts behaving as if they weren't well rounded, intelligent characters previously. She comes across as spoilt, brat-ish, and very selfish.

I can't say I love Roger or feel at all compelled by their love story any more, but I can read about him without feeling my blood pressure rise due to anger. Her blackmailing Lord John (I really don't give a rats backside she took it back,) was the kind of behaviour that made me think of how William was conceived.

And why, did she go and explicitly tell her rapist she was having his baby. How is she able to forgive him by request, because Jamie said so in a letter? It took Jamie how many years to not think of it as much?

I do apologize if I seem overly angry, this is due to having finished this book this morning and haven't yet been able to vent my frustrations. Hopefully it'll subside, I don't know how I can move on to the next book otherwise.


I assumed I was the only one who wasn't impressed with Brianna at all. More her personality though I hope she gets stronger and more empathetic for others.
Her life mistakes I have been chalking up to ignorance.


I agree Bre is one of the most annoying characters in the series. I just finished Drums of Autumn and found her insufferable for all the reasons Paulette mentions. Allegedly she loves Roger but never treats him like it. Their relationship is such a contrast to Claire and Jaime and I prefer the focus on them rather than her.


Paulette wrote: "Was anyone else flabbergasted by the constant stupidity, ignorance and arrogance of the dipstick that is Breanna Fraser? I can't understand what Roger saw in her besides her alleged beauty. Right f..."

YES! OMG, I was. And her traits emphasized the traits in Jamie that I think are annoying.


The original post are my thoughts exactly. Jamie and Claire are both stubborn in their own ways, but they have logic. Bree simply refuses to listen to anyone else, unless it's her temper speaking to her. I really didn't like her on my first read through, and I reread Drums 3 weeks ago. I was determined to read it with an open mind, because I'd never liked Bree. But no, that didn't help. She was just as foolish, stubborn, spoilt, childish, arrogant and selfish as the first time. My full rant on Brianna Fraser is on my tumblr page, jamiefraserlovers.tumblr.com


Leda I feel your anger!


I could not have said it better! Could not agree more!
I hate her!
Everything that happened was her fault!
Here, add this to your list.
She was supposed to be loyal. There are various comments that she was loyal to Frank as in she studied history for a while out of loyalty to her father. If she was so loyal, how come she betrayed Roger at every opportunity?
On that note, she'd studied history in school and with Frank! There is no way she could not have known the danger she was in! And BS to the comment above that she was 19 or 20. She was a college graduate with a degree in engineering! I know engineers. They are highly logical people.
I remember being in my early 20s. I knew better than to put myself in dangerous situations back then. I was not an idiot! I wouldn't have been so reckless, even as a teenager!


I also am not the biggest fan of Brianna...but with that said, I don't love Claire either. I am much more a fan of the male characters (Jamie (of course), Ian, Roger, John, William, etc.)


I've never cared for Bree. It's not even so much that I dislike her, but she isn't an appealing enough character to have to much book dedicated to her, and her romance with Roger feels forced.


Well, Brianna isn't my favorite character in the books, but she's not all that terrible! If you look at Diana's website, she does say she had a hard time with writing Brianna. She needed Claire and Jamie to have a child, and Brianna was it, but she wasn't entirely comfortable with Brianna. At least, at first. Brianna has grown on my over the books. Yes, she did do some stupid things at 22, but a lot of people do.


Paulette wrote: "Was anyone else flabbergasted by the constant stupidity, ignorance and arrogance of the dipstick that is Breanna Fraser? I can't understand what Roger saw in her besides her alleged beauty. Right f..."

I think what Gabaldon was trying to create in Breanna is a truer to real life portrayal of a person whose stubborness is a primary feature of her personality. While her stubborness helps her in many ways, it hinders her in others.
Plus, it is easy to see,when reading a fictional book, the consequences of unwise choices. But real people, even very smart people, do stupid things all the time. Even without the issue of being transported to a different time. Good thing our bad choices aren't recorded in a book, or we might look a little unlikeable as well!
I like her character. She is smart, tough, creative, loving, and very, very stubborn like her daddy. Of course she's going to do some stupid stuff! The story wouldn't be very interesting if the characters were perfect!


Drums of Autumn may be the last of this series I read, largely because of all the Brianna-related situations Paulette listed. I really hate communication misunderstandings where the reader knows both sides that the characters fail to say to each other (mistaken identity is another pet peeve), and this book was full of them. I skipped big sections, just wanting to get to the resolution of each episode. Too bad, since I loved the first two books.


One of the issues with this whole series (just finished Echo in the Bone) is there's not enough material for 7 very long books. The first couple were good. At least I thought they were. Then the author started belaboring descriptions, which made me start skipping sections. Bree could have been lots of things, but she wasn't. It seemed like all the "strong female protag" stuff got imbued in Clare and there wasn't anything left for anyone else.


I could not stand Claire in Outlander for the same reasons I couldn't stand Bree in Drums of Autumn. They were both reckless in their need to do the right thing or to prove themselves. While there is nothing wrong with being morally correct or wanting to defy gender expectations, both women constantly put their own family and friends at risk. While Jamie is a rational being, Claire and Bree are completely impulsive. Of course mistakes need to be made in order for the story to move forward but I just wish the mistakes weren't always made by the Fraser women! I do believe Claire gets better as she's older and has realized that her decisions have not always been the right ones. Bree, however, will probably have a long way to go before she accepts that she is the provoker of at least 80% of the conflict. Roger will probably take a few more beatings at Bree's expense before it dawns on her.


I agree. I could never understand what the heck Roger saw in her. She appears to be a snotty bitch so many times, too full of herself to see the bigger picture, and not caring if she hurts someone else. I never grew to like her in any way.


I am now in the middle of The Fiery Cross for the first time, and I see what Paulette is talking about. Bree is most definitely annoying at times, all the mix-up could have been avoided only if she used both Roger's surnames when she was talking about him. I believe she was helping Lizzy escape from unwanted marriage, so that is why she took her with her to the colonies. Anyway, she is not so bad either. She wasn't ready for 1700s, so she got herself in many problems. However, not-so-perfect characters add dimension and depth into books. It is amazing to me, how one author can write at the same time about so many different lives. Some we love, others we hate.


YES! Bree has just ruined the series for me!! She was the most entitled, spoiled, selfish brat! Not to mention she's in serious need of anger management. Definitely not what I'd imagined Claire/Jamie's daughter to be like, but I suppose she inherited all their worst traits, besides her "good looks".


deleted member Oct 11, 2012 01:04PM   0 votes
wow such strong thoughts toward Bree. The man she thought was her father died, everything she believed in was turned upside down in an unbelievable way, and her mother runs off. Not only is 19 or 20 a young age that makes you do some dumb things (I sure did) but I imagine she would be quiet insecure no matter how strong she is. She isn't my favorite character but I like her more than Loaghair.

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Palomablue @Leda, my sentiments exactly!
Apr 02, 2015 02:52PM

Penny (last edited Mar 20, 2013 06:33AM ) Mar 20, 2013 06:27AM   0 votes
Just as an aside, and I know its a little pedantic but everyone seems to have a different spelling for CLAIRE and BRIANNA! It's not Clair or Breanna, it's Claire and Brianna.
Unless different countries have different spellings, but I find that highly unlikely as they are names!


Yes. I knew I didn't like her for many reasons that I couldn't put my finger on, and you just put your finger on all of them, haha. Thank you.


I agree with Paulette,she was annoying.


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