An Echo in the Bone


An Echo in the Bone: A Novel

Diana Gabaldon  
Hardcover, 832 pages
Random House Publishing Group
September 22, 2009

An Echo in the Bone continues the saga of Claire Fraser, the time-travelling doctor who originally hails from England circa World War II, and her Scottish Highlander husband Jamie Frasier.  The American Revolution is in full swing and the Frasers  have fled their home on the Ridge after a devastating fire nearly took their lives.  Though they intend to return to Scotland to retrieve Jamie’s printing press and avoid the fighting, a series of unfortunate circumstances and Jamie’s status as a former militia colonel land them straight in the middle of it.  Jamie’s fear of facing his illegitimate son across the battlefield turns into reality and Claire is up to her elbows in the blood of wounded soldiers as she fights to keep them alive.

Brea and Roger are back in modern-day Scotland, living at Lallybroch, after escaping through the stones with their two young children.  Now all they have of Claire and Jamie are a box of carefully preserved letters that they read one at a time to learn the fate of Brea’s parents.  Roger begins to write a compilation of all they know about the nature of time travel, intending to educate Jem and Mandy when they’re older, but it falls into the wrong hands and Roger will have to risk travelling through the stones once more to save his family.

I’ll stop the synopsis there and just give you my thoughts at this point, because so many things happened in this book it would be nearly impossible to touch on them all without giving too much away.  It started off with a bang but then the story lost my interest a bit for a good couple hundred pages.  I could have done without so many descriptions of Claire’s medical procedures, the entire pirate-ridden, failed sea voyage, and so many chapters centered around Lord John and William.  My favorite parts were the chapters dedicated to Ian and Brea and Roger actually.  I find that I’m unable to connect with Claire as much as I did in the beginning of the series, and I think it’s because she started out as being close to my age and now decades have passed for her and only a few years have for me.  It’s just a theory though.  Gabaldon also introduced some new characters, like the brother and sister Quakers, that I really connected with and of course it was wonderful to revisit the always hectic lives of Claire and Jamie.

The second half of the book picked up again and I dove headfirst into the story, unable to wait to see what would happen next.  I heard about the unsatisfying ending before I even started reading it so I was fully prepared for loose ends to be left open, but honestly I really liked the end.  I knew that the story wouldn’t be wrapped up in a nice little bow with full closure (because of course there has to be another book!) so I took what I could get and turned the last page planning to wait patiently until the next book is released and the saga continues.

Have you read this book?  How did you feel about the ending?



  1. Thanks for the review .. I love Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series, so I’ll have to run out and pick up a copy

    • Jamye Said:

      I’d love to hear what you think! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Misty Said:

    Just read An Echo In The Bone…loved it, but it does leave an awful lot open! What happened to little Jemmy? As far as i remember, he was in total darkness in the vehicle that may or may not be his salvation from the tunnel he was put into by Mr. Cameron.

    Bree & Roger have not read all the letters left to them by her mother, Claire, and her father, Jamie. We also don’t know what happens with them in their own time, not to mention William, Lord John Grey. And what about William Bucchleigh MacKenzie and Arch Bug?

    Lots of loose ends, which sounds like another book to me!

    Great writing!

    • Jamye Said:

      I’d say it’s pretty safe to assume the adventures of Claire and Jamie aren’t over yet. Now we just have to wait for the next book to come out and try not to forget what happened in this one!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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