Dragonfly in Amber
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publication Date: July 1st, 1992
Genre: Historical Fiction
From the author of Outlander… a magnificent epic that once again sweeps us back in time to the drama and passion of 18th-century Scotland…
For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones …about a love that transcends the boundaries of time …and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his ….
Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart …in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising …and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves….
Claire and Jamie return in a story of time travel, epic romance and historic foretelling. The second instalment opens with Claire returning to the Highlands with her grown daughter Brianna. Frank has passed on and Claire is a trained doctor. Brianna of course, doesn’t know the true reason for the visit, Claire plans on using the guise of the visit to tell her who her father really is…not Frank Randall. Claire promised Jamie that she would name the baby after his father, Brian.
Claire visits the reverends adoptive son, Rodger Wakefield Mackenzie (a descendant of Dougal Mackenzie). They visit all the old sites, criag na dun, Wentworth Prison, and a visit to Culloden. It is deeply upsetting for Claire, Jamie is the love she has never been able to get over. She obviously did love Frank, but nothing could hold a candle to the love she held for Jamie and him for her. God did I feel for Claire, Brianna was described as the double of her father, she left being completely sure that the love of her life was facing death and she could do nothing about it. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried ugly tears.
“I stood still, vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break. It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower’s stem”.
Rodger discovers that his adoptive father kept quite extensive records on the period of time that Claire went missing. Records on Johnathon Randall (black Jack) and excerpts on one Jamie Fraser and newspaper clippings when Claire suddenly reappeared after a long period of time, pregnant and confused. Rodger has his suspicions regarding Claire’s behaviour, she seems sad, introspect and constantly seems in a different place. Claire takes them both to Criag Na Dun and confess that Brianna’s father is James Alexander Malcolm Fraser, not Frank Randall and explains the story of falling into the stones. The story then takes off from where book one finished.
“I will find you,” he whispered in my ear. “I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two 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.”
Their story takes us to France, Jamie was banished from Scotland due to treason and being wanted for murder, so they had no choice but to go to France. Claire, Jamie and Murtagh landed in France and from Claire’s knowledge of the future they aim to find some way to change the future of a very historic battle, Culloden. Jamie needs to save his Clan, he knows what the end result could be, and he’ll do anything to change it. The chapters based in France was so weird, Claire endured so much, Jamie had also been broke and now comes face to face once again with Black Jack Randall. Why the fuck can’t this sadist just die? Claire goes through hell (the baby, the king of France – what an absolute fruit loop that guy is.)
There is a large collection of secondary characters we are introduced to that melt your heart and love them just like you love Claire and Jamie. Fergus – the little French boy that Jamie takes him into his employ as a pickpocket. His personality is so very loveable and adores and love Jamie just like a father.
After the events in France Claire, Jamie, Fergus and Murtagh are sent back to Scotland. There are several battles (Preston pans and Falkirk), support for Bonnie Prince Charlie is growing and now has the support of the Mackenzie’s. Jamie has no choice but to lead his men in Culloden. The battle happens and by god it’s the saddest thing ever.
The ending, oh my dear heart. The ending tore me open and left me bleeding. Jamie sends Claire back through the stones back to her time. She’s pregnant and he needs her to be safe for the baby’s sake. The love making was heart wrenching. The absolute selflessness of Jamie, gah. Jamie cuts Claire at her request so that she always has his mark on her. This is a love story that transcends all time and space.
I really hope Book 3 doesn’t have this amount of heartbreak it in it.
His voice dropped, nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me.
“Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well.”