Dragonfly In Amber (Book 2 of Outlander Series)
by Diana Gabaldon
Wow oh wow. I love this series. LOVE it. (see Outlander review here) Alright, here's the jist of this one:
At the beginning of the book, Claire is in 1968 and has lived in her correct time for 20 years, none of those years being in Scotland. Frank has died. She has a daughter, the spitting image of Jamie, with whom she finally returns to Scotland with to reveal her true, yet bizarre, time travel story. Of course her daughter doesn't believe her and is all upset and angst-y. So *flashback* while Claire tells the story of how she came to be back in present time, pregnant with Jamie's child.
Claire is back in 1744 and is married to Jamie. Jamie has survived some serious injuries (thanks to Claire) and they've now decided that they must try to stop the Rising of '45 (with Bonnie Prince Charlie and all that) and the battle of Culloden from happening. So, they head on over to France, Jamie takes over his cousin's merchant business while he's away, and they make nice with members of High Society. Jamie makes friends with Prince Charlie to become closer to him and hires a boy, affectionately renamed Fergus, to pickpocket letters to Prince Charlie and other influential people from mail carriers. Through the pick-pocketed letters and their correspondences with people, Claire and Jamie think that they've prevented Prince Charlie from coming to Scotland and initiating the Rising. While all this is happening, Claire is pregnant and a very bad person from the first book comes back into their lives.
Through a series of unfortunate events, Claire loses the baby and Jamie is put into prison (again). Claire manages to get him out but they must go back to Scotland, not really knowing if they'd accomplished their task or not. Once back in Scotland, life at Lallybroch goes on quite nicely for a while until a letter is received saying that Prince Charlie is coming over to Scotland to take over the thrown and it is signed by several clan leaders, including Jamie. Outraged by the Prince forging his signature, Jamie really has no choice but to join in the battle and back the Prince and help him win. Once again, Jamie and Claire are thrown back into a life of traveling, outlaw, battles, and injuries.
In the end, the Battle of Culloden is inevitable but Jamie knows that if he's going to die, then Claire must go back through the stones so she will be safe. Also, they discover that she is pregnant again. Yet another reason for her to go back. Their goodbye is heart wrenching, especially when Jamie tells her that he knows that she has the worse end of the bargain since he will go on to the battle and die, yet she will be the one living with her heart broken. Oh, this definitely brought on my tears! Finally, Claire goes back through the stones. Frank is still there, after three years of her being missing, and continues to be with her even after discovering that she's pregnant.
Come back to current time (1968) and Claire is finishing her story to her daughter, Brianna, and a historian, Roger. Roger believes her and has been helping her find out what happened to the Lallybroch men after Culloden. Claire has been sure this whole time that Jamie died at Culloden but Roger discovers a piece of text indicating otherwise. Pseudo-spoiler alert! (or maybe not since there are several more books in this series...) Jamie didn't die. Somewhere back in the 18th century, he is still alive. Will Claire risk going back again to find Jamie?!?! Duh duhn duhnnnnnnn....
9.5 out of 10 stars. Outlander was slightly better because this one did have some slow parts. Still, it took all of my willpower not to pick up Voyager (the next in the series) when I returned this one to the library. I have to read other books for the WBC!!