The fourth book in Diana Gabaldon’s mesmerizing Outlander series is called “Drums of Autumn.” This story picks up where “Voyager” left off, but brings the past and present together for the first time. While Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser continue to navigate the wilds of the American Colonies, their daughter Brianna resides back in the present in the twentieth century. Her beau Roger Wakefield had made a tragic discovery in “Voyager” he knew would cause Brianna to make the same treacherous trip through the stones as her mother, but what he forgot was Bree had been raised by a historian. Now that Brianna has discovered the very thing Roger had tried to hide from her, Bree decides to do the very thing Roger feared – Travel to the past to save her parents from their fate.
This book finally brings Brianna face-to-face with the father she’s never known, and allows her to be reunited with the mother who gave her up for love. Filled with lots of growing pains between a loving and protective father and the grown daughter he’s just met, “Drums of Autumn” was a fantastic read. While I didn’t find it as spellbinding as “Voyager,” I loved reading about the reunion between these two characters that I’ve been waiting for since the second book.
It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice.
Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna….
Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history … and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past … or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong…
I have to admit that I didn’t like Brianna and Roger when I first met them in “Dragonfly in Amber,” because I felt their story was taking me away from Claire and Jamie, but I now love them in their own right as a couple. While Brianna is so much like her father it’s both terrifying and hilarious, Roger is far from being like Claire, but their relationship has as much passion as Claire and Jamie. Reading about how these four people relate to one another has add a different layer to the series, as now Jamie has even more to lose than before. Not only does he have his wife to worry about, but now an entire family. I also love how Gabaldon never forgets a character in her books, and makes sure to have even the minor ones pop up unexpectedly from time to time. While sometimes I find their appearance a little far-fetched, it does serve as a great way to give consequences to the main characters’ actions without adding even more unnecessary characters, and also manages to keep the reader on their toes. I have to admit, though, that a “Who’s Who” of all the Scots would be helpful, as i often have a hard time remembering them all. Over all, “Drums of Autumn” is another great addition to the Outlander series.