Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Drums of Autumn

Yes - yet another book in the Diana Galbaldon series. They are addicting. But I'm going to take a little break for now because I have all these other books piling up and I know if I go and check out the next one, somehow it will get read before all these other worthy books. Series are like that. Especially good ones.

This is the fourth book in the time-traveling saga about super couple Jamie and Claire Fraser. While Claire stayed in the 18th century the entire story, her and Jamie's daughter, Brianna, became an integral part of the story and it was her adventures this time that crossed the time boundaries. Jamie and Claire's group make their way in the colonies of the new world. New dangers and challenges await them as they struggle with their feelings about slavery and Native Americans (still called Indians here) and the need to survive the political and natural climate of North Carolina. When their daughter, Brianna, comes across and old newspaper clipping reporting their deaths, she decides to travel back into time to meet the father she never knew and possibly to see if she can, indeed, change the past.

I have to admit that I'm saddened with the aging of Claire and Jamie. It was hard for me to make the mental leap that was necessary to put them into the role of grandparents. All of a sudden, I had to imagine wrinkles and grey hair and I didn't like it! Brianna and Roger take over as the hot young couple with the steamy romance but it isn't the same.

The difference between Gabaldon's writing of her male and female characters was very apparent to me throughout this book. Most of the males are either very good or very bad while the females live more in the grey. Of course, there are exceptions but I thought she romanticized the males a bit more and the females were annoyingly truer to life. For instance, Claire and her moral dilemma over abortion and the struggle between being everything to everyone. Jamie, Roger and even the stubbornly homosexual Lord Grey are allowed to always try do the right thing and when they don't, the error of their ways almost immediately come to haunt them. My overall feeling is that her males are more likable because they behave less bratty. Maybe it was just this particular story though, which wasn't my favorite. I liked the story better in Europe but realize the need for fresh material. Putting them in this historical context gives the author what she needs to continue her epic.

No comments: