I have slightly mixed feelings about this book. I was so invested in Claire and Jamie after the end of book one, but starting this book with Claire back in the ‘present day’ made me wonder what we could possibly be about to read.
We start the book introduced to Roger, who ends up helping Claire and her daughter Brianna in their endeavours to do some ‘family research’, trying to figure out what happened to Jamie after Claire was no longer with him. I immediately assumed that Brianna was Jamie’s daughter, but there were many things throughout the book that left me wondering if that could be true.
We’re also introduced to what seems to be a potential romance between Roger and Brianna, but it doesn’t feel natural – very one sided on Roger’s part. We’ll see where it develops.
Back to the question of how in the world we were going to get back to Jamie. We end up there as Claire starts telling Brianna and Roger her story. Brianna doesn’t believe a word of it but we spend the next 700 pages being told the story in great detail.
I loved Claire and Jamie being back together again, it just felt right. The story was clearly well researched (although I don’t really know the history that well so for all I know it was incredibly far fetched).
On the negative side, the story felt like it was a lot longer than it needed to be – at almost a thousand pages It was definitely a major time investment and could’ve probably have been a couple of hundred pages shorter without losing too much.
My other negative is the amount of non-consensual sex as part of the plot. It might have been very common at the time and therefore historically accurate, but it also made me feel a bit uncomfortable to be reading it – not all of it felt necessary to the plot.
What I did like was Claire being an active character and not just Jamie’s wife, and that Jamie was mostly happy for that to happen – although their relationship through this book was definitely not without ups and downs. They went through an awful lot together and the ending was pretty expected given what we knew from how the book started..
Back in modern times as Claire finishes telling the story to Roger and Brianna, and then we’re back to puzzling how or if Claire and Jamie could be reunited again…I guess we’ll find out in book 3!