I’m midway of listening to “An Echo in the Bone” audiobook and by now I remembered what bothered me with this book. I enjoyed it mostly and anytime I spend with the Fraser clan and their friends is time well spent, but this book still felt a bit disjointed to me. There are four storyline: Jamie & Claire / William / John / Bree & Roger and they seldom intersperse. At least not yet. I know there was (or is) a purpose for making us witness William’s experience and also John’s investigations about Percy and the Beauchamp connection in Europe and all. But as my main focus of interest lies in the original Frasers I sometimes felt like the events in the William / John chapters were dreading on and on. Or maybe I’m just not good with remembering names of captians and admirals in the British army and what kind of military action they were involved with at what exact moment. I know I’m probably exaggerating, but it makes me lose focus while I listen and that dampens the joy of it all a bit. I don’t know if it was the same when I read the book back then? I just know realized that I haven’t read the complete book more than once yet, just re-read certain parts and there is a lot I don’t quite remember. Maybe because I was a bit bored by all this back then as well?
I admit that Jamie and Claire are the characters I care most about, followed by Young Ian and Rachel and Jenny and William and John. I think, as necessary as it might have been (from a storytelling point) to send Bree and Roger and the children back to the 20th century, I’m just not a big fan of the 20th century storyline. Maybe because the historical fiction was one of the things that drew me to the books in the first place. I care about Bree and Roger and even more about Jem and Mandy, but I admit, probably mostly because they are Jamie’s and Claire’s immediate family. And I really wish they could just reunite with them in the 18th century. But I have no idea if this will ever happen.
There are a few highlights in the 20th century storyline though like Jem “running away” to the Dunbonnet’s cave after he was punished at school for talking (and cursing) in Gaelic and it broke my heart. Davina Porter ist doing such a good job with portraying Jem or any other child in this audiobook.
And of course there still is the mystery of the Nuckelavee. I know how that turns out, of course, but it still gives me goosebumps whenever he is mentioned. Or maybe especially because I know how or better who it turns out to be :-)
And regardless of my “complaints” here there is still a lot of other good stuff happening, which I’ve enjoyed listening to so far. William getting lost in the Great Dismal and running into Ian and both of them meeting the Hunters for the first time. Ian finding out he fathered a child after all. I’m wondering if we’ll ever see Swiftest of Lizards again. But actually, I’m sure we will.
There also is a lot of stuff I’m really looking forward to hearing it read to me again: Jamie and Claire’s return to Lallybroch, heartbreaking as it will be. The whole “Jamie ‘drowning’, Claire marrying John, Jamie coming back and meeting William etc.” drama at the end of the book.
I just checked on my Kindle, I’m at 52% of the book. Still a way to go in the next 29 days days till MOBY is finally published and I can dive right back into the Outlander universe. I’m really getting excited about that…