Echo in the Bone

An Echo in the Bone

by Diana Gabaldon

I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation. The book is An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon.

There is nothing probable about Diana’s career — her first forays in writing a novel were fragments and excerpts posted to a Compuserve message board — remember those? Someone saw those bits, showed them to someone else, another guy took a look, someone else got interested and before very long she was signed to write a trilogy based on an unfinished manuscript, with no completed books to her credit. She was a scientist, not an MFA, and knew a lot more about nesting habits of birds than outlining an incredibly complex plot involving hundreds of characters over several continents. I don’t think she actually saw any of that as a roadblock. Much like her beloved time travelling heroine Claire, she saw what must be done and got to it.

An Echo in the Bone is the 7th Outlander novel, and it would be pointless for me to offer criticism of something that’s been gathering awards and fans since 1998. What am I going to say, there are too many characters?

One of the pleasures of these books is in the very sheer length of them. Rather than race along breakneck with a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter, Gabaldon allows her story and her characters to breathe and grow. As she’s said, she’s interested in telling the story of a marriage. Youthful panting lust certainly has its place, but I don’t know that you’re going to make a career or 7 books out of it.

In An Echo in the Bone, another fascinating chapter in the long and unusual story of both the Fraser clan and Gabaldon herself has been written.


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