From #1 National Bestselling author Diana Gabaldon comes the 7th novel in the famous Outlander series; An Echo in the Bone.
An Echo in the Bone takes us through more heartache than ever with the world’s favourite couple Jamie and Claire. We follow new characters and experience their hardships and losses. Once again, Gabaldon makes an unforgettable impact with a strong instalment in one of the genre’s most popular and beloved book series.
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An Echo in the Bone
Jamie Fraser, erstwhile Jacobite and reluctant rebel, knows three things about the American rebellion: the Americans will win, unlikely as that seems in 1778; being on the winning side is no guarantee of survival; and he’d rather die than face his illegitimate son — a young lieutenant in the British Army — across the barrel of a gun. Fraser’s time-travelling wife, Claire, also knows a couple of things: that the Americans will win, but that the ultimate price of victory is a mystery. What she does believe is that the price won’t include Jamie’s life or happiness — not if she has anything to say.
Claire’s grown daughter Brianna, and her husband, Roger, watch the unfolding of Brianna’s parents’ history — a past that may be sneaking up behind their own family.
“But even things that heal leave scars.”Diana Gabaldon, An Echo in the Bone
Our Overview (Spoilers!)
Brianna, Roger, Jem, and Mandy are living in the 20th century in Lallybroch. They are reading letters from Claire and Jamie from the past, one of which mentions gold. Only Jem knows its location. William Buccleigh, Roger’s Scottish ancestor, has accidentally traveled through the stones and finds himself in the 1980s. One of Brianna’s coworkers kidnaps Jem and it seems he has taken him through the stones, to which Roger and Buck go back to the 18th century to find him. Jem is locked in an underground tunnel beneath Loch Errochty. Brianna’s worst fear is that Jem finds his way to the time portal which she had once sensed under the loch.
Meanwhile, in the 18th century, the Ninth Earl of Ellesmere becomes involved in the American Revolution. Arch and Murdina Bug look for the gold on Fraser’s Ridge to which Ian kills Mrs. Bug. Arch threatens to kill someone Ian loves. Meanwhile, Claire, Jamie and Ian leave their home to go to Scotland to see Jenny, Ian and their children.
En route to Scotland, a series of misadventures force the family back to the warfront in America. Jamie accidentally almost shoots his son, William, which was a conflict he didn’t want to face. William was a young lieutenant in the war – on the British side. Jamie’s cousin is killed and Jamie and Claire mean to return his body to Scotland with Ian.
Ian Murray is the husband of Jamie’s sister. He is dying when they arrive. They are glad their son (known as Young Ian) is home. Jamie apologizes to Laoghaire for his contribution to her unhappiness. Laoghaire’s daughter needs her mother to marry the servant that Laoghaire has fallen in love with so that she can become a nun.
Laoghaire receives a letter from her eldest daughter with news that her grandson, Henri-Christian is gravely ill and needs Claire’s help. Claire agrees to go back to help under the conditions that Laoghaire will marry her lover and allow Joan to pursue nunhood. She departs alongside Young Ian, who wants to go find Rachel so that they can marry.
Claire successfully nurses Henri-Christian to health. Lord John Grey, who helped with the healing, has a niece who has come to America, faking her love for William where her true love lies with Rachel’s brother.
Jamie sends Claire a letter telling her that Ian Mor has died and Jenny has decided to leave for America. With Jamie and Jenny on board, Claire receives tragic news that their boat had sunk with no survivors. All the while Claire is arrested for being a spy; Lord John offers to marry her for her protection. The pair sleep together for comfort of their lost lovers.
Arch Bug tries to kill Rachel, but Ian fights him. William shoots and kills Arch. Jamie suddenly arrives at Lord John’s house with redcoats on his tail. After Jamie and Claire reunite, he pretends to take Lord John hostage and flees. William sees him and realises that Jamie is his biological father. William flies into a huge rage and storms out of the house.
An Echo in the Bone is another flawless addition to The Outlander series, an amazing continuation from the previous book.
Whilst we adore Jamie and Claire, it’s always refreshing to get a different perspective for chunks of such hefty novels. We get a lot of POV from Lord John and 19 year-old William. Worry not! The perspective flits back to our beloved Jamie and Claire eventually, but we love the additional care and focus Gabaldon gives to ensuring that the readers have a lot of perspective and can experience so many wonderful characters.
We love how Gabaldon makes it clear that home isn’t where you were born, but rather where your loyalties lie. We see a great example of the complexities of life, death, love and home when Simon Fraser wishes to be buried where he died but his comrades went against his wishes and sent him back to Scotland. It saddens us to know that Simon may not find peace in his death.
The last hundred pages? Phew! You’re in for a ride! Shocking and addictive; we couldn’t turn away for even a moment. This book ends with multiple fairly dramatic cliffhangers and we can’t wait to get our claws into the next book in the series!
Our rating: ★★★★☆
Frequently Asked Questions
What is after An Echo in the Bone?
Here are all the books in the Outlander series in order:
- Outlander (Cross Stitch in UK, NZ, and AUS)
- Dragonfly in Amber
- Drums of Autumn
- The Fiery Cross
- A Breath of Snow and Ashes
- An Echo in the Bone
- Written in My Own Heart’s Blood
- Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone
As you can see, the last book is still underway with no working title.
How long is An Echo in the Bone?
On the shorter side for an Outlander book, An Echo in the Bone is 820 pages.
What season is An Echo in the Bone?
An Echo in the Bone will be the basis for season 7 of the Outlander TV show. The official release date is still unknown, but rumours are gravitating towards the end of 2023 – be sure to check back with us for updates!