A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES: Family, Fidelity, Freedom and Fear




Outlander, Book 6
by Diana Gabaldon

Narrated by: Davina Porter
Length: 57 hrs and 46 min
Release Date:04-27-11
Publisher: Recorded Books

HARDCOVER from Delacorte Press/Random House (read 2005)
On Sale: September 27, 2005
Pages: 992 | ISBN: 978-0-385-32416-8
On Sale: September 27, 2005
Pages: | ISBN: 978-0-440-33565-8
Published by : Delacorte Press/Random House

Paperback from Dell/Random House
On Sale: April 29, 2008
Pages: 1488 | ISBN: 978-0-440-22580-5

Trade Paperback from Delta/Random House
On Sale: August 29, 2006
Pages: 1008 | ISBN: 978-0-385-34039-7

There is also an abridged audiobook available.

I purchased this book and audio book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own.

Eagerly anticipated by her legions of fans, this sixth novel in Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling Outlander saga is a masterpiece of historical fiction from one of the most popular authors of our time.

Since the initial publication of Outlander fifteen years ago, Diana Gabaldon’s New York Times bestselling saga has won the hearts of readers the world over — and sold more than twelve million books. Now, A Breath of Snow and Ashes continues the extraordinary story of 18th-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his 20th-century wife, Claire.

The year is 1772, and on the eve of the American Revolution, the long fuse of rebellion has already been lit. Men lie dead in the streets of Boston, and in the backwoods of North Carolina, isolated cabins burn in the forest.

With chaos brewing, the governor calls upon Jamie Fraser to unite the backcountry and safeguard the colony for King and Crown. But from his wife Jamie knows that three years hence the shot heard round the world will be fired, and the result will be independence — with those loyal to the King either dead or in exile. And there is also the matter of a tiny clipping from The Wilmington Gazette, dated 1776, which reports Jamie’s death, along with his kin. For once, he hopes, his time-traveling family may be wrong about the future. http://www.randomhouse.com/book/57249/a-breath-of-snow-and-ashes-by-diana-gabaldon#blurb_tabs

A worldwide sensation with more than 12 million copies in print, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series has produced #1 best-selling novels and earned a fiercely devoted fan base. Another spellbinding entry in the series, A Breath of Snow and Ashes continues the saga of 18th-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his 20th-century, time-traveling wife, Claire. The year is 1772, and the rift between Britain and its American colonies has put a frightening word into the minds of all concerned: revolution. In the backwoods of North Carolina, violence has already reared its ugly head, as cabins have been burned to the ground. To preserve the colony for King George III, the governor pleads with Jamie to bring the people together and restore peace. But Jamie has the privilege, although some might call it a burden, of knowing that war cannot be avoided. Claire has told him that the colonies will unite and rebel, and the result will be independence, with all British loyalists either dead or exiled. And there is an additional problem. Claire has discovered a newspaper clipping from 1776 that tells of Jamie’s death. With its epic scope, historical details, and sweeping romance, A Breath of Snow and Ashes is everything Gabaldon’s fans love and more. Recorded Books via http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/A-Breath-of-Snow-and-Ashes-Audiobook/B004Y0IWL6#publisher-summary



Square Blue My TakeOnce again Davina Porter does a stellar job bringing this novel to life via Audiobook.  Her voices are amazing, and seamless, especially the main characters.  I love how she does children’s voices.  There’s an aspect to the series that has continued to feel strange to me, and which I cannot recall seeing elsewhere.  The story is told from two points of view: Claire in the first person and everyone else is given a chapter or two but it is in the third person Omniscient point of view. It stands out as unusual for me.

This story was a little less scattered than THE FIERY CROSS. It has a well-treated scene of rape: thoughtful and disturbing without making me feel sick, or as if I want to throw the book away.

But, while there is lots of action, and an ample supply of drama, and a modicum of humor, the truth is that the story is about the themes I cite above: Family, Fidelity, Freedom and Fear.

Central to the plot is the taking of oaths, and loyalty to them as Jamie has to balance his forced aoth to the crown with his fidelity to freedom and his family’s well-being. The argument is that this is the first war fought over ideals. And, I don’t know about whether that is entirely true, but it is, at least in part. People are getting burned out and killed for not being on one side or the other. Jamie knows which side he is on, but there’s a time and place to make a declaration so you don’t get drawn and quartered.

Marital fidelity is also addressed at several levels and with a few outcomes; wide-reaching and life changing.

Family is central to Jamie’s core. He is about family and then his responsibilities as a leader. He inculcates that in all the members of his family, and is even devoted to those family members to whom he cannot reveal himself. I love how Jamie and Brianna’s relationship continues to develop and deepen, and he and Roger really become close as well.  Roger really admires him.

Roger is also becoming a man as steadfast as Jamie. And he is a leader too, he fights for his family but he discovers another path as well.

Claire and Brianna in the meantime push the envelope of scientific discovery and make a huge attempts at providing some mod cons.

Claire devotes a lot of time to the development of anesthesia. She gets it going and discovers that people of the time are actually afraid of it on a metaphysical level. Where does your soul go when you are under anesthesia is a worry for Lizzie Wemys, a member of the household?

There are some menacing characters, most of whom tie in with the Stephen Bonet storyline. Except one and that is a huge surprise; a huge betrayal.

I really got into listening to the story; partly because of the story and partly because of the narration. I could listen to Ms. Porter 24/7. And I was so entranced with this one I actually listened to all 57 hours in a twelve day period then immediately downloaded book.

Some new characters are introduced, a British soldier from the Boston Massacre who ends up being a courier between Lord John and Jamie.  Malva Christie who may have appeared in THE FIERY CROSS plays a bigger part here.

There are an awful lot of characters. Some mix in with actual historical figures and there are a lot of names which are similar. That confused me sometimes.

There’s a really well-done battle scene which I could almost visualize, and that in slow motion. I have a hard time following battles so that I can picture this at all is pretty amazing.  Other scenes are absolutely heart-wrenching.

I give this one my highest recommendation!

Do you have a hard time with battle scenes in books or have any tips for understanding them?

Links Horizontal

PUBLISHER: http://www.randomhouse.com/book/57249/a-breath-of-snow-and-ashes-by-diana-gabaldon#blurb_tabs

AUTHOR: http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/outlander-series/a-breath-of-snow-and-ashes/

AMAZON: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/A-Breath-of-Snow-and-Ashes-Audiobook/B004Y0IWL6