Historical Fiction Annotation
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Title: “Dragonfly in Amber”
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: August 7, 2001
Number of pages: 768
Geographical Setting: Scotland and France
Time Period: 1960s and 1740s
Series: Outlander Series Book 2
Plot Summary: This is the second book in the Outlander series and it begins in the year 1968 with Claire Randall Fraser and her twenty-year old daughter, Brianna going to Scotland to visit old friend Roger at his late uncle’s home. Brianna’s father is Jamie Fraser of the Highlands of Scotland. He is from the year 1745. Claire desires to look into an old battle fought in Scotland where the Fraser family had passed away but she isn’t telling anyone she is trying to find out if Jamie survived that battle. It was over twenty years that Claire transported to the 1740’s Highland of Scotland by leaning against one of the standing stones. She is attacked by Johnathon Randall who is an ancestor of Frank but then rescued by Jamie Fraser. They marry and consequently fall in love. Claire tells Jamie the truth about her past. They go together to the standing stones and he tells her to go back to her own time even though he loves her. She decides to stay with him in his time though. The story continues as Claire used her knowledge of the past and tells Jamie that there will be a battle called the Battle of 45 and the Scots will be defeated on Culloden field. They are determined to stop the battle by going to France and becoming part of Prince Charles inner circle. They meet dukes and Lords there. Claire loses her child. They grow apart (mentally and physically) after her miscarriage but eventually reconcile. Jamie takes a pregnant Claire back to the stones and this time for the safety of their child, she goes back. Does Claire find out what happened to Jamie? Did he live or die at the Jacobite Rebellion? Does her daughter Brianna believe her time traveling story?
Historical Fiction Characteristics
There is a wealth of accurate historical detail relating to setting (geography, customs, beliefs, culture, society, habits) as well as to characters and events.
The characters use authentic Gaelic language. The customs, outfits, geography, society and habits are historical accurate. There are real historical events and figures in this book as well.
Story lines may focus on a particular historical event or time period, or they may follow the life of a character (real or fictional). Novels may reaise difficult social or moral issues through the plot.
This second book in the series focuses mainly in the 18th century. The locations are in France and Scotland. The Jacobite Rebellion and the Battle of Culloden are the historical events focused on.
Characters may be real or fictional, but they are portrayed in such a way that they fit the times. Their lives and actions are shaped by the historical times and details, not vice versa.
The fictional characters of Jamie, Claire and others fit the various time periods but there were real characters in there such as King Louis XV and Charles Stuart referred to as The Young Pretender or Bonnie Prince Charles.
Historical novels are usually big books, with stories that unfold at a leisurely pace.
The first book was shorter than this one. This is 768 pages long!
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