Book Review Spring 2022

Bookcover, Go Tell The Bees

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone
By Diana Gabaldon
Reviewed by Victoria Starr Marshall

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone is the ninth book in the mega-hit Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. The first book, published in 1991, launched an epic 30-year journey for writer and reader, alike, as we follow the adventures and passionate romance of Claire Beauchamp Randalland James (Jamie) Fraser.

Full disclosure: I have read every book in the Outlander series and loved each one. So, this is not an unbiased review. There was a tortuous seven-year publishing gap between Gabaldon’s eighth book and Bees. I, like many, couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, preordering it on Amazon to automatically download to my Kindle on its release date last November.

If you are unfamiliar with the series, the first book begins in 1945when Claire, a WWII field nurse, touches a druid stone in Scotland and tumbles back in time to 1743, where she encounters, falls deeply in love with, and later marriesthe saucy andsexy Scottish Highlander Jamie.In historical novel meets sci-fi—with a lot of racy romance and a little spirituality woven in—Gabaldon’s books have been meticulously researched for historical accuracy down to the smallest detail.The series provides a wonderful account of 18thcentury politics and customs, but we also get a real feel for life during that time: The crudeness of available medical care, the social stratification, the intolerance and brutality. Yet, through it all, passionate love and devotion prevails.

In Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone it’s now 1779, the American Revolutionary War is in full swing, and Claire and Jamie are aging.But the erstwhile young lovers, now 64 and 59, are as sexy as ever, albeitwith some aches and pains and hot flashes. Gabaldon is 69 herself—aging along with her characters—and is not afraid to slay romance novel stereotypes. When asked in an interview with Rebekah Denn of the Seattle Times why it’s rare for romance writers to age their characters, Gabaldon replied, “That probably ties into a misassumption that older people are not interesting.” (Or sexy.)

Claire, who has been referred to asMadonna, White Witch, and Sorcha (Gaelic for “bright light”) and many other colorful names, is now oftensimply called granny.Her hair is starting to go white and is told that when her hair is completely whiteshe will come into her full power.White hair equals full power. Yes!

If you haven’t yet read the series, there’s no better time to start. And for those of you who have, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone will not disappoint.

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