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An Echo in the Bone

Cover of An Echo in the Bone

An Echo in the Bone

Outlander Series, Book 7
Diana Gabaldon's brilliant storytelling has captivated millions of readers in her bestselling and award-winning Outlander saga. In An Echo in the Bone, the seventh volume, Gabaldon continues the extraordinary story of the eighteenth-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his twentieth-century time-traveling wife, Claire Randall.
Jamie Fraser, former Jacobite and reluctant rebel, is already certain of three things about the American rebellion: The Americans will win, fighting on the side of victory is no guarantee of survival, and he'd rather die than have to face his illegitimate son—a young lieutenant in the British army—across the barrel of a gun.
Claire Randall knows that the Americans will win, too, but not what the ultimate price may be. That price won't include Jamie's life or his happiness, though—not if she has anything to say about it.
Meanwhile, in the relative safety of the twentieth century, Jamie and Claire's daughter, Brianna, and her husband, Roger MacKenzie, have resettled in a historic Scottish home where, across a chasm of two centuries, the unfolding drama of Brianna's parents' story comes to life through Claire's letters. The fragile pages reveal Claire's love for battle-scarred Jamie Fraser and their flight from North Carolina to the high seas, where they encounter privateers and ocean battles—as Brianna and Roger search for clues not only to Claire's fate but to their own. Because the future of the MacKenzie family in the Highlands is mysteriously, irrevocably, and intimately entwined with life and death in war-torn colonial America.
With stunning cameos of historical characters from Benedict Arnold to Benjamin Franklin, An Echo in the Bone is a soaring masterpiece of imagination, insight, character, and adventure—a novel that echoes in the mind long after the last page is turned.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Diana Gabaldon's Written in My Own Heart's Blood.
Diana Gabaldon's brilliant storytelling has captivated millions of readers in her bestselling and award-winning Outlander saga. In An Echo in the Bone, the seventh volume, Gabaldon continues the extraordinary story of the eighteenth-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his twentieth-century time-traveling wife, Claire Randall.
Jamie Fraser, former Jacobite and reluctant rebel, is already certain of three things about the American rebellion: The Americans will win, fighting on the side of victory is no guarantee of survival, and he'd rather die than have to face his illegitimate son—a young lieutenant in the British army—across the barrel of a gun.
Claire Randall knows that the Americans will win, too, but not what the ultimate price may be. That price won't include Jamie's life or his happiness, though—not if she has anything to say about it.
Meanwhile, in the relative safety of the twentieth century, Jamie and Claire's daughter, Brianna, and her husband, Roger MacKenzie, have resettled in a historic Scottish home where, across a chasm of two centuries, the unfolding drama of Brianna's parents' story comes to life through Claire's letters. The fragile pages reveal Claire's love for battle-scarred Jamie Fraser and their flight from North Carolina to the high seas, where they encounter privateers and ocean battles—as Brianna and Roger search for clues not only to Claire's fate but to their own. Because the future of the MacKenzie family in the Highlands is mysteriously, irrevocably, and intimately entwined with life and death in war-torn colonial America.
With stunning cameos of historical characters from Benedict Arnold to Benjamin Franklin, An Echo in the Bone is a soaring masterpiece of imagination, insight, character, and adventure—a novel that echoes in the mind long after the last page is turned.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Diana Gabaldon's Written in My Own Heart's Blood.
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  • Chapter One Chapter One



    Sometimes They're Really Dead

    Wilmington, colony of North Carolina

    July 1776


    The pirate's head had disappeared. William heard the speculations from a group of idlers on the quay nearby, wondering whether it would be seen again.

    "Na, him be gone for good," said a ragged man of mixed blood, shaking his head. "De ally-gator don' take him, de water will."

    A backwoodsman shifted his tobacco and spat into the water in disagreement.

    "No, he's good for another day—two, maybe. Them gristly bits what holds the head on, they dry out in the sun. Tighten up like iron. Seen it many a time with deer carcasses."

    William saw Mrs. MacKenzie glance quickly at the harbor, then away. She looked pale, he thought, and maneuvered himself slightly so as to block her view of the men and the brown flood of high tide, though since it was high, the corpse tied to its stake was naturally not visible. The stake was, though—a stark reminder of the price of crime. The pirate had been staked to drown on the mudflats several days before, the persistence of his decaying corpse an ongoing topic of public conversation.

    "Jem!" Mr. MacKenzie called sharply, and lunged past William in pursuit of his son. The little boy, red-haired like his mother, had wandered away to listen to the men's talk, and was now leaning perilously out over the water, clinging to a bollard in an attempt to see the dead pirate.

    Mr. MacKenzie snatched the boy by the collar, pulled him in, and swept him up in his arms, though the boy struggled, craning back toward the swampish harbor.

    "I want to see the wallygator eat the pirate, Daddy!"

    The idlers laughed, and even MacKenzie smiled a little, though the smile disappeared when he glanced at his wife. He was at her side in an instant, one hand beneath her elbow.

    "I think we must be going," MacKenzie said, shifting his son's weight in order better to support his wife, whose distress was apparent. "Lieutenant Ransom—Lord Ellesmere, I mean"—he corrected with an apologetic smile at William—"will have other engagements, I'm sure."

    This was true; William was engaged to meet his father for supper. Still, his father had arranged to meet him at the tavern just across the quay; there was no risk of missing him. William said as much, and urged them to stay, for he was enjoying their company—Mrs. MacKenzie's, particularly—but she smiled regretfully, though her color was better, and patted the capped head of the baby in her arms.

    "No, we do have to be going." She glanced at her son, still struggling to get down, and William saw her eyes flicker toward the harbor and the stark pole that stood above the flood. She resolutely looked away, fixing her eyes upon William's face instead. "The baby's waking up; she'll be wanting food. It was so lovely to meet you, though. I wish we might talk longer." She said this with the greatest sincerity, and touched his arm lightly, giving him a pleasant sensation in the pit of the stomach.

    The idlers were now placing wagers on the reappearance of the drowned pirate, though by the looks of things, none of them had two groats to rub together.

    "Two to one he's still there when the tide goes out."

    "Five to one the body's still there, but the head's gone. I don't care what you say about the gristly bits, Lem, that there head was just a-hangin' by a thread when this last tide come in. Next un'll take it, sure."

    Hoping to drown this conversation out, William embarked on an elaborate farewell, going so far as to kiss Mrs. MacKenzie's hand with his best court manner—and,...

About the Author-
  • Diana Gabaldon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels--Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (for which she won a Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize), An Echo in the Bone, and Written in My Own Heart's Blood--as well as the related Lord John Grey books Lord John and the Private Matter, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, Lord John and the Hand of Devils, and The Scottish Prisoner; one work of nonfiction, The Outlandish Companion; and the Outlander graphic novel The Exile. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband.
Reviews-
  • The Arizona Republic

    "All you've come to expect from Gabaldon . . . adventure, history, romance, fantasy."

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Outlander Series, Book 7
Diana Gabaldon
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