Finished the series....again!
As I've mentioned here before, I'm thoroughly addicted to the OUTLANDER audiobooks, read by Davina Porter. It takes me at least a year to get through the whole series in order, listening for half an hour to an hour most days, usually while driving to and from work.
I finally finished listening to AN ECHO IN THE BONE this morning. As always, it's sort of an odd feeling to come to the end of the series at last. I feel happy, satisfied, but also rather emotionally worn out.
I found that I enjoyed ECHO somewhat more this time around than the last. Even the long Jamie-less section in Part 4 (where the focus of the action turns away from Jamie and Claire, and we spend a great deal of time in William's point of view) was easier to get through this time -- possibly because I had forgotten how much I like both Denny and Rachel. <g>
The last part of ECHO is always hard to get through (I did cry a little at Ian's death, again), but somewhat to my surprise, I found myself able to enjoy the infamous "morning-after" scene between Claire and Lord John, in a way I never have before. For the first time, I was able to relax enough to see the humor in it. I laughed in a few places, and I particularly enjoyed Lord John's story about the white deer.
It took 33 months, but I think I've finally come to a point where I can enjoy this part of the book as much as any other, without my own initial strongly negative reaction getting in the way. I promised Diana that I'd get over it, eventually. I think as of today, I finally have. <g> (Please note, this is just my own personal reaction, and I certainly don't mind if others feel differently.)
If you want to see my initial reactions to the Claire/Lord John subplot (posted here, and on Compuserve, only a few weeks after ECHO was first published in 2009), look here and here. And those of you who had a hard time with the last part of the book may want to take a look at some of Diana's explanations, from March 2010, of why the last part of ECHO was constructed as it was.
I will probably start over with OUTLANDER next week, with the goal of getting through as much of it as I can before I leave for Scotland on June 29th. Besides, I love the experience of going back to the beginning of the series, watching the characters "de-age" by thirty years, etc. Seeing Jamie and Claire fall in love all over again always puts me in a good mood. <g>