I am thoroughly enjoying having the time to [what's the word?] just wallow in Diana Gabaldon's latest. (Have chest infection so up since 1am to keep from coughing up my intestines). What is she doing that I think so great? She says in her acknowledgments about her editors putting up with the bits but the bits have come together nicely. They are the stories of: Claire, Jamie, Ian, Bree, Roger, William (and other minor but not insignificant characters). Well done her.
Gabaldon (like Claire) loves each and every character and I delight in Claire's delight or Ian's or William’s or Brianna's when a less than perfect man (it's usually a man) has had a story of woe and is then on the road to better things. Such is her strength as a story teller. Even the mad bastard and his wife who tried to kill William and the Hunters during the night.
This author is incredibly gifted and I am in awe and aspire to be as good.
The medical stuff interests me highly because of Rachel's calling but the sex stuff between Jamie and Claire (I shade my eyes - I dinna wanna ken - see?)
As to Bloodlines, these are the stories I am writing: Rachel, Fleance, Rosie, the stranger (aoooohhhh), Scotland actually. And, maybe I'll add Jethro and Blair in the mix.
While Gabaldon has lots of information available in terms of healing, I have very little so that I can only say such things like 'She placed a steaming poultice on the wound' whereas the former would provide us with all the names of the herbs and spices.
Also, three of the characters come from the 20th century so have foreknowledge. None of my characters have this and so I am shackled.
As to the weather, I enjoy reading her description of fog and swamp and storm and rain. She's great at it and I'm glad I live in Dunedin which gives me 'four seasons in one day'.
Anyway, I'm a happy camper (despite my chest infection - I think both Claire and Rachel would subscribe to the same prescription as to my treatment: drink water, keep cool, don't cough over anyone!) reading brilliant writing and writing, every paragraph or so, good stuff.
By the way, Vanda Symon, is also skilled with her characterisation. Every person who featured was fully drawn and credible.
Note to the writer self: this is important. A man (any character) comes to your door and this man becomes your neigbour (in the biblical sense). Give him home and hearth.
Now, I am back to the soggy ruins of outcrops and heart-broken youngins. (sigh)