Go Tell the Bees That I’m Gone, Diana Gabaldon
This is the latest book of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. It came out last autumn. It was in my possession the week before Christmas. The +/-900 pages devoured in 3-4 weeks.
The last time I found myself in the world of Outlander (the books) was in 2019. (Remember, the lifetime before COVID?) In 8-9 months of that year, I spent a good chunk of time between the pages of the then available 8 books. (And yes, they are also at an average between 700 and 900 pages long.) And I loved every second of it.
I walked in the bookstore a week before the ‘gift-party-extravaganza-of-the-year'. Browsing between shelves and shelves of worlds and stories. And there it was. It felt like I found the winning lottery ticket for the jackpot.
Stating the obvious: I love thick, big, bulky books. I love history, folklore, fantasy, and science fiction.
This series combines all this neatly.
I will not go into the nitty gritty of the story. You need a crash course through approximately 7500 pages. (A rough estimate.) That said, book 9 picks up a moment after the end of book 8. Weaving the two books together effortlessly. I dropped right into the world where I left it two years ago.
See, the thing with long stories for me is this: After a while, the world and story I find myself in, gets a place in my own being. Like opening a door in your head and falling on the road in the forest on Frasers Ridge. The smell of the dust, pine needles and a brook somewhere in the thicket. The earth under your feet, riddled with the tracks of horses and several carriages. Muddy patches from a storm long passed. An oasis of green bushes and trees on both sides. You start walking up the slope. Higher and higher, bend after bend, until you reach a clearing. The Big House stands before you. The sounds of playing children by the brook reach you faintly over the breeze. In the house you here the preparations of a meal. Dinnertime. You walk up on the porch, through the door. You find your way easily to the kitchen. You find the family there, each finding their place at the table. A seat is empty. You sit down. Food passed along; plates filled. The hearts fire warming everybody. They start telling their stories of the day. The difficulties, the work, the laughs. Who left? Who is new on the ridge? I sit there in silence. Listening. I am comfortable in the warmth of fire and people. A part of me found a little piece of home.
I found my winning lottery ticket the day I found the next part of the story. Meeting an old friend anew. I found my kitchen table again. Oh, how I enjoyed every second of it. Oh, how I delayed reading the last page. Savouring. Every. Sentence.