…a masterful debut novel about three women whose lives are bound together by a long-lost letter, a mother’s love, and a secret network of women fighting for the right to choose—inspired by true stories.
The survivalist “utopia” of Summerland fell to a horde. Jane McKeene and Katherine Deveraux, along with six other survivors, escaped the death and destruction with one immediate goal: to get somewhere safe. But where can safety be found in a world where the dead walk the earth? For Jane, wherever they go is just a stop along the way. Now that she knows where her mother is, she plans to find her. Plans tend to go awry, however, and the small group of survivors will face calamities resulting in devastating losses that test the bonds of friendship—leaving one combatant questioning everything she thought she knew about the world, and struggling to find her place within it.
Twenty years have gone by since Jamie sent Claire back through the stones, so that she and their unborn child would be safe from the aftermath of Culloden. Claire spent those years in Boston with her first husband, Frank Randall, raising “their” daughter Brianna and going to medical school to become a surgeon. After Frank died, Claire returned to Scotland, told Brianna about Jamie, and —with the help of Roger Wakefield—went about the task of learning the fates of everyone she left behind. Knowing he meant to die on Culloden Moor, the last thing she expected to find out was that Jamie survived the battle… but he did. Then they discover an article written by in 1765, put out by an Edinburgh printer named A. Malcolm. Certain that Malcolm is Jamie, Claire must choose between staying in the 20th century with her daughter, or returning to the 18th century to be reunited with the man she loves.
In Anna of Kleve, The Princess in the Portrait, readers are introduced to Henry VIII’s fourth wife, Anna von Kleve, commonly referred to as Anne of Cleves. Following the loss of his third wife, Jane Seymour—who died less than two weeks after the birth of Henry’s longed-for male heir, Prince Edward—it was decided Henry’s next wife should be the means of forming a political alliance, in case England was attacked by France and the Holy Roman Empire. Thomas Cromwell (Henry’s Principle Secretary and Chief Minister) suggested Anna, so the King sent Hans Holbien to paint a portrait of Anna and her younger sister, Amalia. Henry would use the portraits to decide which sister to marry. Pleased with Anna’s portrait, Henry chose her to be his wife.
My Outlander series re-read continued with the second book in the series, Dragonfly in Amber. It took me nearly three full weeks to finish this, because I set it aside twice in order to read a couple of review copies. (The review for one of those books can be found here.) The events in Dragonfly were never far from my mind, however, and I was able to get back into the story easily, despite the interruption.