The story concerns the story arcs of multiple characters from the previous novel, An Echo in the Bone.
In June of 1778, the world turns upside-down. The British army withdraws from Philadelphia, George Washington prepares to move from Valley Forge in pursuit, and Jamie Fraser comes back from the dead to discover that his best friend has married Jamie’s wife. The ninth Earl of Ellesmere discovers to his horror that he is, in fact, the illegitimate son of the newly-resurrected Jamie Fraser (a rebel and a Scottish criminal!) and Jamie’s nephew Ian Murray discovers that his newfound cousin has an eye for Ian’s Quaker betrothed.
Meanwhile, Claire Fraser deals with an asthmatic duke, Benedict Arnold, and the fear that one of her husbands may have murdered the other. And in the 20th century, Jamie and Claire’s daughter, Brianna, is thinking that things are probably easier in the 18th century: her son has been kidnapped, her husband has disappeared into the past, and she’s facing a vicious criminal with nothing but a stapler in her hand. Fortunately, her daughter has a miniature cricket bat and her mother’s pragmatism.
- In June 1778, Claire is 61½ and Jamie is 57. By the end of the novel in June 1779, Claire is 62½ and Jamie is 58.
- By the end of the novel, Brianna is 32½, Roger is about 41, Jem is 9, and Mandy is 3.
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