Dr. Diana Gabaldon's fifth novel in the Outlander series is a sprawling mess, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. There are literally hundreds of characters with speaking parts, including a collection of settlers playing various roles toward making Fraser's Ridge livable. There are deaths and near-deaths. There are births and breastfeedings and poopy diapers. There are courtships, marriages, domestic bliss, and broken crockery. There are eccentric character moments featuring beasties wild and domestic (when the story gets slow, bring in a pig to liven things up). There are interactions with Native Americans friendly and not-so-friendly, though none as scary as in Drums of Autumn, and the main protagonist speaking the few words of Cherokee she knows. There are moments when you reach page one thousand and something, and a character last seen on page three hundred and something (or in Drums, one is never sure) reappears, and the reader says aloud, "Now who the hell is that again?"
The paperback edition's length, 1400+ pages, is one of the reasons I haven't been posting on Goodreads for the last couple of months. I haven't had a lot of time to read lately, so it took a couple of months to get through this one.
The other reason is that I've grown to despise Amazon, especially since the Whole Foods acquisition, and thus I try to limit my contact with anything Amazon-related. It was bothersome enough to know that my grocery shopping habits were enriching John Mackie, and then along comes Jeff Borg-zos with more money than even Mackie has ever seen, & BAM! WFM gets assimilated.
End of sidebar. We now return you to your regularly scheduled review, already in progress.
In case you haven't scoped out other reviews, the title does not refer directly to the Ku Klux Klan, but to the Scottish settlers in the southern colonies from whom many Klansmen descended (emphasis on descended). Back in the Scottish Highlands, lighting a big cross was a laird's signal to the neighbors and kin to prepare for battle.