- Outlander -Diana Gabaldon Teases Trouble For Jamie & Claire In 'Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone'
Honey may be sweet, but bees sting. If the events of Diana Gabaldon's previous eight Outlander books weren't enough of a sign that Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone is going to have some painful moments accompanying the good ones, perhaps the stickier side of bees will remind you. And if you're still not adequately preparing yourself, Gabaldon warned about the trouble coming for Claire and Jamie in Bees during an interview with The Dipp.
With the Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone release date announcement, you may be thinking Nov. 23 can't come soon enough. But don't allow the excitement to let you forget about all of the possible horrible events that could occur in the ninth book. "Life on the Ridge varies between pastoral and horrific depending on what's going on," Gabaldon tells me over the phone. And in Bees, "There's quite a bit of both."
Pastoral and horrific sounds about right. But just how surprising will the horrific side of things be? Are we talking what happened with Claire and Lord John Grey in An Echo in the Bone levels of gobsmackedness? I ask Gabaldon how many moments in Bees will leave readers with gaping mouths. She replies with disturbing calmness (and do I detect a bit of glee?), "Oh, at least a dozen of varying degrees of severity."
When it comes to characters who surprised her in the ninth installment, Gabaldon says, "William did for one." But she doesn't go into more detail about what Jamie's son is up to or what end of the severity scale his actions are on. She also mentions that Denys Randall — the son of Mary Hawkins and Alex Randall — will be back. That isn't news to those familiar with Gabaldon's Daily Lines since Denys was featured in a released excerpt with William. But she adds, "We'll see him again here, doing something unexpected."
Besides shock, another emotion that Gabaldon expects readers to experience is equally as distressing. "They should feel deep apprehension in a number of places because what these people are doing is kind of dangerous," she says. "There's a very strong element of threat and mystery."
She says Bees will end in early 1781 (at least in Jamie's timeline — she gives no update on what other timelines could be introduced through time travel). And the majority of the book takes place in the American colonies (no new "exotic" locations like France or Jamaica, she says). But the Frasers and the recently-returned MacKenzies will have more to worry about than the American Revolution (yes, it's still going) in the threat department. "I'm not giving away too much to mention that Frank Randall still has a small part to play in this story," Gabaldon adds when discussing the mystery aspect of Bees. So if returning to the 18th century amid a revolution with two young children wasn't stressful enough, Brianna may also be dealing with the warnings Frank gave her regarding the Brahan Seer/Fraser prophecy.
Outside of our interview, Gabaldon has been having fun teasing the peril to come on social media. When the account LaughOutLander posted a meme of Claire saying she'll make more penicillin based on what happens in Bees, the author retweeted it with the message, "You -think- you're joking," and the winking face with tongue emoji.
Had Gabaldon been referring to the amount of penicillin that will be useful in Bees? Or was it more a reference to Jamie's stressed-out response of, "Shite!"?
"Well, I don't think penicillin would help under the stressed-outness," Gabaldon says. "As for that particular meme, people do get injured in this book. And Claire interacts with them medically in assorted interesting and picturesque ways."
Considering at one point that people thought Claire would die in Bees, it's good to hear that Dr. Randall is delivering what Gabaldon calls "novel" medical procedures rather than receiving them. But even if Jamie and Claire will likely survive to make it to Book 10, they're probably going to get stung along the way. And no medical intervention — not penicillin, not EpiPens — may end up helping. It's the Gabaldon guarantee.