It seems like all of the characters presented in the previous 6 books are a part of your life now, and this is the continuation and breathtaking progress of the battle for independence in the Colonies of early America all at the same time. I am reading the book out loud with my husband so that we are immersed in the progress of the characters. They alternately thrill and infuriate! - terribly human, and fallible characters abound, who are none the less larger than life. I admire the medical skills of the protagonist Claire Fraser, who is dealing with attempting to perform in her role as a doctor and surgeon in the 1770's - having been transported through time backwards from the 1940's where she was a field army nurse and then goes on to become a surgeon. The details of her pharmacopea are wonderful, with the herbal solutions of the day. She deals with a lack of anesthetics, germ theory, and basic hygiene at every turn. Diana Gabaldan also has an amazing ability to describe how everything would look, feel, and smell - the experience of reading her work is quite visceral, and compelling. I'm hooked!