Friday, February 23, 2007


I had a bit of a reading-fest yesterday. I find sometimes stepping away and cramming in some good books will give my own writing the extra added punch it needs. I often find myself inspired to _do better_. That's what happened with LORD JOHN AND THE PRIVATE MATTER by Diana Gabaldon.

Brief synopsis: Lord John is pulled into the investigation of a murder of a fellow soldier as well as a more personal matter relating to his family. He juggles the two lines of inquiry, which in turn, pull him into some of the seedier parts of London -- forcing him to rehash events from his past as he closes in on the truth. (Hey, at least I didn't throw beloved in there.)

Okay, let me begin by saying I'm a HUGE fan of Diana's OUTLANDER series. So much so, I sort of hesitated to read this book. To put it simply, if Jamie and Claire weren't in it, I didn't want to read it. (G) I love those two characters that much. However, over the last year I've read several snips of LJ and he really began to grow on me. You could say Diana did a fine job of wooing me to see the error of my ways.

This book only solidifies my liking of the character. He has a certain ability to carry himself well despite the ludicrous/horrifying situations he was called upon to suffer in this book. He's smooth -- that's all I can say. (g) He presents such an unruffled exterior that when he does have certain moments of awkwardness, I found myself laughing uncontrollably by how he manages to pull it all off with a sense of grace. When he has moments of weakness, I felt the loss of control and the sorrow it created within him. When he recalled lost lovers/loves, it was heartwrenching. He made me laugh and cry.

Once again, the writing in this book is excellent. It flowed, went at a great pace, and ended well. Diana dropped enough clues along the way that when the final AHA moment came, I didn't feel like she pulled an ending out of nowhere. The imagery was wonderful and I felt like I was _there_. There's one particular scene where LJ was rather uncomfortable, sweating profusely, etc... I felt the misery of it all. LOL. I found myself wanting to urge him to get the heck out of the cramped building because _I_ couldn't handle it anymore! Now that's writing.

Her other characters are painted marvelously -- I especially enjoyed his mother who seems to have a bit of wild streak despite her position in society (g), and von Namtzen, the plumed maniac. I'm really looking forward to the next book.

Buy or Rent? Buy. (Run!)


Carol said...

Hi Jen,
I'm glad you enjoyed the LJ book, especially after the disappointment yesterday. Diana does have a unique way of painting a scene. I too, enjoy the Outlander story, but have never read the LJ books. I'll take your word for their quality. I would expect nothing less from Diana. She does deliver.

Jen said...

Yes, she most definitely delivers. :) Come on Book 7! (g)

Chris said...

I enjoyed LJ too. Diana has a way with her characters- they're very likeable.

Jen said...


Most definitely. Quite frankly, I didn't know what to expect...but, yup...she sucked me right in and made me like him. (g)