I admit to getting a little anxious for the story to move along. The book follows at least four different story arcs, and even though I had faith that they would wind together, I couldn't wait for them to do so.
I found myself getting weepy throughout the book. I realized I had "known" these characters since I read the first book in high school, and have re-read all of the books at least once, more for the older ones. So, some of the interactions between Jaime and Claire and many of the scenes between Roger and Bree, especially ones involving their reading the letters that Jaime and Claire had left for them had me reaching for the tissues.
The story arcs that I liked the least while I was reading them were the ones with William and John Grey, although, by the end when all the different lines completed the tapestry of the story I had a better appreciation for those story lines.
As far as the payoffs that I had been looking forward to that we got in this installment: Jaime, Claire, and Ian return to Scotland and Lallybroch; William finally finds out that Jaime is his father; Lord John Gray and Claire making peace with each other; Ian finding someone else to love after Emily; Jenny coming to America; not to mention the possible birth parents of Fergus.
I love the realism of the relationship between Jaime and Claire and how well they are aging. I like the interspersing of their letters to Bree and Roger with the narrative. I can completely understand the MacKenzie's wanting to not read all the letters right away. I read the book slower than I normally read to try to savour it a little. Especially since the next book isn't likely to be out for a couple years yet.