Monday, June 4, 2018

Book Review: Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon

Pages: 825
Genre: Adult Fiction/Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: June 10th, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte
Source: Personal Copy/Audio Book
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Goodreads says, "It is June 1778, and the world seems to be turning upside-down. The British Army is withdrawing from Philadelphia, with George Washington in pursuit, and for the first time, it looks as if the rebels might actually win. But for Claire Fraser and her family, there are even more tumultuous revolutions that have to be accommodated. Her former husband, Jamie, has returned from the dead, demanding to know why in his absence she married his best friend, Lord John Grey. Lord John's son, the ninth Earl of Ellesmere, is no less shocked to discover that his real father is actually the newly resurrected Jamie Fraser, and Jamie's nephew Ian Murray discovers that his new-found cousin has an eye for the woman who has just agreed to marry him  And while Claire is terrified that one of her husbands may be about to murder the other, in the 20th century her descendants face even more desperate turns of events. Her daughter Brianna is trying to protect her son from a vicious criminal with murder on his mind, while her husband Roger has disappeared into the past . . . "


It's 1778 and the Frasers are in the thick of the Revolutionary War.  Claire believes Jamie is lost at sea, but readers know that is not the case. She hastily marries Lord John Grey for protection (and a few other complicated reasons), but once Jamie is back, chaos ensues. Chaos continues to ensue once William finds out who his biological father is and when Jamie finds out what went on between Claire and Lord John.  Then there's Ian whose heart is set on a Quaker woman, Rachel Hunter, but someone else also has his eye set on her.  Meanwhile in Scotland in the 1980s, there's major drama happening in Brianna's family as someone has abducted Jem.  Roger is convinced that this particular someone took him back in time and in turn, he goes back to find him leaving Brianna and Mandy alone and vulnerable.  As usual, there's a lot of action in this eighth installment of Outlander and I have to admit Written in My Own Heart's Blood is one of my favorites of the series.

While I don't always agree with Claire's actions, I really have come to enjoy her in Written in My Own Heart's Blood. She goes through a lot and of course, her relationship with Jamie is the best part of the Outlander series. Some of the chapters went into a lot of detail regarding medical procedures Claire is preforming, but even that didn't bother me too much in this novel as it did in some of the other books in the series. I also really like Jamie and Claire's seasoned and mature relationship. It's heartwarming, but still exciting. Speaking of Jamie....

Of course, I loved Jamie Fraser in Written in My Own Heart's Blood  He is such a beloved character and I was dying when William found out who his biological father was. We've been waiting for that for quite sometime! Jamie also goes through a lot in this novel and he doesn't disappoint. I really enjoyed his relationships with other characters too, like Jenny, Ian, and Fergus.

I also loved the focus on Jenny Murray (my favorite character!) as well as Ian's budding relationship with Rachel.  Although her Quaker speech annoyed me from time to time, I really started to enjoy her bond with Ian.  After all Ian has been through, I desperately wanted him to get his happily ever after for once.  Also, I really enjoyed Fergus and Marsali's family in Written in My Own Heart's Blood; however, things don't go easily for them. I don't want to give too much away, but some events really broke my heart.

The MacKenzie family's story really, really sucked me in Written in My Own Heart's Blood.  I was completely surprised by this as I normally gravitate towards Jamie and Claire's. This was not the case with this novel.  I was on the edge of my seat with all Brianna and Roger went through and then the subsequent time travel.  I was really interested in Roger's experience as he went back in time and I was squealing with excitement regarding who he ran into, etc. My heart did break for Brianna though regarding her separation from Roger. Will they ever see each other again? Will Roger find Jem?

I absolutely loved Davina Porter's narration of Written in My Own Heart's Blood. I've said this before, but she is phenomenal and she has become such an integral part of my Outlander experience. I think I am going to stick with the audio version for the next novel in the series as she will be narrating it as well. Hopefully it will come out sooner than later. After this novel's ending, I am dying to see how it will all play out as these characters have become so important to me. It's rare for me to stick with a series for so long, but Gabaldon's story is truly magical.


2 comments:

  1. Great review! At first, I wasn't crazy about all the new characters being added in Brianna, Roger, and their family, but they've grown on me.

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    Replies
    1. Me too! I used to dread the sections featuring Brianna, but in this book I loved them. It was a strange change, but I was impressed Gabaldon could make me do a 360! Thanks for visiting, Angela!

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