Book Review: Written In my Own Heart’s Blood ( An Outlander Novel) by Diana Gabaldon

Posted July 16, 2014 by @Angelized_1st in 2014 HF Challenge, Books, Entertainment, Historical Fiction Reading Challenges, Reading Challenges / 0 Comments

Book Review: Written In my Own Heart’s Blood ( An Outlander Novel) by Diana GabaldonWritten in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander,
Published by Random House Publishing Group on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Time Travel
Pages: 864
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
ISBN: 9780553386882
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks
Goodreads
four-stars

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In her now classic novel Outlander, Diana Gabaldon told the story of Claire Randall, an English ex-combat nurse who walks through a stone circle in the Scottish Highlands in 1946, and disappears . . . into 1743. The story unfolded from there in seven bestselling novels, and CNN has called it "a grand adventure written on a canvas that probes the heart, weighs the soul and measures the human spirit across [centuries]." Now the story continues in Written in My Own Heart's Blood.

1778: France declares war on Great Britain, the British army leaves Philadelphia, and George Washington's troops leave Valley Forge in pursuit. At this moment, Jamie Fraser returns from a presumed watery grave to discover that his best friend has married his wife, his illegitimate son has discovered (to his horror) who his father really is, and his beloved nephew, Ian, wants to marry a Quaker. Meanwhile, Jamie's wife, Claire, and his sister, Jenny, are busy picking up the pieces.

The Frasers can only be thankful that their daughter Brianna and her family are safe in twentieth-century Scotland. Or not. In fact, Brianna is  searching for her own son, who was kidnapped by a man determined to learn her family's secrets. Her husband, Roger, has ventured into the past in search of the missing boy . . . never suspecting that the object of his quest has not left the present. Now, with Roger out of the way, the kidnapper can focus on his true target: Brianna herself.

Written in My Own Heart's Blood is the brilliant next chapter in a masterpiece of the imagination unlike any other.

I’m new to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. In fact, I didn’t begin reading it until I learned Starz was adapting the series for cable. Lots of my friends love the series, but I already have loads of series I’m already reading, and the last thing I wanted was to begin another. Boy, am I glad I caved. A year ago I picked up Outlander, and I have absolutely no regrets. Through the first book I got sucked into 17th century Scotland, and the love affair between James Fraser and Claire Randall. With each subsequent novel and novella, I have been completely obsessed with these fictional friends, and their adventures. So when Gabaldon’s 8th book was scheduled to be released a month before the series premiere, I snatched it up as soon as it was released. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood picked right up where Echo in the Bone left off, with Jaime and John battling each other amidst the Revolutionary War. The year is 1778 and France has just declared war of Great Britain. The British leave Philadelphia while Washington’s troops leave Valley Forge in hot pursuit.

Like most of the previous Outlander novels, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood was hard to put down. Gabaldon’s storytelling sucks you in from the first sentence, and doesn’t let go until the last. All of the characters were well developed, and others like William Ransom got more attention than previously given in other novels. One of the things I loved most about this book was how we got to read events from the novella, A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows, from Roger MacKenzie’s viewpoint instead of his father’s. This gave a different perspective to a story many readers may have already known, but didn’t make book fans feel like they’ve missed something important to the main story.

What I didn’t like about WiMOHB, was something that plagues Gabaldon’s other novels. Her inability to cut out unnecessary scenes. True, the long scenes of Claire’s surgeries are incredibly interesting, but most could be left out the books without proving detrimental to the story at hand. These extra long scenes just add unnecessary pages to the story and tend to bog it down. Since I’m interested in 17th-18th century medicine, these scenes are highly entertaining for me, but every medical situation Claire finds herself in doesn’t have to be provided in full detail. Instead, Gabaldon could have provided more romantic scenes, especially with the newlyweds. If you are a fan of this series WiMOHB is a must read, and don’t forget to read the novella, A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows!

This is my seventh completed review for the 2014 Historical Fiction Challenge

Rating Report
Plot
three-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
five-stars
Overall: 4.3

About Diana Gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon is the author of the award-winning, #1 NYT-bestselling OUTLANDER novels, described by Salon magazine as “the smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting “Scrooge McDuck” comics.”

@Angelized_1st

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0 responses to “Book Review: Written In my Own Heart’s Blood ( An Outlander Novel) by Diana Gabaldon

  1. I’m glad to hear that you are new fan of the Outlander series. I also really enjoyed Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. I loved the tie in with A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows – I feel the sudden need to reread it. I think I am the opposite of most people though, I love all of the detail on the science and the medical procedures. Give me more!

    My review is posted at http://www.lauragerold.blogspot.com/2014/07/written-in-my-own-hearts-blood-by-diana.html if you are interested.

    • Laura,

      Great review! I didn’t get into the series until last year, so I’ve been lucky up until now with not having to wait to read the next book. Except for the 6 months I had to wait until Written in My Own Heart’s Blood came out, that is. These next five years or so will be unbearable. I do like the medical procedures, but sometimes I get annoyed when I’ve been been left hanging on a particular storyline, and have to read a whole chapter on one of Claire’s surgeries. LMAO! Though, I do feel her surgeries are far more interesting than that dreaded wedding that took 100 pages to describe in the 4th book. Sheesh! However, now that I’ve read the series to date, I do think I need to re-read it. I think my impatience to get to my Jaime and Claire scenes caused me to miss important events, because I read through them too quickly.

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