July 16, 2014

Written in my Own Heart's Blood. Diana Gabaldon

Written in my own heart's blood book cover.
Written In My Own Heart's Blood
Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Orion Books
Date: June 10th
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 814
Genre:Historical Fiction
Source: Own book
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In June of 1778, the world turns upside-down. The British army withdraws from Philadelphia, George Washington prepares to move from Valley Forge in pursuit, and Jamie Fraser comes back from the dead to discover that his best friend has married Jamie’s wife. The ninth Earl of Ellesmere discovers to his horror that he is in fact the illegitimate son of the newly-resurrected Jamie Fraser (a rebel _and_ a Scottish criminal!) and Jamie’s nephew Ian Murray discovers that his new-found cousin has an eye for Ian’s Quaker betrothed.

Meanwhile, Claire Fraser deals with an asthmatic duke, Benedict Arnold, and the fear that one of her husbands may have murdered the other. And in the 20th century, Jamie and Claire’s daughter Brianna is thinking that things are probably easier in the 18th century: her son has been kidnapped, her husband has disappeared into the past, and she’s facing a vicious criminal with nothing but a stapler in her hand. Fortunately, her daughter has a miniature cricket bat and her mother’s pragmatism.
My thoughts
In the interests of complete disclosure I will just say from the beginning I am a big fan of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.  Written in My Own Heart's Blood was everything this fan was waiting for.  I had meant to reread the previous book Echo in the Bone, before I read this one - but you know even though it was over four years since the last one, I was soon back in the world of Claire and Jamie.  I remember at that time being quite distressed that Jem was left in a tunnel - and was going to be there until I could read the next book.  Just one of the cliff hangers that we readers were left with.

I am happy to say this book resolved that little issue!  However because Jem is missing his Dad, Roger has gone off into the past looking for him and ends up in a time that was just a little freaky - and with a surprise meeting with someone he never expected to meet.  Meanwhile Brianna is beside herself with worry for the safety of herself and her children.  

Meantime back in America in 1778 when the British Army are withdrawing from Philadelphia, there is the reuniting of Claire with Jamie, and as you can imagine he is not impressed with John Grey's marriage with Claire. He takes a very Jamie approach to the matter!  William as well is not coping well with the revelation that his actual birth father is Jamie.  It has devastated him.  William's story was not resolved by the end of the book and it will be interesting to see where this goes.  I loved his care for two camp followers.

The setting in war torn Philadelphia is very real, I love how Diana Gabaldon has little facts and descriptions that are so real.  I am not that well acquainted with this time in history and I found myself jumping on line to search out information on this general and that one and how some traitors were involved. 

When I am reading one of these books I find my surroundings fade into the background, I feel like I am there, the sensory details, the characters, the dialogue - all combine to make this so real.  This book doesn't have too much violence - that is in comparison to a couple of the others in the series. However where there is a Jamie and Ian, life is not going to be calm and easy going, there are a few parts where I shuddered.  

I felt rather satisfied by how everything worked out, I have to say I didn't feel left hanging on a hook, like I did at the finish of the last one.  All my favourite characters ended up in my favourite setting - and theirs.  The last scene in the book brought a catch to my heart.  I am sure there is more to be told, but I can wait until about 2018 or 2019, when hopefully the next one will be published.
10 stars
War/Military fiction - American War of Independence


  1. I'm glad you loved it after such a long wait! I need to make time to read this series.

    1. Diana, yes when you wait over four years you want it to be good. It can be daunting to start reading a series, when there are so many of them (and as long as these are), however the advantage is you don't have to wait in between.

  2. I am working my way through this book. It's release was a couple of days before my grandson arrive, and he has won out over the book!

    1. Nise, I can completely understand why! No competition whatsoever!

  3. I started Outlander in April because I finally listened to all the people who said I HAD to read it. I figured, if I liked it, it was good to know that there was a new one releasing in June, but I figured it wouldn't really matter since there were so many books between Outlander and Written in My Own Heart's Blood and they were LOOOOONG books, too!

    It took me 15 days to read all of them. Then I was stuck waiting 6 weeks for this one and it was torture! I can't imagine the whole four years!

    I agree that nothing is ever easy where Jamie and Ian are concerned, but I had such a good time reading this book. I was glad it didn't have quite as many William moments, as they tended to drag for me during Echo in the Bone. Still, I just love it!

    1. Oh my - I can't imagine reading them all in 15 days, but I have done that to other series when I got hooked. I've had to wait about 3-4 years in between each book in this series!


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