Sunday, November 2, 2014

Written In My Own Heart’s Blood (Book 8 of the Outlander Series) by Diana Gabaldon

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.

Published & Release Date: Delacorte Press, Random House, June 10, 2014

Time and setting: America 1778 and Scotland  1980

Genre: Historical Romance/Time Travel

Heat Level: 2

Rating: 5 Gold Crowns

Reviewed by Vikki

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. Since I did have issues with Echo in the Bone, especially the ending, I had thought I would pass on this one, but I am so glad I caved and decided to read this marvelous book. If I had not watched the first episode of Outlander on Starz, I may have missed out on a great addition to this epic series. In this story Ms. Gabaldon did give me a happy ending, thank goodness. Jamie and Claire are like old friends and it was so much fun to visit with them again in another incredible story.

I find Diana Gabaldon’s books fascinating for many reasons: First, because they are steeped in wonderful tidbits of Scottish and American history. Second, because she writes with so much emotion and can make even mundane things such as eating, drinking and dressing seem interesting. Few authors can do that! Third, she flows seamlessly from one character’s point of view to the next with a masterful touch, making it easy to follow the story line. I also love her ability to draw me into the scenes so well, to put me so in touch with her characters that it’s as if I can smell what they smell, touch what they touch and experience the emotions they feel.

All the original reasons why I fell in love with this series are there. She captured me from the first scene when Ian finds a spot for the cairns for his loved ones lost at sea, where the family can come to mourn his uncle and his mother. I felt his pain acutely, even though I knew Jamie and Jenny were not dead. The story hooked me and kept me enthralled to the last page.

I do not want to include any spoilers, so I will refrain from giving any details, but when certain events happen, tears filled my eyes. My heart ached for the characters and grieved with them.

The love between Jamie and Claire is so deep and abiding. It is the way I believe most human beings want to love another. There is a passage near the end of the book that deeply moves me, so I will end my review with it. Happy reading!

“He lifted my hands to his mouth and kissed my upturned palms, one and then the other, his breath warm and his beard stubble soft on my fingers.

‘I have loved others, and I do love many, Sassenach—but you alone hold all my heart, whole in your hands,’ he said softly. ‘And you know that.’”


  1. Dare I admit it? I haven't read any of Diana Gabaldon's books yet. I hear they are wonderful, but just haven't. I didn't realize that she's up to book 8. That much more for me to enjoy when I get around to it.

    1. You'll be able to read them without waiting years in between each one. They are very long books, but most of them flow exceedingly well, especially if you listen to the audible version as you read. My biggest challenge was having to wait so many years in between each of the books, and the story lines would dim in my mind a bit. There is a huge cast of characters and at times, it is hard to remember all of them. LOL