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 best-selling 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.
It is 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 20th-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.
©2014 Diana Gabaldon (P)2014 Recorded Books
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
The long anticipated book 8 of this epic did not disappoint. Its been a long time since I read her last and I have to say I missed her flowing prose and description. First the plot: in this book she opens and many plot lines as she closes down. One thing I am very satisfied with is her ability to eventually get around to bringing clarity and closure to early open questions. For example, she closes a question raised in book three -- this kind of attention to detail is commendable in a writer and Gabaldon certainly demonstrates her mastery in this work.
She introduces more characters and lines in this book than I though necessary and I would have liked a little more focus on Roger and Brie and Jamie and Claire shifting some of the attention from Lord John and William -- after all they have their own series. That being said, she still crafts characters that I love and she does it with such grace and art. Got to love Jenny and Rachel and Ean and Dottie. The dialog of plain English was exceptionally well done.
This book is something to be savored, I though Galbaldon showed more of the human side to Jamie and Claire (certainly how they are ageing) and I very much like they way she did. I've read some criticism about her history and timelines and only say to those critics it is historic romantic F-I-C-T-I-O-N and a great one at that.
Must listen to book eight. Must listen to the series. Her blog says she hasn't started on book 9 and hints that book 9 might be the last. It will be torture to wait another two years but it will be worth the wait. Davina Porter rocks it out of the park -- who else can do Claire?
Love the ending -- that all I'll say! Please listen to this series.
Once again, Diana Gabaldon proves to be one of our centuries timeless and great writers. Staving in with one of the most beautifully written prologues, she relentlessly pulls at the heartstrings of those who have been painfully waiting, wanting, and sorely longing to adventure again with Claire and Jamie.
Davina Porter's performance is golden. She perpetually amazes me with her astounding skill at all the accents of so many characters. I tend to completely forget that there is just her solo voice.
A hundred-thousand thank yous to the both of you for creating/performing such a classic and beautiful work of fine literature/recording. I cherish them all!
I love books!
If a person has made it this far in the Outlander series, this being book #8, then that person is evidently hooked on the series, which I am. Diana Gabaldon has created an amazing series that after all these pages, these hours of listening or reading. You feel like you know the characters and you like them. And, Davina Porter as the narrator is awesome. To me, Davina is Clare Frazier and she brings the stories to life. There have been a lot of memorable characters in this series and in this book she seemed to bring a good number of them back into the story, both good and bad people. She does a good job of giving you a bit of a memory jolt in refreshing you on characters and incidents. It makes me wonder if I would ever want to listen to the complete series again from the start? I think not, at least at this ime, but you never know I guess. For some reason I thought book #7 was the last in the series but with this book there is no doubt the series isn't at an end. Can't wait for the next one and I really, really liked the way she ended this book.
Ooooh, what can I say about this epic saga? Is it over? It could be. I would be alright with the way it ended. A few lingering questions, but overall, satisfying.
It is difficult to rate just this one book, really, as the lives of the many complex characters have ebbed and flowed over the course of all 8 novels. However, I will surely report to any fan that has not read this one yet, that I was not disappointed.
As I always like to mention (when worthy), Davina Porter, the narrator of the series in audio is vying for 1st place in my heart along with Jim Dale. Distinguishing and consistently performing such a huge cast of characters in different and memorable voices is a rare talent. Seriously, I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks and only few narrators stand out as having this unique and rare ability. Bravo! Standing O and all that.
honestly when it said "the end" i was stunned.. I had no idea 44 hours could go by so fast.. Loved every minute.. will not watch the Star version.. I have my own ideas about the characters and will not be swayed! LOL. I was very skeptical about the first "outlander" as I am not a "time traveler" buff. But I loved the books.. especially the medical sections.. wonderful and the narrator? who could be better.. they are quite a team of women. LOVE IT
Another very strong chapter in the Outlander series. We jump back and forth between Brianna and Roger's family in 20th century Scotland and Jamie and Claire's adventures amidst the Revolutionary War 200 years ago. The futility, confusion and waste of war is so well portrayed as experienced by the common man or woman. Very fun how Gabaldon interweaves interactions with famous historical figures like George Washington or Daniel Webster. Loved to hear how Benjamin Franklin practiced and preached exposing all of ones skin to sunlight and fresh air for at least an hour a day. Equally fascinating is reading about Benedict Arnold, what he was like and why he turned coat on his country.
Thought provoking always when Gabaldon proposes how Claire and Brianna slipped 20th century knowledge into 18th century every day life. From sneaking in the inclusion of greens and fruits in soldiers' diets for teeth and bones to creating ether to enable surgeries. Whether it's penicillin from moldy bread or kiln firing clay pipes for irrigation, always great fodder for imagining how these things came to be known.
Very prescient for present times to read about how families and individuals survive after losing everything, over and over again. How much courage and strength the common man or woman display on a daily basis, though all one usually reads about in history text books are the decisions of the famous and powerful who are often making moves through selfish, self serving motivation at the cost of so many innocent lives.
In this volume particularly I very much admire Gabaldon's portrayal of strong, charismatic characters, both male and female, who can lead with their hearts and wit and not just brute force.
From start to finish you are immersed in a lush, exciting, world of vivid relationships and the reliving of many historical and scientific events. I learn so much from each of the Outlander books, and Written in My Own Heart's Blood topped the rest. The only thing that relieves the sadness of reading the last page, is the knowledge that on 8/9/14 is the premier of the Starz network series of Outlander, the first novel of this Diana Gabaldon saga.
I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.
It's taken be 5 days (and nights) to finish this 44 hour book-and one might think that after 44 hours, I wouldn't need to say, at the end of the book, "NO..It can't be over YET!". But thats exactly what I did say!. then I rolled back to the first 6 hour 'episode' and started over again. With any of the 8 Diana Gabaldon novels in this series listening (or reading) over is the name of the game! Prior to my joining Audible, I'd start re-reading from book 1 about 2 months prior to a new book release so I can have the whole story, the many many characters remembered, the historical fiction bits looked up on Wikipedia (another great addition to life) and my 20+ year old flow chart out so I can connect all the strings once more.
I love accurate Historical Fiction and Gabaldon does her best to be as accurate as her novelists license allows her to be. Her research is immaculate and spot on and you aren't going to find a battle taking place at some strange site when it actually took place elsewhere..Yahoo for this kind of writing.
I know that the next book is the last one..or D.G. says it is at least... and I know it will be another 5+ years before it's out but honestly ***I Want It Now***. For every story arc that was cleared up, a new one was begun until the last and final paragraph when yet another exciting and unexpected incident occurs at Frazer's Ridge and my mind went crazy with "What??" I absolutely can't fill anyone in on what goes on, suspense is the name here, but it's a true thriller.
If you've followed Outlander's Jamie and Claire for 20+ years as I have, and as my daughter has-(she started reading them in High School and is as hooked as I am) then this is yet another novel you'll have to have. Now I've got to go get a hard copy so I can have it autographed when she comes to Portland next month.
And, Don't forget the Outlander Book 1 series on Starz coming up in a couple of months!
First of all, I must say that Davina Porter is, once again, simply brilliant in her ability to bring all the many and varied characters to life. She is a pleasure to listen to her. Having said that...
Before I read/listened to MOHB, I revisited "Outlander" and was reminded of what a wonderful author Gabaldon is. I also listened to the first half of "Voyager" which I also enjoyed so much. Then I reread/listened to "Echo in the Bone" and I was struck with a deep foreboding. Between "Voyager" and "Echo," something profoundly changed and I was reminded of the angst I felt during my first reading of this series by the time I got to "Fiery Cross." Too much information; not enough story.
Gabaldon is having a great time doing research and writing in excruciating detail (and she does it very, very well,) but I think the storyline has taken a back seat to the history lessons and details and minutiae.
The Brianna/Roger storyline provides an excellent example and is particularly annoying. It was going so well and I was fascinated by the various aspects of Roger's and Brianna's adjustments to the 1980's. I loved the device wherein Jamie and Claire's letters took us back to their "when." Roger and Brianna's careers were taking shape and getting acquainted with Lallybroch in modern times was fun, including the visit from Buck. But, all of a sudden, BAM, that's over and we're off on a tangent.
And that pretty much sums up the whole experience that the Outlander series has become for me - too many tangents. I've got whiplash from being snapped back and forth among the various characters and each one is left hanging!
I was very disappointed in this book from this amazingly talented author.
I tried to stretch out listening to make the book last longer. I could not put it down. Every step of the way it had me. I was glued to it and could think of nothing else. Diana G and Davina P are a kick ass combination. I've read nothing that can compare to this series. All I can say is it better not be finished,
Diana Gabaldons writing is as always beautiful and Davinia Porter Brings the characters to breathtaking life.
I love them all but I have to say I really did enjoy William in this book.
She gives each character their own voice it's impossible to pick a favorite,
I wish I could have, but its 44 hours long.
You really need to read or listen to all of the Outlander novels in order to appreciate the scope of the story. If you haven't read them yet, do it. You wont regret it.
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