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
Davina Porter is truly amazing. I don't hear a woman trying to sound like a man or a kid, I hear the people she is portraying when she reads a story! What a unique skill, and I really appreciate it.
The Outlander series of books are at the top of my list of favorite books!
I cried, I almost cried, I laughed, and there were times that the events stressed me out to the point I needed to take a break. Diana Gabaldon knows well how to manipulate emotion! We fall in love with the characters then we root for them. Written in My Own Heart's Blood is the same. Echo in the Bone ended with so many cliff hangers, it's nice to have some answers!
As I said in the title, I didn't want it to end.
Fiction: I like Paranormal, Young Adult, Historical, Fantasy, Romance, Classics. Non-Fiction: I like Historical, Military, Memoirs.
Yes, inevitably, I will listen to it again at some point, but I'm not in a rush to listen to it again any time soon. This is not my favourite book in the Outlander series and it took me much longer to get through it than the earlier books in the series.
Davina Porter is great--she is one of my favourite narrators--but this was not one of her best performances. She mispronounced several words familiar to listeners of the previous Outlander books (and which she pronounced correctly in those books!). This is a minor nitpick, however. She is still one of the best narrators out there, in my opinion.
I really wish I could have given the story four or five stars. I'd been waiting for this book for so long and I am a huge fan of the series. I love the detail and history that Diana Gabaldon works into her books (that's one of my favourite things about the Outlander series...it's so rich in detail), but this could have been a trimmer story.
Glad to be part of the audible community and I hope that my reviews help to choose the right book and share my love of reading.
I have truly enjoyed the Outlander series, and have enjoyed Book 8 very much. Many reviewers have stated that it is repetitive, but I have to say, that it feels like Davina Porter is a friend and she is telling you a story, and when we talk to our friends, don't we retell stories and details to each other? So, that part did not bother me. As to my "WHY?" - I know Mrs. Gabaldon has gotten some heat about profanity used in her books. She explains that they are her characters, and they use the bad language, understood. I have to say, I do understand that soldiers in those days used profanity, especially under the circumstances they lived in, and we today, helas, use it whenever, but this one got a bit too rich in profanity, especially the "cussing trinity" - you know which ones I mean. It grieved me.
My next point was, that why on earth did nobody give Davina German lessons, at least for the stuff she was trying to say. I don't speak a word of Gaelic, and it's sounds wonderful to me what she says, but I am fluent in German and French, and the German was SCHRECKLICH (that means terrible), her French is quite good.
The story was a bit slow, and some important key points in the story could have been addressed sooner and in a bit more detail, but Mrs. Gabaldon has promised Book 9, assuring us she wasn't done telling the story... so I will go with it, hopefully I will live long enough to get number 9 - and the gaps will be closed. (there were some big ones)
Overall, the story is a richly woven, colorful and at times enigmatic tapestry, and stays with you, even when you are done reading or listening. If you are looking or hesitating to start the Outlander series, don't - every book is worth it, you will be enriched. (minus the profanities) and will actually learn quite a bit of history, medical knowledge, herbal knowledge and fall in love with most of the characters.
Some character development was exquisitely done!
None really, as none of the time travel books out there come close to the Outlander series.
Too many to tell, I don't want to spoil the stories.
Made some "European noises" during some of the cussing.
Davina Porter is fantastic, and I am so glad, Mrs. Gabaldon and her continue to work together. Brings the books to live and I so enjoyed it. Hope my review helps a bit, but I would definitely recommend the series, and congratulate both of them and the director.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I am a huge fan of this series, so expected to pick up exactly where things left off and immediately live in this created world. It didn't happen that way. I really struggled to get back into the book and the characters for the first few hours. I think it had simply been too long for me to remember details. So, let's begin with a warning: if you're thinking of listening to this book and have not listened to the others, expect to be confused. This really is a series and one book builds for the next.
Once I was back fully into the book, I had the same awe for Diana Gabaldon that I've had with each of her other books. I'm astounded at the breadth of information she brings into these books. In this one I learned more about the Revolutionary War and its impact on people and cities than I'd ever known. It wasn't just a recitation of battles and dates. I learned about how camps were constructed, the followers, the illnesses and more. It's just such a complete look at a historical event but from an entirely new perspective. I'm sure hard-core history buffs would take exception to some of it, but for someone like me with the most rudimentary understanding of that particular war, it was eye-opening. She made it real.
Once again, Gabaldon manages to touch on a huge range of topics with incredible authenticity: personal relationships, gardening, love, herbalism, conflict, loss, revenge, surgery, illnesses, time travel, religion ... and more. The level of research that goes into just the medical aspect of each book is amazing. I always learn something new. Granted, I'll ever need to amputate a leg with the tools at hand, but I now have a good idea how to approach it.
And Davina Porter? I don't think I've ever heard such a perfect match of author and narrator. She does an amazing job with each and every character. (With the chorus of characters, that's no easy feat.) She helps keep things straight and adds color to the dialogue that I would miss if I were reading it in print.
It is no wonder this book took 5 years to write. It's a complex storyline filled to the brim with details. I cannot wait to see where she will take these characters next. I hate to think it will be another 5 years before I find out.
I LOVED all of the Outlander series books but this one is the least favorite - it seems that Diana G is getting tired of inventing new stories about Jamie and Claire and just wants to get the book out of the way. No comparison to the first Outlander book.
Member Since 2006!!
Jamie gets hurt, Claire performs a bunch of operations, war’s a-brewing, a zillion various calamities… you know: The Usual.
If you love all the characters, you’ll love this latest instalment in the series. I don’t love them all and so I was alternatively interested and bored. To quote myself from Book 7: “I could not care less about William and Ralf and Murray and Lord So and So the Mohawks and the various battles and the impending Revolution with all the planning and plotting.”
I do however like the Roger / Brianna story line, and was INSANELY annoyed by the ending. I won’t say more to avoid a spoiler… suffice it to say I am sure Book 9 is in the works.
I really wanted to love this book since I have loved all the others. While I enjoyed most of it, I thought it really dragged in parts. A lot of retelling of tales from the previous books and many more sex scenes. I'm not against sex in the books, the first Outlander book was fairly steamy. But this was over done with sappy dialog and I didn't think it helped the book at all.Time travel…….fun, history…………interesting, love all the characters but oddly enough I found myself bored with so much retelling of info from previous books. I sometimes said, "Yada, yada, yada" to myself as I listened.The story did move forward and we get to know William much better. I will keep loving the series and I hope there is another one coming (years wait!). But unfortunately, this was a weak link for me.
It seems that less and less actually happens with each book in this series. In this one the characters seemed flat and many of the plot devices seemed like poor shadows of similar events in previous books . In addition there was way too much rehashing of prior parts of the story. C'mon Diana. I've read and listened to all of the prior books many times because we have to wait SO long between books. I don't need the older parts of the story retold. Tell us a new story! Davina Porter is outstanding as always with her narration.
Yes, a must to finish the series, but with the disclaimer that it's disappointing. After thousands, and thousands of pages and hundreds of hours, this last book has so many subplots that are not tied up and those that are are too quickly done, with subplots with no depth and meaning to them, making them insignificant and left me wondering why they were included at all if 'that's all there was.' Spoiler: Rachel pops a baby boy with no tender scenes of Ean's joy; Jamie disappears overnight to kill Clare's rapist with no discussion, remorse, no vanquishing dialogue and Bree and family show up and that's it, the end. Extremely important events all crammed into the last chapter - reminded me of packing for a trip at the last minute. DB is too good a writer to have done this.
Left out superfluous scenes: the surgery for a fistula. No relevance whatsoever.
The performance and narrator continue to be my favorite.
Yes; watched an enjoyed the first episodes; scenery, acting, excellent. I'm guessing there will be a book 9 that I hope is redemptive.
The walk through history was fabulous. Coming face to face with different historical figures was grand. Also, the plot with Brie's family kept me riveted.
The part where Claire was shot brought the whole thing into focus on the fact that war is messy, mean and ugly. Also the scene where Clair fights for Jamie's life when he is unconscious is poignant. Those two are very lucky.
A good addition to the series. Left open ended as are the others so more can come. Can't wait for the next one.
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