Book Review 62: Written in My Heart’s Own Blood by Diana Gabaldon

Posted on January 12, 2015 «
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I’m pretty sure I’m going to get get a lot of guff from my friends regarding my thoughts on Written in My Heart’s Own Blood. I’ve championed the Outlander series for years! I’m constantly recommending it because is covers so many genres. It even crosses gender lines as I’ve had men and women read the book after I’ve recommended it. So it really breaks my heart to give the novel a thumbs down.

What happened in Written in My Heart’s Own Blood? I’m not sure. I was so busy keeping track of the characters and what they were doing, I’m not quite sure if any forward progress was made. Heck, even the battle was a stalemate!

Who I Was Trying to Keep Track of…
  1. Jamie and Claire, of course.
  2. Roger and Buck
  3. Brie and the kids
  4. Roger, Brie and the kids
  5. William
  6. William, Jane and Franny
  7. Jane and Franny
  8. Fergus and his family
  9. Ian and Rollo
  10. Rachel and Ian
  11. Denzell and Dottie
  12. Hal
  13. Hal and Lord John
  14. Lord John
  15. Lord John and Dottie
  16. Rob Cameron and his “merry” band
  17. Some major political persons like Washington and Benedict Arnold who I THINK are key players in the plot, but maybe not.
  18. And at least three or four characters everyone thought were long dead.

Needless to say, I was a little overwhelmed by everything happening to EVERYONE. Keeping track of it was difficult and frustrating. Timelines started to cross and repeat and I often got confused as to what time I was in and what the heck the characters were doing and why they were doing it. Sometimes it seemed rather pointless.

For example, Roger and Buck. I understand why Roger and Buck travelled to find Jem, but it seemed rather obvious that Jem wasn’t in that timeline. He’s a small child who left NO tracks. If he was in that timeline, doesn’t that seem rather odd? Then the dog tags were found and Roger and Buck deviate from their goal to find Jem. Why? Isn’t finding a small child who is possibly wandering the wilderness in a strange time rather more important? So they traipse all over the Highlands trying to find the owner of the tags. In the end, what did their adventure really achieve? Roger’s father is still lost. Buck knows who is mother is and had a really creepy, (nearly?) rated R encounter with his mother and Roger still returned to his family. Was any of it really necessary once you got the final page? What did it really accomplish besides making me feel sad that Roger’s father is still lost and Buck is…well, I don’t know what Buck is, but he REALLY, REALLY creeps me out.

There are some really heartbreaking moments in the book and I did shed a few tears. However, life moved on, rather quickly I might say, and I didn’t have time to grieve. Obviously the perils of war and all that, but it didn’t seem like there was all much danger happening in and around Philadelphia when those two things happened.

The good thing about Written in My Heart’s Own Blood? Well, I finished it. And while, I was unsatisfied, there was one moment that stuck with me. For years, I’ve always viewed Frank, Claire’s first husband, in rather a bad light. He isn’t in book 1 much and when we see him again in book 3, he’s not a good man (not like Jamie, anyway). However, there is a glimmer of the man, Frank, could have been if Gabaldon wished to explore him a bit more.

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So in the end, after 1221 pages according to my Nook, I’m giving Written in My Heart’s Own Blood a thumbs down. With a plot that goes no where, recycled timelines (and dialogue) and an overwhelming amount of characters to follow, I was not satisfied with how this book was put together or how it all ended. It’s doesn’t mean I won’t read book 9 when it is released, but I’m hoping that one actually goes somewhere.


About the Book

This review may contain spoilers.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review 62: Written in My Heart’s Own Blood by Diana Gabaldon

Written in My Own Heart's Blood

Author: Diana Gabaldon
Published on: June 10th 2014
Pages: 848
Series: Outlander #8
Genres: adult, historical fiction, military, romance, time travel
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: Thumbs Down
Also in this series: Outlander





10 responses to “Book Review 62: Written in My Heart’s Own Blood by Diana Gabaldon

  1. Julie S.

    Agree, this book was all over the place crazy and not really satisfying.. I can’t even remember most of what I read.

    • This review was so hard to write, Julie. Probably one of the hardest to date. I’m such a fan of Gabaldon’s work, but this book was really disappointing!

      Terri M. , the Director
      Second Run Reviews

  2. candacerobinson

    I didn’t read this one yet. I still have the previous one to read. These have always been tough books for me. I LOVE them but sometimes I struggle through them. Each book is a little different. But I haven’t read one of them in over 5 years. Maybe even closer to 7, yikes!

    • At least, by waiting the cliffhanger at the end of #7 won’t be as traumatic!
      Terri M., the Director
      Second Run Reviews:
      Twitter: @2ndRunReviews

  3. Michelle

    I haven’t started this series yet. Big books like this tend to fall prey to having too much going on at once. I really need to try and make time for Outlander this year.

    • Book 3 is my favorite in the series. Book 1 got me
      Into reading again. 🙂

      Terri M., the Director
      Second Run Reviews:
      Twitter: @2ndRunReviews

  4. I haven’t read any of this series but good on you for finishing such a long book that you didn’t love. I’d be confused with the large amount of characters too.
    Great review Terri!

  5. lynnmpoppe .

    Terri – I agree with you completely. My major issue with this (and I love the Outlander books, too), was all of the ‘coincidental” meetings of groups of characters. The end scenes in Savannah? I’m sure that’s setting something else up. Most of the book is very loosely connected scenes, and no plot to move the story forward. But you are right, I’ll read the next one, too!

    • Beside the letter from Frank, my favorite part was the reunion between John and Jamie. Just thinking about John telling Jamie about Claire and Jamie’s reaction has me giggling.

      Terri M., the Director
      Second Run Reviews