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Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander) Hardcover – June 10, 2014
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“Features all the passion and swashbuckling that fans of this historical fantasy series have come to expect.”—People
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 Randall, 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.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BOOKLIST
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“Another breakneck, rip-roaring, oh-so-addictive page-turner from Gabaldon . . . Take a deep breath, jump aboard, and enjoy the ride.”—Library Journal
“With her Outlander series, [Diana] Gabaldon . . . successfully [juggles] a sizable and captivating cast of characters; developing thrilling plotlines that borrow equally from adventure, history, and romance; and meticulously integrating a wealth of fascinating period details into the story without slowing down the pace. The result is a sprawling and enthralling saga that is guaranteed to keep readers up long past their bedtimes.”—Booklist (starred review)
About the Author
- Publisher : Delacorte Press; 1st Edition (June 10, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 825 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0385344430
- ISBN-13 : 978-0385344432
- Item Weight : 2.64 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.4 x 1.9 x 9.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #24,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Most of American Revolution takes place in and around Philadelphia which was occupied in turns by the British and the Continentals. There is great detail about what life was like under each occupying army and how Claire, in particular, used her skills to survive. Fergus and Marsili found themselves by turns under suspicion or welcomed depending on the occupation. Lord John Grey is forced to marry Claire when it's thought that Jamie perished at sea returning from Scotland and she's accused of carrying information for the Rebels. Claire uses her skills as a surgeon to save Lord Grey's brother and his son from death, skills unknown in that time. She also goes to Valley Forge and works with Dr. Denzel Hunter to save wounded Continental soldiers and they each teach one another surgical skills. Ian serves as a scout for the army and meets Denzel's sister, Rachel, falls in love with her but she's a Quaker and may not be able to marry a man who's both a Highlander and a Mohawk. When Jamie returns to Philadelphia, his bastard son from Hellwater, William who looks just like Jamie walks in and discovers his natural father, doesn't take it well since he is a duke by default and leaves. The scene moves to the Battles of Saratoga and Monmonth with Jamie being conscripted as a general and Claire again using her skills as a surgeon until she's seriously wounded and nearly dies except for Denzel Hunter whom she tell how to save her before her surgery.
Meanwhile in the present time, Bree gets a job at hyro plant as a supervisor while facing a lot of prejudice from her male employees, especially one of them. Roger also starts working at a church as a choir director. Jem discovers an old man living in the broch who is actually Roger's ancestor. When Jem is kidnapped by the man threatening Bree, Roger and Brock go back in time looking for them but Jem has escaped his kidnapper and has hidden out in the dam. Now the two parallel stories begin to converge through various adventures until the two families are reunited on the Ridge.
I was born in Philadelphia and grew up in York, PA which claims to be the First Capitol of the United States as the Article of Confederation where signed there when the Second Continental Congress met there while the British held Philadelphia; they predate the Constitution. This story really interested me because of the vivid detail of life during that time. The main characters of the story are as vivid as always: Jamie, Claire, Roger, Bree, Ian, Fergus, Marsili, Jenny, Jem, Mandy, Lord John Grey, William; their lives are so interesting and you can't help becoming part of them. The famous people from the Revolution were also interesting to discover "in the flesh" so to speak rather than dry words on a page in a history book. The descriptions of the battle were sometimes hard to follow but then I imagine battles aren't normally linear.
What will I do now for my Jamie and Claire fix!!!!!!!!
By Diana Gabaldon
I love historical fiction. I love historical fiction about the American Revolution. And I love historical fiction by Diana Gabaldon in her Outlander series. But I somewhat reluctantly love this work of historical fiction that meets all three of the above criteria. Let me tell you why.
All of the novels of the Outlander series qualify as historical fiction. But they have the unique addition of the characters’ ability to time travel through supernatural means. Each traveler must figure out the limits and rules that apply to this ability. This adds the hint of danger to each trip. Gabaldon weaves a tangled web of interrelationships between the 1700’s and the 1900’s. Willing and unwilling time travel through standing stones in the Scottish Highlands complicates many lives.
In this eighth volume of the Outlander series, the author brings us further into the American Revolution. Jamie and Claire have grown into middle age, together and apart. Claire has been living in the British-occupied city of Philadelphia. But that’s about to change with the king’s army hightailing it towards New York City.
Gabaldon has done her research well and presents the Battle of Monmouth in New Jersey pretty accurately. I just visited that site last year, so I loved how well I could feel the heat and the ebb and flow of an important day in our nation’s history. The one where Washington earned the love and respect of his troops.
Diana Gabaldon writes beautiful prose and tells absorbing stories. She has sustained her Outlander books over many years and through many characters. They face situations with grace, ingenuity, and craftiness (especially the villains). I’ve followed them through the Jacobite risings in Scotland, witch burnings, French court intrigues, hangings, prisons, colonial life in the Appalachians, and now traveling with Washington’s army during the American Revolution.
They never lack for plot. But in this book, I felt that there were too many characters, with too many things going on. Having been several years since I read the seventh book in the series, I found it difficult to pick up all the threads left hanging at the end of that one. I had to keep reminding myself who they were and what their parts in the various plots were.
By the time I finished reading this novel, I thought it could easily have been two separate books. Maybe it should have been. Claire and Jamie, along with their relatives and friends in North America, had many plots and subplots. They also had to make a lot of history. Their daughter, Brianna, and her husband, Roger, faced their own trials and dangers in Scotland, both 18th and 20th centuries.
But both groups existed in continuations of plots begun in the previous book. Plots that I, at least in some cases, didn’t remember. So I felt that Gabaldon should have spent a little more time encapsulating the loose ends. This might have caused the need for two books instead of one.
I still recommend this book to all who want to follow the further adventures of these marvelous characters. But if reading it over, I might skip chapters and read the two plotlines separately till they come together again. Juggling all the players at once was difficult for both the writer and the reader.
Top reviews from other countries
So hard to put down, the reader just needs more and can't wait to find out what is happening in all the arenas the characters find themselves in.
Excellent drawing of all the characters leads to high emotions and an investing in their lives by the reader.
So many emotions; excitement, sorrow, joy and amusement to name a few.
Can't beat the wait for the next book and dreading the end of the story that must come eventually.