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Summary

The latest epic volume in the multi-million-copy best-selling Outlander series.

It is June 1778, and the world seems to be turning upside down. The British Army is withdrawing from Philadelphia, with George Washington in pursuit, and for the first time, it looks as if the rebels might actually win. But for Claire Fraser and her family, there are even more tumultuous revolutions that have to be accommodated. Her former husband, Jamie, has returned from the dead, demanding to know why in his absence she married his best friend, Lord John Grey.

Lord John's son, the ninth Earl of Ellesmere, is no less shocked to discover that his real father is actually the newly resurrected Jamie Fraser, and Jamie's nephew Ian Murray discovers that his new-found cousin has an eye for the woman who has just agreed to marry him. And while Claire is terrified that one of her husbands may be about to murder the other, in the 20th century her descendants face even more desperate turns of events. Her daughter Brianna is trying to protect her son from a vicious criminal with murder on his mind, while her husband, Roger, has disappeared into the past....

©2014 Diana Gabaldon (P)2014 Recorded Books LLC

What listeners say about Written in My Own Heart's Blood

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not quite here and not quite there but somewhere..

..in between.
The story, of course, follows the life and times of James Fraser, his wife Claire and her family. They are all there: Ian, Brianna, Roger, Janet... It is somewhat difficult to cover anything thematically without spoilering something else due to context.
The book is absolutely worthwhile to be listened to, Davina Porter as divine in her narration as always. Really, I can't imagine someone else telling the story.
All in all: the story does evolve, we get to know many answers to unsolved aspects of previous books, Diana Gabaldon is a master in word-choosing and in weaving atmospheric and vivid scenery.


Only three stars then, why?

After scattering her main characters all over the place at the end of her last book (the worst possible cliff-hangers!) I was quite anxiously awaiting how the different story-lines would be joined again. Unfortunately, and this is one of my big issues with this book, I had the impression that - after flinging Roger, Jem, William, John Grey and Ian to who knows where - D.G. had difficulty in picking them up again and uniting them in one arc. For much too long the different time-lines are completely broken apart, and while there is a lot going on, the story itself gets lost in all the conundrum. Military expertise is a fine thing to read about, but not the point (my point!) in this series.

The "rejoining"-moments then are done without further description, somewhat abrupt and strange / inconsistent. Without spoiling: What was a really, really big step in previous books is now sometimes excruciatingly difficult and sometimes as easy as if it was a walk in the park.
These are maybe small aspects, but somehow they matter here, and I felt that they disturbed the "reality" of the story.

Although all characters show up, they weren't depicted as the shining, living, breathing personas you are expecting them to be when reading D.G. This is only my personal opinion, of course, but I'd have liked to have more links between the different people during the story. It all seemed to be quite disjointed, with seemingly important persons suddenly vanishing from view, popping up completely out of context and without logical explanation and then vanishing again. Some of them refuse verbally to say where they are headed to - and then they are gone. Poof.
it was as if they were, in fact, too much to be handled for the author, and so the characters literally fell off her plate, only to be picked up from the floor several chapters laters, slightly the worse for wear and a bit disoriented.


Some of the main characters have changed in vital aspects of their being - so much that it was hard to reconcile them with what they were before. And that, in all honesty, was bugging me a lot sometimes. Of course a person's being will evolve, but usually, the won't change so much - and not in such a sad, lamentable way as in this book.


Listen to this book, enjoy it, it's worth it if you have enjoyed the previous books, and join me in waiting four or five years for the next installment. Sigh.


12 people found this helpful

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  • JW
  • 19-02-15

WHAT A LET DOWN !!!!

What disappointed you about Written in My Own Heart's Blood?

Book 7 was not as good as the previous books, this was worse. Frankly I found it boring. Story lines were weak and disjointed. I only kept reading because I found the early books so good, and thought this had to improve. Sadly it didn't. Also, there were far too many sex scenes, On this evidence, I think it is time to finish the series.

What could Diana Gabaldon have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Written it with the same pace and enthusiasm as the first six novels. They were brilliant. Felt like she was bored with having to write !!

What does Davina Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The book as all the previous books, was well read, but that does not improve on poor story lines.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No....

Any additional comments?

I am sorry to have written this review but it truly is how I feel.

5 people found this helpful

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At last! The next one - worth waiting for!

Having read all the books in 'The Outlander' series, I was waiting with baited breath for this last title. According to Diana Gabaldon's web site, it was due for release in March, so the delay until June was unbearable! But it was worth the wait reader - believe me.

Firstly, Thank you, thank you, thank you, for giving the narration of this book back to Davina Porter. She IS the characters - they are back to being the people I remember them as.

I will not spoil your entertainment by telling you anything about the story, if you have listened to the series all I will say is that you will not be disappointed.

If you are looking at this book as a stand alone and have never read Diana Gabaldon before, can I suggest that you start at the first one and work your way through? That way you will enjoy all of the twists, understand the history of the characters and arrive where I am now, desparate to know if this is it, or if there is some more to come.

I understand that this month (August 2014), the Outlander series will screen in the US as a 16 episode series - now THAT would be a box set to watch on a duvet day and no mistake!

5 people found this helpful

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Starting to flag

Would you try another book written by Diana Gabaldon or narrated by Davina Porter?

I will finish the series - I want to know what happens. And Davina Porter's narration is brilliant.

Series is starting to suffer from being a series. Starting to have a tired feel, where storylines are repeating. Or getting to ridiculous to try to come up with something new and interesting.

3 people found this helpful

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So disappointed I could cry

Any additional comments?

The wait was so long - and my anticipation high. I have loved this series and spent countless hours listening to the Devine Ms Porter. The previous book was not my favourite but I still hoped for a wonderful conclusion to the story of Jamie and Claire. Alas there was no conclusion, wonderful or otherwise. There were far too many extraneous characters about whom I had no interest and much too much about the Grey family (they have their own series after all) I hate to say it but I was bored! Too much military detail and too much plot repetition ( how many rapes in one family? Lightening might strike twice but rape??) I listen to my audible books in bed and thought I must have fallen asleep because the story seemed to take a giant leap forward. After crawling forward a moment at a time in the first part of the book we suddenly catapulted ahead with no explanation. I rewound back to the point I remembered but no, I had not missed anything the author just popped characters forward in time and space with no explanation (no plot spoiler but you'll see what I mean) despite its title I think this book lacked heart. The previous offerings were sublime but this was a damp squib - sorry.

7 people found this helpful

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  • JP
  • 20-07-14

Another fabulous book from Diana

Would you listen to Written in My Own Heart's Blood again? Why?

Yes, such a fabulous book, and Davina is a great narrator, I enjoy listening to her.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Clare is my favourite, she is so brave and I love reading about her medical practice in the 18th century

Which character – as performed by Davina Porter – was your favourite?

I enjoyed all her character performances, but I think I like her Jamie character the most.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Clare and Jamie realise that it is Briana, Roger and the children walking towards them.

Any additional comments?

I love the outlander series, I hope there will be a book 9

3 people found this helpful

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Hearts Blood

What did you like most about Written in My Own Heart's Blood?

I have loved this series since book 1 and have both read and listened to it multiple times. Once again, Diana pulls us into the past drawing the listener into a time of romance and danger engaging us with her fabulous characters until we can't wait to hear what happens next.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Written in My Own Heart's Blood?

I loved every bit of this book. There are dramatic scenes, romantic senses, tearjerkers and belly laughs. I loved the weddings and cried at the funerals.

What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

I think Davina Porter reads this book very well. She imbues each character with their own voice, so you know who is talking without the annoying habit some actors have of using funny voices to differentiate each one

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I half wanted to read this book in one go - simply not possible- and half didn't want it to end.

3 people found this helpful

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Best yet!

I really enjoyed this the Eighth book in the outlander series. It was great how Diana dealt with the characters ageing & how they came together. I truly can't wait for the ninth book as yet again, so many unanswered questions leave us hanging for conclusions. So hurry up Diana, but also take the time it will take to make it as good as all the others have been. It has taken a year of my life to read this series. Just what else is out there that will fill the void??

2 people found this helpful

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A fine listen

Any additional comments?

This book concludes the Outlander series in a good way. It continues the great story and provides a strong ending. After 8 books in the series I hoped they would give a clear final book and I wasn't disappointed. They could have ignored a few of the sub plots but it is a must listen if you've finished Book 7!

2 people found this helpful

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kept me attentive &on the edge of my seat

I enjoyed this as it is onecof the best of the series so far, in my opinion.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Angel Claire
  • 16-06-14

It's everything I wished for!

Where does Written in My Own Heart's Blood rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Diana Gabaldon and Amy Harmon (my favourite authors) have written some amazing books and I rank all of their books equally at the very top of my listening tree. Written In My Own Heart's Blood is a book I have been eagerly anticipating for four years and it is everything I hoped it would be.

What other book might you compare Written in My Own Heart's Blood to and why?

At first I was going to say that I haven't read any other books that I could compare to this one but that wouldn't be true. The first one was named Outlander and was the story of a time traveler named Claire and a young Scotsman named Jamie.

Which scene was your favorite?

I had many favourite scenes but there were a couple of notables that I keep thinking of over and over again. One would be when Bree was reading the letter she found from Frank Randall. It showed just how much he loved and treasured Bree and how he had done all he could to prepare her for the life ahead. The other scene would be the tragedy the family suffered just before leaving Savannah. Absolutely heartbreaking. And then there was William! Oh and of course Lord John.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This book is amazing in that it brings together so much of what has come before. I think I will need to listen to it a couple of times to pick up all it has to offer. Did I want to listen to it all in one session? Hell yes! I wanted to know it all. But realistically with a book that spans 48 hours of listening time that was never going to happen.

Any additional comments?

Any book that can leave you constantly thinking about what you have just read, about the decisions the characters made and the way their lives evolved is a gift to be treasured. But now I find that I need to go back to the beginning yet again because I realise that I didn't pay enough attention to what was written before! Well done Diana.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kerrie
  • 24-07-14

Rambling

I read on Diana Gabaldon's blog that she doesn't always know where a story will take her. This book if proof of that, I feel. For a long while it just didn't seem to be going anywhere. Too many story lines going at once which made piecing it all together and keeping track of who all the characters were in relation to each other a bit more difficult. Having said that, Claire and Jamie's story ... and that of their immediate family .... continues along a very satisfactory path and I was as easily caught up in their lives as with all the other books. Davina Porter's characterisations are as brilliant as always and a pleasure to listen to. I look forward to book number 9 and to seeing how much further the story of Claire and Jamie will go.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Fred Robertson
  • 23-04-22

I admire Davina Porter for her Narration:

This book, like all the other books of Diana Gabaldon are truly well written, Bravo!

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  • Judy Engela
  • 02-02-22

New twists in an old world

I loved the twist involving Roger in this novel. No spoilers, but it just tickled me to think that the author could still shock me and make me gasp out loud on my daily commute to work. Excellently performed as usual!!

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  • Pheonix
  • 17-07-21

in general, I have like his book

I have listened to this Audiobook on Audible it was narrated very lovely with different voice expressions for every character. The plot of this book was giving a lot of information about the secondary characters. However, still, there was so little information about Briana and Roger and their children, who are currently lost in the past. So that is why I am putting on four stars. There is also a need to read or listen to the next book to get all the information.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 15-06-21

Spoiler Alert

Oh no! That ending……

This book was so much better than book 7! For one thing, William’s character started to develop enough, that I started to relate to him.

Naturally my heart broke at the death of both Rolo and Anri-Christian, but I was deeply moved by the prayer Jamie prayed when Jane was buried. The words were beautiful and washed both spirit and soul!

I’m am relieved that Ms Gabaldon is writing at least 2 more books in this series and look forward to visiting all the wonderful friends I have made from this series!

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  • Ray
  • 12-08-20

Sublime

What a shame that this series had to end. Now turning to Lord John series!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-20

Best author and amazing book as usual.

This is my favourite series of all time and this book was no exception. I loved the tiny details and the emotions she invokes. I can't say enough good things about this book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-06-20

Finished

As expected a great story we'll narrated. Roll on nextbook. Looking forward to the continuing tale

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-11-19

One of the best I've heard!

Excellent narration!! Can clearly hear the different voices, outstanding! Comes to life with every word.