Written in My Own Heart’s Blood
Entry number eight in the popular Outlander series picks up almost squarely where its predecessor left off: Jamie is back from the supposed dead, Claire has married Lord John, and the Revolutionary War rages. Meanwhile, back in the 20th century, Roger has left Brianna to travel to the past in search of son Jem. In other words, it’s a fairly typical set of circumstances that opens the novel, but it’s the playing out of the drama that once again pulls the reader into the world of the time travelers. Gabaldon’s use of language exquisitely brings the era and the characters to life, making us dodge bullets, feel flames, and experience emotion so deep it hurts.
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood takes us inside characters’ motivations by moving among perspectives frequently. Naturally, Jamie and Claire take center stage; it’s their deep connection that drives all events and circumstances. Much of the novel centers around the Battle of Monmouth; Lord John, his brother Hal, Jamie’s son William, and Ian and Rachel all have stories woven throughout and beyond this event. There are so many subplots occurring at the same time that it’s impossible to name them all, though each one succeeds in engaging the reader quickly. Our friends face danger and deceit at almost every turn; there’s rarely a lull in the action in this sprawling novel. Fans of the series will recognize many of the people and places that have populated the books since the beginning, and there’s intriguing foundation laid for the next book.
It’s hard to express the feelings brought to a long-time reader when visiting with these old friends, though it’s easy to say that this book proves that the author’s ability to draw you into the story. Gabaldon’s world has become expansive, yet it still thrills and engages. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood is a solid novel that is highly recommended.