Monday, September 01, 2014
Written in My Heart's Own Blood - Outlander book #8
Posted by JaneGS
Written in My Heart's Own Blood by Diana Gabaldon was my big book for the summer. I love the Outlander series, and book eight didn't disappoint. In fact I enjoyed it much more than it's predecessor, An Echo in the Bone, because it wrapped up comfortably, like the rest of the books in the series, instead of with a cliff-hanger, which was so unsettling. There's still room for lots more books, should Gabaldon want to continue the story, but it also had a lovely sense of completeness and closure.
One of the things I like about the series is the sense of extended family--it's really the clan idea, but more so. Some of the characters are connected by blood--that's the traditional family or clan--but Jamie and Claire have big hearts and a sense of responsibility to the waifs and the dispossessed whose paths intersect with theirs, and the collection of people who can rightfully say they are part of the Fraser clan, American-style is large and diverse. Sort of like America itself!
This particular book had the right balance of time travel stuff thrown in too. In some of the books, the idea of Claire being not of the time she is living sometimes gets lost in the plot. And there definitely is a lot of plot...and characters...and story threads. Gabaldon also achieves the right balance of Jamie/Claire with the rest of the threads. Some of the newer characters are really growing on me, and it was so good to have Jenny's sister Claire back on stage again. I can't help it, I'm already matchmaking for her and I think Lord John's brother Hal would be an interesting love-interest. I don't believe he's eligible at the moment, but a lot can happen!
Again, I'm so impressed by the level of detail Gabaldon achieves in a very throw-away style. You never get the feeling with her that she is inserting her research because she did it. I found Claire's treatment of Lord John's eye absolutely fascinating, and I did some reading on the Revolutionary War battles that feature in the story and Gabaldon got the details right and made them relevant. That is no mean feat.
I do hope there's a book nine in the works. I think with the Outlander TV series looking so good, the market will be hungry for more. I sure am.
Speaking of the TV series, did everyone catch Gabaldon in her bit part as Iona McTavish, who attended the gathering? She talks about it on an Aug 30 post on Facebook.