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Literary Friday: Written In My Own Heart's Blood

Friday, July 4, 2014

Good Afternoon!  I hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing and fun weekend, and I hope my American peeps are having a great Fourth of July!  For the past two weeks, I've been reading the eighth installment in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, Written In My Own Heart's Blood.

I've been waiting five years for this book.  FIVE.  YEARS.  The last book ended in a triple cliffhanger and was one of the better installments.  But I must admit that overall I was very disappointed in this book.  *sadface*

I won't write any spoilers here, but I'll try to explain what I do and don't like about it, and I'll start with the negative first.  There are several plot lines going over three different time periods.  Several of the plot points don't even make sense within the context of the previous seven books.  I think Gabaldon has exhausted the plot point of rape.  Enough already.  When I was around 100 pages or so away from finishing the novel (the book is 814 pages long) I knew that there was no way that all the plots could be resolved based on the plot's pace and I was correct.  This is a huge disappointment because I still have so many unanswered questions.  I would have liked to have seen more of Jenny Fraser.  She is "there" but barely, and since she has a bigger than life personality like her brother she should play a larger role in the plot. Because the plot is all over the place, there isn't really much of a story here other than the history of the Revolutionary War, which brings me to what I do like about the novel.

One of the plots centers around The Battle of Monmouth (June 28, 1778) and The Capture of Savannah (December 29, 1778).  I love the history in the book: the war scenes, Claire's work as a battlefield surgeon, and all the other historical details.  I appreciate Gabaldon's highly descriptive writing, and it was fun reading about the Revolutionary War the week of July Fourth.  There are cameos by General George Washington and Benedict Arnold, and I giggled reading about Washington's persistent halitosis.  I also like that Lord John Grey is in the novel more than I expected, and his character is developed more than anyone else's in the book.

Terrible story arc and unraveled plot aside, I still love the characters and the series.  I'm literally counting the days until Starz premiers Outlander.  I can't help but wonder if the TV series has been more of a priority with Gabaldon, and I also wonder if the series ends with Book 8.  

Outlander premiers in America on August 9th.  Here's a sneak peek:

Literary Friday

What are you reading this Fourth of July weekend?  Link-up and share!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. I need to read this. Also I will be linking up my post tomorrow-I finally finished a book! haha

  2. I am so happy to read this review. I too have read the entire series. I can't wait for the new television show.

    Have a Happy 4th of July!

  3. I haven't read the entire series yet. I ended with The Fiery Cross and have A Breath of Snow and Ashes, but never got around to it. I am looking forward to the series on Starz and hope the characters live up to my expectations!! Thanks for your review of the latest installment, Ricki Jill.

  4. I'm sorry it wasn't as good as hoped for. :(
    After five years, I'm fairly certain I would have forgotten the entire plot! I can't imagine that kind of anticipation. Also, rape as a trope....if this is a case of girlfriend-in-the-fridge, I'm going to shake my first in righteous female author rage at Gabaldon.

    On the plus side of things, nice to finally have closure (*I* thought it was the last book in the series...but i the Starz series takes off like the Game of Thrones series did, you bet she'll write more!).
    Still, Outlander is on my shelf, to read this year (probably in the Winter, so I can dive back into my Scottish obsession a bit more quietly).

  5. Great review, Ricki Jill! I have not finished the series yet, but hubby has. I really wish her books were not quite so long -- gets very tedious and tiring on the eyes. Hubby and I are both really excited about the Starz series.

  6. I've only read the first book, but the TV series looks really good!

  7. So sorry you were disappointed in your book. Five years is a very long time to wait for something that disappoints you.

  8. Aww, I'm sorry to hear it was a let down. I keep saying one of these days I'll start this series, but the books are so enormous, I just haven't found the time.

  9. Oh mother and her friends will be so disappointed! I just realized when you featured this book when it finally arrived that you all were talking about/waiting for the same book!

  10. Haven't read any of the series yet but might give the first one a try once I've finished The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.

  11. I loved every single one of the first 7 books and am dying to read this one but now I don't know if I should. Maybe I should just wonder about and make up my own story line for book 8 ? I hate it when the last book is a dissapointment.

    As for the tv series, I hope it lives up to expectations!

  12. Haven't been online much so just had a chance to read your review. I've had mixed emotions about this book. It took me so long to read and I never felt like I couldn't put it down. I had wondered if it just couldn't have lived up to my extreme anticipation of the book. For the most part, while I found the different story lines interesting, I did think some of them would have been better served in a separate spin-off book. I have to say this book finally got me really liking Lord John.

    Looking forward to the Starz series also, although I'm hoping that Sam won't replace the Jamie in my head. I really like the Jamie in my head and don't want him displaced! I have wondered whether working on the series has influence her writing. It's hard to put my finger on it but I felt there was a difference in some of her characters. To me they just seemed slightly off from how they've been portrayed before.

    She has said that she is writing at least one more book in the series.

    Carole (Stapes)

  13. This really is the worst book in the series. It's as if the author has lost her way. After reading the last page of the novel I asked myself if I even want to keep reading the series. Very disapointed!


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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