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Written in My Own Heart's Blood: A Novel (Outlander) Paperback – June 2, 2015
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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)
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I really enjoy the Outlander series and was trying to read this slowly as Book 9 doesn't even have a release date yet, so it'll be some time before I can catch up with these characters again. The ending of the book literally gave me chills. I can't wait for Book 9! However, and here's a spoiler-Bree and Roger's son, Jem, is kidnapped by a man that has discovered one of Bree's parent's letters referring to the lost Stuart gold hidden in the Spaniards Cave in NC; Jem being kid napped because he's the only one that knows the location. Roger-and one of his time traveling relatives go back into the past with the notion of finding Jem and his kidnapper-while under the assumption the kidnapper is searching for the gold. Unfortunately, they end up in the wrong time-like, Jamie Fraser is approx. 19 in Paris and his father Brian is still alive. Regardless, they still think Jem is there and it doesn't cross either of their minds that the Rising hasn't even happened yet and therefore there's no way the gold would even be in existence in NC at that time frame because Jamie and Claire haven't even met yet. I don't understand why this thought wouldn't have occurred to them. I get he meets his dad-they were both thinking "Jem" going through the stones so naturally they're placed in a time where Roger's dad Jeremiah "Jerry" is...um, ok. Then, the kidnapper never actually left the present time with Jem-he's just harassing Bree for some reason. I'm really not sure why...he wants to rape her? But ok, I can live with it bc luckily this plot line more or less resolves itself-thank goodness. Also, William is super annoying. I hope in Book 9 he becomes less whiny, incapable, and less prone to throwing tantrums all the time. Very glad, Ian got a happy bit.
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!!!!!!!!
Top international reviews
I'm always amazed at the level of detail and how Diana Gabaldon paints the scenes and characters and their feelings so cleverly. Brilliant!
After saying this the journey through the stones is intriguing all in all a good read.