Written in My Own Heart's Blood

Customer Reviews

582 Ratings

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3 out of 5 stars
By Cornelia on 06-15-14

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.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Liz on 08-08-14

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!

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By JW on 02-19-15


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?


Any additional comments?

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

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By kate on 02-15-15

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.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By JP on 07-20-14

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

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Anne on 07-07-14

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.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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