Review: Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander #8) by Diana Gabaldon

Four long years is how long I’ve been waiting for the latest Outlander installment, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (MOHB).

The last book (AEITB), left some MAJOR cliff hangers and I was actually pretty upset about the way AEITB ended for at least a week after finishing it.

MOHB picks up right where AEITB ended, literally. I am not going to get too much into the back-story or other books as I am assuming if you are reading this review, you have already read the series up until this point.

I will admit, I should have re-read AEITB before I started this one. I was literally so lost for the first part of the novel.

I couldn’t remember exactly where things were in AEITB, only the major things, and this book just starts right back up where things ended, up to the minute.

So, that said, I should have re-read the last novel. It’s been four years so of course I have forgotten a lot of plot details along the way. I actually felt like I had forgotten a lot of the entire series, so much so that I feel like I need to go back and re-read the entire series cover to cover.

We find Claire reunited with the not so dead Jamie, but there is a bit of a problem….she has married Lord John in the wake of Jamie’s death. Lord John saves Claire from imminent arrest by marrying her. But When Jamie returns from the dead, he gives Lord John quite the shock.

And it doesn’t help matters much that Lord John has had carnal knowledge of Claire. Lord John’s son, William, also get the shock of a lifetime when Jamie returns. The man he has known as Mac, is actually his father.

The whole lot of the Fraser/Grey family is in quite the state of upheaval. But there isn’t time to sort things out. Claire and Lord John are living in the loyalist town of Philadelphia but the rebels are threatening to overthrow the British and take the city back. The British military is on the move taking all loyalists with them which means, Claire is expected to follow.

In all the confusion, Jamie and Lord John find themselves in the middle of nowhere when the rebel militia find them and demand answers. While Claire happens to tend to Lord John’s brother, Hal’s, serious asthma attack when she runs into him while the British military is fleeing.

Meanwhile in the ‘modern’ era, Brianna and Roger are dealing with a kidnapping. Jem was supposedly taken back to the past by Rob Cameron. In an effort to find Jem and bring him back, Roger and Buck travel through the stones only to find themselves in the wrong time!

This novel is difficult for me to review. So far, I liked this one the least in the series. Many people have said how much they loved this one, like as much as the first one, but for me….I just couldn’t get into it like I did some of the others.

I think what bothered me the most was the lack of Brianna and Roger story time. There was only one part and a few tidbits, but not nearly enough in my opinion. The last book left a lot of Roger/Brianna cliff hangers and I just felt like nothing really happened in their story….or not enough happened.

Roger is one of my fav characters so I was expecting more I guess. Rodger and Brianna’s story line was the most compelling by far. Theirs was the only plot line that moved forward for me.

As for Claire and Jamie’s story….their story was satisfying but the progress of their story wasn’t overly compelling for me. Their relationship remains forever strong and they are clearly committed to each other but in general, their story just didn’t move forward enough.

I was also hoping that after AEITB we were about done with the Revolution. Most of this book is based in military camps and there is a ton of discussion on warfare and military strategy not to mention military camp life.

I am not as up on my American History as I probably should be, but from a historic perspective this novel made me feel all the more inadequate. There was so much history about the American Revolution that I was kinda lost in a history haze.

There were many times that I was like, what is going on? Who are the loyalists again and why is that battle important? Is it important? Where are they at now? How long has the war been going on? Who’s Benedict Arnold again and what did he do?

So basically I was lost in the history fog a lot and found myself researching the war more than reading the story and after awhile I was so tried of reading about the war in all it’s glorious details that I was just like OK are we about done with the Revolution here or what?? I found myself skimming a lot, especially toward the end. Mind numbing….the historic detail bogged down the story too much for me and I can honestly say that I would struggled reading this novel again.

Personally I am kind of ready for things to start wrapping up with the war and such. There are so many characters that have come and gone in this story and so many historic battles and events that have come and gone and I’m just kinda ready for things to wrap up.

I want to know more about the time travel and how it works and how some of these secondary characters fit into the lives of the main characters, for instance the new Captain Randall. I don’t know I guess there is a lot going on and I am ready for things to start culminating a little bit.

For me, so much of this novel seemed like filler story rather than advancing the overall story/plot. I felt like a lot of AEITB was filler and that this would be more advancement in the story, but it just seemed like a lot happened but we got no where fast if that makes sense.

This book also lacked a lot of the philosophical musing that I found so wonderful in many of the other novels. I loved DOA, FC, and ABOSAA for that reason…as well as many of the other books, but for me this one just didn’t have that same vibe to it.

All that said, I still thought the story as a was good and the series as a whole, is AMAZING….but I guess I was expecting more from this novel. Maybe that’s what comes from the four years anticipation.

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: Book: Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander#8) by Diana Gabaldon

  • Kindle Edition, 848 pages
  • Published June 10th 2014 by Delacorte Press (first published June 5th 2014)
  • ASIN B00C8S9W0G
  • Review copy provided by: Personal collection

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 3 out of 5

Genre: Historic Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Historic-Romance

Memorable lines/quotes: 

 In the light of eternity, time casts no shadow.

Always act as if you know what you are doing, even if you don’t.

Advice? You’re too old to be given it and too young to take it.

I wondered whether people who are unhappily married think of their own nuptials when they witness a wedding; I thought that those who are happy always do.

Even when the world ends, things bloody go on happening. You just don’t know what to do about them.

The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence.

66 thoughts on “Review: Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander #8) by Diana Gabaldon

  1. I bought this the second I laid eyes on a copy, but won’t read it until I do a re-read of the series — that takes some major time commitment, so I don’t know how soon it will happen, but I figure I have plenty of time before the next one comes out 🙂 It’s been far too long since I read the earlier books (and to be honest, I have not read AEITB at all yet) that I think I would just be floundering about if I tried to just pick up with #7 & #8 after eight year break — if my memory doesn’t fail me, I last read the earlier books my senior year of college!

  2. Hi, just stumbled on your blog while searching to see if any other readers felt the way I did about the plot… I’m having a hard time caring about this one too. It feels like filler to me as well. Kind of a let down after all the anticipation.

    1. Absolutely! I wanted so much more to happen. It seems like a lot of pages with really nothing happening. I wanted to love it, I mean I’ve been waiting 4 years for it…..but I just couldn’t. I want more progress 🙂

  3. Thank you! After reading so many positive reviews I was beginning to think that I was the only one who found this book tedious, frustrating, and not leading anywhere. I felt like she’d pick up one story line then drop it to move on to something else. I KNOW my American history and even though I felt a little thrill when she met Benedict Arnold and other historical figures, I really started getting tired of the Revolutionary War. It’s like we got stuck there. I have about 50 pages left to read and I’m hoping we get to know a little of what is going on with Roger and Brianna. That said, I love the series.

    1. I agree that the book was tedious and frustrating. Things seemed to come out of nowhere and then just move on to something else. I often felt like I must have skipped some pages. I’ve loved the whole series but this book seemed like she was just writing anything to fill the pages.

  4. I have to agree with some of the comments from above. MOHB (My Own Hearts Blood) is a trifle flat after all the other novels. It lacks much in the way of emotion and story. It has too much “I am a Bastard,”by William and DG does nothing to resolve it. OK a few times, but consistently over and over is really boring. I had just re read the entire series from book 1 thru the new one,(book 8) twice, over the summer and book 8 is very disappointing. Also the series on TV is so bad and disappointing!
    I just do not understand how DG and the director, how could they say that they have stuck to the story line, which is so NOT TRUE!
    There was a TV series made out of a book called “The Worlds End”by Ken Follett. The first series was really bad and then it was picked up again and done by someone else who did an amazing job with it.
    So I am hoping that after this first try with these novels in a TV series is done, some other really great director will make a better series!
    The thing that really bothers me is that Claire is supposed to have golden like Hawk eyes and she has blue eyes. And all the Gaelic that is being spoken is so dense you cannot even understand it and there are NO subtitles at all!
    So I go thru each episode wondering whether anyone really knows what is happening. All they had to do was to watch “Braveheart”or one of the other great movies that had Scottish men in it and take their cue from that. But no one seems to have done that and the story on TV is just so out of sinc with the book.
    Perhaps I am the only one that thinks so. All I can say is I hope that book #9 has better dialogue then book #8! And I am praying that another TV series is done by another director because this one is so bad. Jamie is supposed to be 18 and Claire is supposed to 27,(which they are not in the TV series) and not only can I NOT understand them but everything is so NOT like the book. Dougal and Column are both supposed to be good looking, tall and with black hair and Dougal is BALD on TV, and Column has a BAD black wig and a totally white beard!
    And then there is Frank/Jonathan Randall, I mean really, they could not get someone better for that role? And again this character is supposed to also be tall and really good looking! If anyone thinks that Tobias Menzies is good looking then I am Queen Elizabeth! I am just so disappointed:>{
    But thank you for this blog as this was the only place that I have been able to have written anything that allows both sides to be viewed. So thank you for that:>}

    1. Totally agree with you with regards to the casting of the tv series (they look nothing like they are describe in the book)…

    2. Raquelia…… I am wondering if you actually read Outlander. Jamie is not 18 in Outlander. He’s 24. And Colum MacKenzie is NOT tall; he has Toulouse Lautrec syndrome for goodness’ sake! His legs are shrunken and misshapen. The top of his head comes up to the height of Claire’s chest. In the books Dougal is described as looking like an older, slightly darker version of Jamie, with dark red hair. Frank and Jack Randall are never described as tall men; just taller than Claire.

      There is much more to casting a television show from a book than simply finding doppelgängers to play characters based on the book’s descriptions. Yes Catriona has blue eyes, and she is much taller and a bit thinner than Claire is described in the books. But her talent at portraying the essence of Claire is the important part. No, Dougal isn’t described as bald in the books. But the actor portraying him in the television series captures Dougal’s fierce ruthlessness and shrewd leadership.

      Your comments are so far out of line that I actually half-doubt you wrote a real review and are instead a strange-humoured troll out for a weird laugh.

    3. and bout you not understanding anything… it’s specifically mentioned that the purpose of choosing not to have subtitles is to immerse the audience in Claire’s perspective. We only understand what she understands through other people’s translations. As for Braveheart , a lot of Scotts would disagree with it being true to history in their dpictions.

  5. I loved your comments and there was too much history, this book has carried on for too long and it just gets to the part where you just get tired of reading and you just want the endI lost interest by the fourth book

  6. As above…but no one has brought up the ending where suddenly Brianna come walking up the road with no explanation at all about the time line differential. I seemed to me like DG just got tired of writing and said, “Let’s just get them all back together no matter the lack of explanation or probability.” It seems she was bored with the series or just ran out of ideas and threw a lot of history together. And I, too, am sick of the whole “I’m a bastard” act from William. Resolve that and move the heck on. Overall though, this is the best written series of books I have ever read. And at 66 years of age, I have read a lot. No one has ever developed characters like Ms. Gabaldon. Truly one of the great writers of all time. And I like the TV series. They can never do justice to the books, but the episodes are entertaining. I agree that the casting for Frank is less than optimal, but if he had been handsome and dashing then Jamie’s character would have suffered by comparison. I hope there is another book that is going to put more sense into how Rodger and Bree just show up out of the blue. As I have said, still the best series of all time, even eclipsing Tolkien.

    1. Have you read the Wilderness series by Sara Donati? I loved it and compare the character development to DG. Maybe even better!

    2. the time line also differential also bothered me — I thought maybe I had missed something like they went back throught the stones and then back again to get to the right time- but I did enjoy the book.

  7. I read the first books a couple of years ago so not all of the details are still fresh in my mind but , please, someone correct me if I am wrong; isn’t Claire supposed to be quite a bit shorter than Jamie? The actress in the series is almost as tall as Jamie! That is not how I pictured Claire.

  8. I just finished the book… What a big read, i to was completely lost at the start forgetting so much!!! I’m not from America so i have no knowledge of American history and found i got lost in all the History, but i didn’t really think it was any more or less than the other books they have all had a LOT of history in them. For 814 pages i thought she could of explained how Brianna and Roger got to the Ridge or at least bought them in to the story line sooner than the last 2 paragraphs. I kept waiting for them to show up for half the book, why didn’t they? i would have loved reading about the reunion and more.
    I’m watching the series to and i’m loving it, although it does seem to be moving really slow. This said if it moved faster we’d be complaining that they missed everything. It seems the last episode no 8 is the wedding, why only 8 its not by far. Please if the directors are reading this please give us more episodes in season 2, 8 is NOT enough…

  9. There will be 16 episodes in the first season. Season two is supposed to be book two and so on and so forth, if that is, there is a so on and so forth for the tv series.

    1. I heard that too Amanda but then last weeks episode said only 2 episodes left so that would leave the wedding and one more….that doesn’t seem like nearly enough time to wrap up book I. Perhaps I am wrong but I feel like there is a lot more left to cover in book I this season.

      1. The 2 episodes left means 2 left in the first half of season one — they decided on a split season — so 8 episodes now + 8 more in the spring is the entirety of the first season/book. I’m not thrilled about the wait, but I think they are doing a very good job in staying close to the book, so yes there are a lot more episodes to finish up this first season!

      2. Well at least we don’t have to wait a whole year in between ‘seasons’ like we do for Game of Thrones! I can’t wait to see how the wedding comes together. I love that they are staying very close to the books. Book I was the best for me so far. I absolutely love it, it’s a classic :). When the season is over I am going to post a review on it….I was going to do episode by episode but decided that would be rather daunting so I think I’ll wait till the end of season I :).

  10. I’m liking the series a lot. Nothing can ever replace the way Ms. Gabaldon delves into the lives and minds of the characters, but they are doing a good job. And the actor who plays Dougal does a masterful job. I have never seen anyone sit a horse so regally and by that simple act command respect. While he may not embody the Dougal described in the book, he is a great character in this series and steals the show a lot of the time. He’s rapidly becoming my favorite character. Claire is well played also, exhibiting the no nonsense army nurse attitude perfectly and stopping some of the male chauvinists of that time in their tracks. Of course, then there’s Black Jack….indeed a dastardly bastard is he not? I hate that they are breaking up the installments….Oh well…something to look forward to, I guess. DB

  11. I just finished “Written In My Own Heart’s Blood” and thought I must have missed something because of Roger and Bree coming up the hill and the book just ended. I’m so unimpressed with so many parts of the book, but feel like so many of you it was just a filler book.
    I thought I would check out the Web to see if anyone felt like I do. I’m so happy I came across this blog.
    I totally agree with everyone’s comments. I too kept waiting for the storyline to get “anywhere”. The most heart wrenching moment for me was the death of Henri-Christian. I sat straight up in my chair while reading this part of the book. I do hope the next book will happen sooner than later and gives us the action, romance, intrigue, and high quality writing DB iss known for.
    Another thought I have is: Finishing the book and starting the television series just got in the way of each other.
    I absolutely loved the first seven books and I have enjoyed the series thus far (although there are notable differences in the two). I understand the difficulty in finding actors who look like characters from a POPULAR series of books. Someone mentioned Claire’s eye color, I noticed the physical differences right away and she is too tall. Jaime is supposed to be around 6′ 5″, in my mind he is more muscular, and has great presence, but haven’t seen that in the television Jaime. One can only hope that the writing, directing, and vision improve as the series matures.

  12. I agree with your review!!! But I’m a little more put out with the author than you. I don’t think Diane is a very effective writer. She herself admitted to using historical events to “fill-in” when she had run out of ideas. Well, I think enough is enough! Her books drag on with way too much historic retorhic and she does not effectively develop the lives of her characters anymore in the later books. Her story premise started out good but I was very disappointed with the 20 years of lost time that she allowed to pass by with Claire and Jamie being separated. Her series are very ungratifying for me, constantly leaving me wanting more, which for me, is the only draw for reading one book after the next, only to be disappointed by each book. I did a lot skimming through all of the books, Just to get past all that redundant history, wanting so desparetly to get to the main story of the characters. Her books read like hum-drum soap operas for long stretches and I get easily disinterested by the mundane events. I’m so tired and fed up with her lack of strong solid plots and her over indulgence of historical information, which if left out would reduce her series to one or two books that could have been a more fun and interesting read.
    Diane, get out of the book stores and go back to your labs. Sorry but I’m done with you.

  13. I also felt as if I was the only Outlander Series fan that felt MOHB fell way short of the other novels in the series. I was SO disappointed that we didn’t hear more about Brianna, Roger and their little family. I’m hoping that Diana will go back and explain how they managed to resolve the time continuum problem.

    Personally, I believe the T.V. series got in the way of her writing time. I understand she was very involved in the development of the series. I believe she was so excited and stimulated by the T.V. project that she didn’t have enough creative energy to devote to MOHB.

    My husband and I were both disappointed in the actors in the series initially. He wrung his hands over Claire’s hair, I was heart-broken by Jamie’s lack of height and heft. 🙂 But, we’re both over it. We’re both engrossed in the series and upset that we have to weight until April 2015 for the rest of season one. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!!

  14. I am only half way through MOHB and just haven’t been able to get into this book. All the prior books I read and loved. Maybe it is time to say goodbye. :-((

  15. I finally had an epiphany about this book. It is not a separate book, but a continuation of Echo in the Bone. It’s not that it doesn’t have a plot, but the plot is part of the last book. There are so many problems with it if you look at it as a separate book that are resolved when you combine the two together.
    However, aside from that there are serious problems. My first major complaint was that this book starts with Ian mourning his mother and uncle, whom we already know are alive. That is a very strange way to start a book, especially when we don’t get to see that issue resolved. He has google eyes when he sees Jamie, and that’s it. Rachel tells him about it off camera. No more resolution. I know Diana writes in episodes, but in this book she doesn’t resolve so many things. The big one, of course, is Henri-Christian. He wasn’t really in this book, we fell in love with him previously. Then he dies. People mourn, but there is no real understanding of him as a person, or exploration of their grief. The only action at the funeral involves some guy flirting with Marsali, which is then dropped. I suspect that Germaine will have huge issues in the next book about the death, and his parents then abandoning him (in his eyes) to live with Jamie and Claire. But there was no hint of that here.

    I agree that Diana was probably distracted by the movie, and felt the need to get this one done, so put enough into the end of this book. I am assuming the next and last book will settle many of these things. Although she does say that she trusts her readers to figure some things out. I think this is the weakest of the series. I am a huge fan, and look forward to the last book bringing things around to the end. Of course, then she plans a book about Jamie’s parents, and one about Raymond. So who knows.

  16. I am on the fifth book Fiery Cross and would like to know if the location will move to back to Scotland, England, France or some where besides the American backwoods during this time period. I really do not want to watch the sexy actor on the Outlander series wearing his beautiful kilt–living like a hillbilly (seriously). Can we please get away from the Jethro thing…not sexy…very disturbing. The adventures are not prevalent in FC and I am growing tired of Frasier Ridge and the war…grew up in a secluded area and it is nothing to write about (for me) and definitely not exciting (quite the opposite). I guess I must read the first three books again and skip to the last book only if all 18th century characters are in Europe, the West Indies, or Arabia. However, it was nice reading about Claire in the 20th century Boston….I just want to stay away from the era in the backwoods.

  17. i’m just at the end of AEITB, so i’m not sure the ending. i was hoping that somehow Jamie could time travel with Claire back to “her tiime” with some misadventures!!!

  18. Thank you for being honest and making me feel like I’m not alone in the world… I absolutely LOVE the series- have read most of them several times, but this one will be a one time read… And I think it might even have me give up on the series all together if it wasn’t for the fact that the story needs an end… But yeah- we all just have to wait for the next one.. Thanks again for your honesty! -Malene

  19. OK I must be the only one concerned with AGES! I will be starting the last book any minute, BUT should not the folks be close to 60 at least Claire if the kids are old enough for what they do Jem and Germain, and Jamie n Claire had a 24th anniversary the 1st year in America and they were 23 n 27 upon marrying Jamie turned 50 ! the 1st yr to and Willie was 12 when John brought him to visit, well then he’s 18 in (Ashes) so that makes Jamie 56 Claire 60 Bree just had Amanda then they go to there own time to FIX her heart, Jamie n Claire go back to Scotland then the kids are older by years so that would be Jamie 60 Claire 64 and my God they still mate like rabbits surely she should need hormones by now God love Jamie for keeping it lusty, But ye can’t keep being attacked hurt knocked out etc even with a hard head without some brain injury along the way! Christ I may move to Scotland and find a Highlander my self if that kind of fortatude still exists.Wait ! if each book ages them 3-5 years then OMG they’re pushing 70 !

  20. I haven’t got to this book yet…I’m somewhere around the first third of Book 3. I’ve been checking out summaries, reviews and comments on the later books simply to see if I can actually stand much more of this series at all. After the lovely wife-beating scene in the very first book, followed by the extra-lovely, violent, extended, nauseating homosexual rape scenes later in the first book, I was literally ready to throw the thing into the fireplace and write Gabaldon some hate mail. WTF kind of romance is this, where the leading man not only slaps his wife around out of some kind of 18th-century sense of duty (which I could buy), but does so gleefully admitting he enjoyed every second of it (which I cannot buy – is he suddenly a sexual sadist?)? And then we’re expected to continue LIKING this guy as the romantic hero? There are so many things these characters do that make no sense at all to me, and seem utterly irreconcilable. Also, while I suppose it’s the product of needing to fill all these thousand-page books, “SOAP OPERA” is a great description of what I call “f*ckery”, the piling on and on and on and ON of bad things happening to the same characters. I’ve started to wonder if Gabaldon actually despises the character of Jamie – pretty much every single bad thing that could happen to a human being happens to him, short of being mauled by a polar bear and abducted by aliens. I feel like Gabaldon should have stuck a fork in it shortly after Claire originally decided to stay with Jamie and not go back to her own time in the middle of Book 1. Maybe it’s just me – I read a ROMANCE expecting a final happily ever after, not years and years of ongoing torment.

    All that said, I keep reading these things and can’t stop thinking about them all day, every day. They keep me up at night, trying to think of rational reasons why the characters do what they do.

    Reading what I have from this blog and other sources, though, I don’t know if I can continue past the end of Book 3 without my head exploding. Claire is still wearing Frank’s ring FIVE books from now? WTF??? Not only did you LEAVE HIM LONG AGO, woman, he LEFT YOU, TOO, just before he died. Jamie goes and apologizes to Laoghaire? For WHAT, exactly? For not slapping her for trying to have Claire burned as a witch? For HER physically rejecting him throughout their (gag) marriage? For HER shooting him and almost killing him, yet him agreeing to pay her money instead of seeing her taken to prison for attempted murder? Just what exactly is he supposed to have done to her? Not love her? Then I guess he should apologize to every other woman alive for not loving them, either. I mean, how stupid.

    Am I alone in all this? It’s like I HATE these books with a passion, but somehow I love them, too. Which makes me wonder if I’m not completely insane….

    1. First off, Diana is very clear that these are not romances. They don’t really fit any genre. I agree with you about Jamie apologizing to Laoghaire, but he was apologizing for marrying her when he was still in love with Claire, and showing it. It was about him, not her. I don’t get as upset as you obviously do over the contradictions. She writes you inside the characters so it’s hard to stop reading.

      1. I keep trying to remind myself this isn’t a “romance” per se, but it’s difficult given that that central relationship is so foundational to everything else. It reflects my own bias, too, I suppose: that’s really the only part of the series that’s of primary interest to me. I don’t care much about any other characters or most of the historical backdrop – the details of military strategy and all of that. Sometimes I wish I had all the novels in Word format so I could edit out all the “f*ckery” and leave myself with the nice romance bits, ha ha! I’d probably end up with just ONE 500-page book.

        I was interested to see, though, that despite Gabaldon’s claim to precise historical accuracy, she botched a detail: being that he was already married, Jamie’s marriage to Laoghaire would have been considered a nullity at law (i.e., never happened). He wouldn’t have had to divorce her, or pay her one cent.

      2. Yeah, there are details like that throughout the books. One person was really focused on the fact that you couldn’t possibly get from no college to head of surgery in 20 years, assuming that a woman would even be considered for a surgical training and then get to be head of surgery in 1968. And the whole West Indies episode was pretty far from reality about the religious practices there. When I was in college it was called ‘willing suspension of disbelief’. We seem to be willing to accept time travel and then get picky on the details. I think its because she makes the world so real, we expect reality in all forms except time travel.
        If it helps, there is less of that in Book 4. It is the most realistic of all the books, I think, and has the least drama. More characters start arriving in book five, and it gets really intensive in number of characters by book seven. Interesting that you like the romance but not the sex. I like the characters, all of them, and could do without the heavy romance or the sex.

      3. LOL – glad I’m not the only picky bitch out there on the small details! It’s funny too how everyone reads the same thing but with their own bias, meaning we all get different things out of it, different interpretations, different things we love, different things we hate or bother us… I think that’s why I started searching these blogs and discussion threads – to see if someone out there had some explanations or interpretations of things that might make some sense out of them for me.

        I should clarify, though: I actually DO like the sex, along with the romance. 🙂 When I use the utterly non-scientific term “f*ckery”, what I actually mean is the never-ending string of soap opera-like drama and terrible (not to mention far-fetched) things happening to everyone ALL THE TIME. I mean honestly, can you think of another single character in a novel or series of novels who has as many terrible things happen to him or her as Jamie Fraser? The man has barely had two consecutive months of peace in his entire life. If it’s something shitty, he’s been through it. That’s why I said above that I’m starting to think Gabaldon actually hates him.

        Have you watched the TV series? Another thing where opinions vary wildly. Some people seem to think it’s just awful and poorly cast, but I can’t believe how impressed I am with it – especially the casting – at least so far. My mind might change in a big hurry depending on how they handle my two most hated scenes – the wife-beating and the Randall torture/rape. I had really hoped they’d find a way to screenwrite around those things, but alas, no such luck.

      4. Yeah, I’m watching it. I think it is staying close to the books, but little things bug me. Like how thin Claire is. No big bottom. I am sure they will relish the nasty scenes. And there will be a hullabaloo over the beating.
        Jamie does seem to get horrible things done to him. Roger doesn’t have it easy either, but you don’t know that yet. I think he should run fast the other way. Maybe Diana hates men.

      5. Ha – Catriona Balfe is apparently a sometime model, so she’s probably a size 2 if not smaller. I saw in Voyager that Claire says she’s a size 10. Now maybe a 1960s size 10 is smaller than today’s size 10 (thanks to vanity sizing), but it’s not going to be as small as a size 2! So I had to chuckle at that, too.

  21. I hated when Jamie beat Claire so much that I put the book aside. Eventually, I picked it up again and continued on with the whole series. However, as much as I like Jamie, that dampened my opinion of him a bit. I am not obsessed with him as some of my friends are.

    1. I have a friend who absolutely could not read past the end of book one because of that beating scene. Like I said, it’s one thing to accept that was the way it was in the 1700s, another entirely to accept that the man ENJOYED it. After that plus the Jack Randall gory, protracted, nauseating rape scene I was so upset by the entire book I was going to stop at book one, too… But then I found these darn characters will not let go of my brain. I’ve spent so much time the past two months trying to rationalize their irrational behaviour (I lie awake at night thinking about it, which is completely insane) I’m ready to chop my own head off!

      I think I had entered reading the series assuming it was a romance series, and therefore had very, VERY high expectations about the conduct of the “hero” and the delivery of a “happily ever after” – boy was I mistaken! I’m about a third of the way through Voyager now, and I honestly find I like Jamie less and less with each page of each book. I guess we’re supposed to accept that he’s not perfect, just as no human being is perfect, but some of what he does is entirely incongruous with what he actually says to Claire about how much he loves her. I’m therefore at the point where I’m not sure I believe he loves her all that much – he just really likes having sex with her. And that’s kind of sad – it can’t have been Gabaldon’s intention to make us doubt the very foundation of this central relationship… but that’s what she’s done, for me anyway.

    2. I do have a love/hate relationship with the series & Diana. I’ve seen her many times through the years and she’s really funny in person. I recall one book signing she spoke at and I left with my sides hurting from laughing! But….I picked up Dragonfly In Amber as my first read and it is engaging so I read the rest. After that the books get wordy and over blown and too much minutia for me. I at times truly dislike Brianna!! I know these are Diana’s characters, but sometimes their behavior is so far away from the person she has previously described it is unbelievable. I do love the Starz series. So far I think the adaptation is very well done. I do think the lives Diana built for these characters are too filled with drama and a lot of it was unnecessary.

      My favorite series in a similar genre in by Sara Donati “Into the Wilderness” no excessive drama, much easier to read & love the characters. They are more true to real life.

      But I’m still in love with Jamie for some inexplicable reason! lol!

      1. Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll check that series out.

        Jamie….I like him less and less with every page I read, I think. It just seems like the lies and dishonest behaviour get worse and worse the older he gets!

  22. I Finished this book ! Lord help me Love DG books, can’t believe it took 4 years of research to write this. OMG thought this would be the last of the series BUT evidently NOT! PLEASE let ME WRITE the last BOOK of this series! You could have left 300 pages out and still had a good read. Although I thought this was supposed to be about Jamie and Claire they seem to have been lost in the turmoil of the American Revolution WAY W A Y to much, and the BREE ROGER JEM kidnapping issue with Cameron didn’t seem resolved !! TO many characters doing to many things. beginning to think loose ends need to be tied up before starting new people and events. And the last page ! how are a 57 yr old man and a 61 yr old woman having so much sex without hormones and able to RUN down a mountain to see there kids I am moving to Scotland finding a SCOT and bringing hormones with me!! Ya’ll look out……………. Dianna if you READ this Please CONTACT me for the next Book be4 you start I can write in in a MONTH ish ………………………………………………………

  23. To sum it up in a very short line….I was totally disappointed with this last book. Actually….I didn’t think it was written by DG at all. The writing style is very different from the other books. After such a long wait for this…..I was totally let down. The cliff hangers we were left with were so poorly played out in this book. I admit, I felt somewhat “guilty” for my personal reaction and decided to research to see what others were saying.

  24. Before I pick up mohb I think I will reread aeitb, as it has been 4 long years. I felt it left so many cliff hangers… I found an old copy of Sara Donati’s Into the Wilderness on a free bookshelf, it was GREAT and it is a 5 book series. Each book just got better and better.

  25. I’ve not read the books, never knew them at all ! 3 weeks ago a friend of mine (male) said to watch Outlander on HBO “on demand”, since the serie is not on regular TV-channels here in The Netherlands/Holland (probably in about 5 years from now 😉)…and I am totally in love with Jamie (the actor is absolutely gorgeous as Jamie…what a man) The thing is that I am so eager to know the whole storyline (therefore this blog is perfect, thank you) but the books are not available in Dutch (as you can imagine that it’s pleasant to read such “huge” stories in your own language. My question is simple: what becomes of Claire & Jamie ??? Will they grow old together/happy…despite all the terrible things they have to go through. I am absolutely not interested in the Bree/Roger etc., just want to know about Claire and Jamie. Please help me out ?????? Thanking you SO much in advance…warmest regards, Tineke

  26. Thank you for your blog!! I bought this latest book in the series a year ago and still struggling to stay interested (pg. 333). Previous books had me reading Friday night and done by end of weekend.
    Its boring and dragging….I keep looking forward to more Brianna and her family, but story line continues with the war.

  27. The comment about a 57 year old man and a 61 year old woman still having so much great sex. You must be young because you have no idea how much greater sex gets with age. Especially if there is a deep emotional connection. I like the older Jamie much better than the younger and honestly wonder how the show will be able to “age” the characters. By the way – this is a great site. Love it!

  28. Well I did reed the book BEFORE the STARZ TV SHOW ! If I Had someone that LOOKED or WAS JAMIE(SAM HEUGHAN) I’d be doing “IT” with him till I DIE>>>>>!

  29. Those of you that don’t appear to like this novel , compared to others should take a course in American History 101, the American Revolution. You might be in awe of Diana’s meticulous research. Her weaving of story line and character development is top notch. This novel is not boring. As an historian and a new reader of Diana’s books (I’ve read all of the Outlander series and the Lord John written works in three months (no ebooks yet), I am so amazed that she is self taught. Continued success to her. Readers need to lighten up on the Claire/Jamie “thing” and watch what she is doing with her vision. Older people do have great sexual relationships and thank you Diana for showing it in writing. Ron Moore knows what he is doing and if given the chance,,the show with these actors will age wonderfully.

  30. So my question is quite simple and the answer can be short or long- it depends on you. I am just a person who needs to know how the story will end because if I don’t I’m probably won’t finish the story… So please tell me: are Claire and Jamie going to be together at the end of the blood of my blood? Looking forward to hearing from you😊

    1. Hi Sarah, yes…they will grow old together, after (too) much adventures they finally settle down.
      I have read all the books (in Dutch !!) and Fiery Cross was the one I disliked the most. But to understand the storyline or the TV-show you need to read all the books.
      Although I myself still don’t understand why Jamie watched Claire brushing her hair in 1945…and disappears as you can see in episode 1 of the TV-show.
      And yes, I like Sam Heughan as Jamie a LOT ! He’s gorgeous !

      1. Thank you so MUCH!!! Now I can sit down and read the whole series not worrying too much 😛 Speaking of Jamies “ghost” it’s killing me not knowing why he was there. So I’m thinking… first of all, when he was left by Claire for 20 years he decided to take a look just one more time, (not knowing that she will come back), and the second thought: maybe she was in danger in their “future” in Scotland and he decided to do something, to stop her from the first travel through the stones (please don’t!) 🙂 but I hope there is another way to explain that 🙂 Sam Heughan was the best choice for playing Jamie, I can’t imagine a different person. And I think Caitriona is good as well 🙂
        P.S.: Sorry, but my English isn’t very good, but I’m trying to do my best 🙂 Greetings from Poland!

  31. I was really hoping this would be the very last of the series that I have been reading for far too many years. I am about 3/4h done with her lasted book but I can already tell that this one will not wrap up anything. I do not know If I have it in me to read another 700 page novel that is mostly inane conversations, that mean nothing to the story. And why so many new characters. Does Diana have a goal to make each book longer than the last book?

  32. Hearing the audiobook version now.
    1. The Revolutionary War sections have become a bit tiresome, to say the least.
    2. The Jamie jealousy issue is tiresome
    3. Claire’s insecurity about her relationship and love with Jamie is tiresome
    4. Can the storyline just move along further without getting drowned out with the Fictional war tie-in?

    Re comments here:
    1. Do readers not know their American history, at least the basics?!
    2. Do some readers realize that some people do NOT F#CKING care about the philosophical parts like many of the WOMEN commenters?!
    3. History in this storyline is based on FICTION as the writer uses it as a story drop considering the timeline of the story. GET OVER IT!
    4. I’d rather hear more about Jamie/Claire/Ian&Rollo than Brianna/Mac, for the most part.
    5. Do readers NOT truly understand that the novel is FICTIONAL?!
    6. TV Show…
    a) Obviously the Damn female commenters wishing that Hollywood would have TV character portrayals EXACTLY like the book characters is UNrealistic like their views on the matter!
    b) It sucks when the TV series split up S1+S2 to basically show Book 1.
    c) How long will the series take to show Book2, then Book3, etc…?
    d) Much of the background is removed in the TV series for obvious reasons as it slow the TV series down so read/hear the book.

    Hopefully the storyline gets better as the audiobook version does add some drama to liven up the story telling.

    Remember folks…
    The storyline is in the American Revolutionary war era! GET USED TO IT!
    The storyline is FICTIONAL!

    Hopefully the author will remove much of the War tie-in that’s slowing down the storyline though it’ll kill the storyline considering the time period that Jamie/Claire/Ian is living in.

    Enjoy it the Outlander storyline for what it is… a work of fiction!

    1. I love your reviews! I was looking up to see how the last book ended then i realised id never read WIMOHB. I think i just gave up after they go back and forward in time so much, plus i didnt care about the new characters. Its a shame because i loved the series, even with its issues. Havent watched the series. I agree that the American war is too much center stage, another reason i wont be continuing. I look forward to your review of the next one in november though!

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