During my lunch hour today I finally caught up with all those other Diana Gabaldon fans and finished Written In My Own Heart's Blood, the eighth book in her Outlander series. Having read the first novel back in 2010, and thoroughly enjoyed it, I decided to read the series at the rate of one a month back in April, and have done just that.
These books average somewhere around 900 pages each, and use aspects of fantasy, time-travel, historical and romance fiction.
In reading them I've gotten:
1) A greater respect for romance fiction
2) A lot more knowledgeable about parts of the world in the mid-to-late 1700s
3) Reading Glasses (not necessarily related, but a fact nonetheless)
4) better biceps (seriously, these are HUGE books! - try carrying them around in Hardcover for a week at a time and see what happens to you!)
Written in My Own Heart's Blood moves (sorry for mild-spoilers, don't worry I won't talk about the end) back and forth between Claire in the United States circa 1778 and her daughter Briana in Scotland, circa 1980. Much of the book focuses on how the American Revolutionary War affected the lives of women, and considering there are a number of massive historical battles and events taking place in the novel, I was really impressed to see how these were depicted from Claire's point of view as a doctor (or Conjure Woman, a term often used to describe her), a wife, and a grandmother, and giving the narrative enough time to focus on each of these.
Part of what I've enjoyed about this series overall is how it doesn't seem to be afraid to follow Claire from her twenties into her thirties, forties and fifties, showing just how much her age can change her world view. The last time I recall reading a book that impressed me this much with changing perspectives of a single character was probably Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin.
If you've never given the series a shot, it's definitely worth it, and now, like every other fan, I wait with baited breath for the next one...
1 month ago