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Written in My Own Heart's Blood: Outlander    by Diana Gabaldon order for
Written in My Own Heart's Blood
by Diana Gabaldon
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Written in My Own Heart's Blood follows An Echo in the Bone as the eightth in the deservedly popular Outlander series, which moves (along with some of its characters) back and forth in time between eighteenth-century and modern day Scotland and North America.

As this episode opens, Jamie has (once again) come back from the dead, only to learn that Claire has married Lord John (for her and the family's protection) in his absence. Jamie's displeasure launches Lord John on a series of adventures, that take him to the armies on both sides of the revolutionary conflict.

Jamie's illegitimate son William, Earl of Ellesmere, has had his world turned upside down with the discovery of his paternity, and lashes out at all around him. William finds himself involved with a young woman of whom most parents would strongly disapprove - though his family does tend to go for inappropriate relationships and his parents (by blood and by adoption) are all pretty broadminded.

Claire enjoys her reunion with Jamie's sister, Jenny Murray, who is overjoyed to see her own son Ian again, though less sure about his plans to wed Quaker Rachel Hunter. Lord John's brother Hal has similar reservations about his headstrong daughter Dottie's intention to marry Rachel's brother Denzell. Jamie and Claire are both engaged more closely in the war than they would like.

In the modern day, Brianna desperately searches for her missing son Jem, while caring for his sister Mandy. On the same quest, her husband Roger has gone back in time (accompanied by his time traveling ancestor Buck), where he meets all sorts of people that Jamie and Claire have mentioned over the years - and fears for many, knowing what lies ahead for them.

Written in My Own Heart's Blood carries on the series' winning formula - engagingly high spirited, romantic characters (though with many more to track than in earlier episodes) moving back and forth in time and interacting with pivotal historical events. And it ends on a high note, a heartwarming homecoming. Fans will devour it, just as I did.

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