The Outlander series of books is a favourite of mine. It is a difficult to give a brief summary that encompasses the depth and breadth of what has been written, but at the heart of the series is the story of an unusual couple. Jamie Fraser, born in 1721, is a displaced Scottish landowner, sometimes warrior, and fugitive from English law. Claire Beauchamp, an English army nurse during World War II, is on a Scottish holiday in 1946 with her husband Frank Randall, when she passes through time in the standing stones at Craigh na Dun. The stones take her to 1743, same location, where though a series of circumstances, she and Jamie meet and marry.
The series is well-written historical fiction encompassing what would be Jamie’s normal lifespan, with Claire and a few others passing through time on occasion. This includes pre-Culloden Scotland, pre-revolutionary French Court, and across the Atlantic to North Carolina and the American Revolution. The science fiction aspect explores how time travel could work, what might allow people to “steer” as to a specific time, who can travel, and how to stay alive while doing it. One of my favourite aspects of the series as a whole is that readers can follow the characters over a number of decades, watching their experiences change them and their relationships. The books highlight how the people in our lives are more important than the times we live in.
This latest novel, the eighth in the series, picks up where the last one left off, Jamie has returned very much alive from his presumed watery death to find Claire married to Lord John. Jem is missing, Roger is trying to find him, perhaps in the wrong century, and Brianna is battling a threat of her. Gabaldon is a master at composing dialogue and adroitly infuses humour into the simplest of phases. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood is a welcome continuation of Claire and Jamie’s story.
I read that there will be just one more book in the series, but you never know for sure about these things. Here is a shot of one my reading corners 🙂