This set of romance novels that started with a World War Two nurse going back in time to Jacobean Scotland has reached the point where it feels like a television series. Somewhat hilariously it has now also become one.

MOBY-cover-final-US1-220x327In Written In My Own Heart’s Blood we once again follow the adventures of Jamie and Claire who became reunited at the very end of the last book. They now live in America during the war of independence.

Unfortunately, despite the exciting times, the adventures were few and far between and over far too soon. Most of the book is taken up with scrimping to make ends meet or digging in the garden or having sex. There is a battle and a few suspenseful scenes, but mainly the book is full of domesticity where Claire muses about any number of things, from the meaning of life to whether a character might be pregnant or not.

One must say that many of these musings are very entertaining and often insightful. Yet there is a feeling that unlike its characters, who never seem to get enough to eat to have middle-aged spread, the series has become a bit bloated with indulgence. We the reader are so in love with the world Gabaldon has created that we’re willing to continue to read her soap-opera-like story with no end or point in sight.

I used to think that reading Gabaldon was like chicken soup – hearty, homey and good for the soul. Now I wonder whether I’ve simply overdosed on the stuff. Despite being a big fan, I’m not even sure whether I’ll buy the next book if one eventually appears.

I lost interest in The Wheel of Time too, I think around book five or six, while others happily chewed through all of them to the bitter end. This led me to wonder what are the signs that a series is becoming staid. Is it possible to continue a meaningful story for eight books or more?

I’m going to give the novel a 3/5.

(It has to be said though I have absolutely loved most of the books up to this one, and would recommend anyone who likes historical romance to pick up the first in the series or watch the new television production.)