Welcome Gil Adamson!

February 8, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Posted in Great for Book Clubs, Middle Weight Fiction | 4 Comments

Gil Adamson, ‘The Outlander’, Bloomsbury 2009

Do you find sometimes you read the same kind of book? Do you like me sometimes get stuck in a rut with what you read? Are you looking for something out of the ordinary but still a captivatingly good page turner?? Then ‘The Outlander’ is for you! This book is nothing like I have read before. The author, Gil Adamson, is a Toronto based poet whose profession lends itself majestically to this fantastic story. It’s 1903 and the heroine of the novel, Mary, is a young widow who is being hunted through the prairies and Rocky Mountains of Canada. The plot is so simple and hinges on two important facts; 1. She is widowed by her own hand and 2. She is being hunted by her late husband’s brothers. Adamson describes the wilderness, the cold, the hunger and the isolation Mary endures so eloquently you feel as if you are experiencing it yourself. It’s also a super psychological portrait of a woman suffering postpartum psychosis. Reading it broadly it comments on people who live outside society, those who are illiterate, different and out of their time. Reading it literally it comments on the resourcefulness of women, mental health and how sometimes marriages can be very unhappy. It’s got a lot to offer a discerning reader. Adamson’s writing has been likened to that of Cormac McCarthys and I can see why. It’s dark, thrilling and psychological but it’s also lyrical and emotive. If you never make it to the Rockies or rural outback of Canada in your lifetime ‘The Outlander’ will take you there instead.

Haiku; Toronto poet, writes a galloping story, that never slows down

Click here to view this book on Amazon.com


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  1. Great review, I will definitely add this to my must read list.

  2. This is a great review. It really makes me want to read the book!

  3. I’m just about half way through Her Fearful Symmetry directly because of the review. It is a very cleverly written story and I’m really enjoying it. It very slightly reminds me of a very different book but with a definite linking thread; Douglas Kennedy The Woman in the fifth. Anyway thanks for the Niffenegger recommendation and excellently accurate review. One question; can the twins be truly identical if they are mirror images of each other. I presume they can be. Anyone know more about this? Poppy

  4. I just finished it & it was great! In one important episode where she needed rescuing, she rescued herself.

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