THE OUTLANDER
Gil Adamson

 


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Allen & Unwin, June 2008
Reviewed by Sally Roddom

THE OUTLANDER follows the journey of Mary Boulton in the 1904 American west. It is revealed very quickly that Mary is a widow ‘by her own hand,’ so the reader understands that this is the story of a murderess trying to escape the consequences of her crime. To add to the pressure she is being tracked by her two inflexible brothers-in-law, who are ruthlessly following her in order to bring her to justice for killing their brother.

Slowly the details of how Mary got to this point are revealed. The unhappy marriage, then the death of her child, followed by crippling post natal depression. As she makes her way into the Rocky Mountains, she suffers hardships and deprivations until she starts to meet people who are willing to help her no questions asked. Author Gil Adamson introduces us to a wonderful array of characters, each one leaping off the page into reality in your mind. Among these are the Reverend Bonnycastle, a priest who uses the sport of boxing as a way to preach the word; Charlie McEchern, a little person with a head for business; and then there is the Ridge runner, a man who lives rough, needs no one, but may be the only person who can save Mary.

For Gil Adamson, a published poet, THE OUTLANDER is her first full length novel. The beauty of her words cannot be disputed; however I did find the book to get a little dull at times and the eloquent prose could not completely hide that fact. Also, for me, the ending was not satisfactory and left all sorts of unanswered questions. Having said that, I do recommend that you read THE OUTLANDER. It is one of those rare books where you can immerse yourself and let the wonderful words flow over you.

Aug 2008 review originally posted on Murder and Mayhem

 

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