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The Outlander by Gil Adamson
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The Outlander (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Gil Adamson

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984768,727 (3.78)189
Member:twopairsofglasses
Title:The Outlander
Authors:Gil Adamson
Info:Ecco (2008), Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:contemporary/ literary
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

The Outlander by Gil Adamson (2007)

1900s (8) 2008 (7) 2009 (9) adventure (24) Alberta (10) Canada (74) Canada Reads (14) Canadian (38) Canadian author (14) Canadian fiction (10) Canadian literature (17) escape (8) fiction (155) Frank slide (12) frontier (7) historical (22) historical fiction (74) literature (7) mining (12) murder (52) novel (21) read (11) read in 2009 (17) signed (10) survival (13) to-read (18) western (27) widow (17) wilderness (15) women (11)
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English (75)  Dutch (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
This is a great Canadian historical fiction read. Taking place in 1903 in south west British Columbia, a young woman is escaping from two men, as it turns out the twin brothers of the husband that she killed.

You don't find out everything at once. It comes in dribs/drabs throughout the novel. It is a mystery and artfully presented. The detail of her trials is incredible, the imagery is such you are there and character development is thorough, even characters that you meet for a little while. All this and you get to experience the famous Frank slide!!

Apparently this is Gil Adamson's first novel and she won several awards for this work...deservedly so. I will be sourcing out her other novels for sure. ( )
  Lynxear | Jul 15, 2014 |
This book was recommended to me, and I was actually surprised by it. First of all, don't confuse this with the well-known time travel Outlander series written by Diana Gabaldon. This is a stand-alone novel that was actually written by a Canadian writer and she is writing about a very intriguing part of Canadian history. Most people who live in Alberta have either heard of or have visited the site of the famous Frank Slide. It is located in southwestern Alberta. It occurred in the early morning of April 29, 1903. A time when most of the citizens of the mining town of Frank were in their beds asleep. It was catastrophic and basically wiped out the little town. The slide occurred when 90 million tons of rock came rumbling down Turtle Mountain. It totally obliterated all of the eastern end of Frank.This book brings this story to life through the eyes of a quite remarkable woman by the name of Mary Boulton. Mary is on the run at the age of nineteen from her two brothers-in-law. They are after her because she killed her husband who was their brother, and they want revenge. As the story of Mary's life unfolds throughout the book we find out why Mary committed this terrible crime, and we keep rooting for her to make her escape. On the way she meets some truly wonderful characters such as the bird lady, the Ridgerunner, Bonny the reverend, and many, many more. Like Mary all of these characters are outsiders or outlanders too. And the description of the mountainous terrain in and around Banff and Turtle Mountain are incredibly vivid. This is an excellent book, and one that I have no difficulty recommending to anyone who loves historical fiction based on true events. ( )
  Romonko | Jun 18, 2014 |
A young woman has murdered her husband and is fleeing from the law and from her vengeance-seeking brothers-in-law bent on hunting her down. Snippets of her past are revealed as she struggles to survive in the rugged mountains of the West, and the reader is provided a true feel for mountain life in the early 1900s. There are many interesting, eccentric characters she meets along the way. ( )
  michellebarton | May 14, 2014 |
The Widow Mary Boulton is the main character in this book. She was 19 years old when she married and left her father's home. Her husband was quite a bit older than Mary. Immediately after their wedding he helped Mary into their wagon and they headed for their new home in the wilderness. Other than her husbands brothers and the help there was no companionship for Mary. She was in the wilderness with only this quiet older man for company.
Soon Mary is on the run and half crazy. She is now a widow and her two week old baby is dead. The author tells of Mary's struggle with reality and the harsh surrounding that she finds herself in as she runs from her brothers-in-law who are after her. It takes a while before we piece together Mary's story and find out why she is crazed. What an adventure.
I found this to be a very good read, strong characters, and an interesting and believable plot. ( )
  bettysunflower | Feb 9, 2014 |
This book took me months to read and I kept asking myself why I was even bothering but I made my way through it finally. The story had potential but I just felt that it could have been told with more depth. I'm glad I finished it but I won't be recommending it to my customers. ( )
  tami.jeanne | Nov 23, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
There are plenty of improbabilities in The Outlander, and yet it’s a great read. Adamson is an impressive stylist who knows how to keep an unlikely story moving at a swift and graceful pace.
 
If you never managed to track down a good read for your Christmas break, this may just make up for it. Striking, thoughtful, full of unexpected twists, The Outlander is that rare delight: a novel that is beautifully written yet as gripping as any airport page-turner....Say the words "feminist western" and people may groan, confronted with images of Sharon Stone in chaps for The Quick and the Dead, or a rip-roarin', yee-hawin' Calamity Jane. But this is a serious, literary book that moves far beyond genre or gender stereotypes. It's also hugely enjoyable - as the cowpokes might say, a rattling good yarn

 
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Epigraph
"Now goes the sun under the wood,
I pity, Mary, thy fair face.
Now goes the sun under the tree, I pity, Mary, thy son and thee." Anon, thirteenth century.

"We could be meeting Jacob and the angel, We could be meeting our sleeplessness." - Charles Simic
Dedication
For Adrian, the good father
First words
It was night, and dogs came through the trees, unleashed and howling.
Quotations
Enter the narrow gate. The gate that leads to perdition is wide and many go that way; but the gate that leads to life is small and the road narrow and those that find it are few
... one was a follower, a second, identical perhaps in size and shape, and certainly colouring, standing abreast of his brother as if he were his equal, but he was not. He was somehow subordinate, in shadow, a copy not entirely faithful to the original.
She remembered her father saying about a man he disliked, … “he believes in moderation in all things, including sense.”
Am I happy? she thought. Is this happy? . . . she had found a kind of amnesty. It wasn’t happiness, not damned happiness.
The dwarf and the woman, lucky miscreants, outlanders, errors that should not exist but lived on anyway.
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Book description
On a moonlit night in 1903, a mysterious young woman flees alone across the Canadian wilderness, one quick step ahead of her pursuers. Mary Boulton is nineteen years old, half mad, and widowed - by her own hand. Tearing through the forest with dogs howling in the distance, she is desperate, her nerves burning, and she is certain of one thing only - that her every move is being traced. Two red-headed brothers, rifles across their backs, lurch close behind her: monstrous figures, identical in every way, with the predatory look of hyenas. She has murdered their brother, and their cold lust for vengeance is unswerving. As the widow scrambles to stay ahead of them, the burden of her existence disintegrates into a battle in which the dangers of her own mind become more menacing than the dangers of the night. Along the way, the steely outlaw encounters a changing cast of misfits and eccentrics. Some, like the recluse known as 'The Ridgerunner', provide a brief respite from her solitude; others, like the Reverend Bonnycastle, offer support only to reveal that they too have their own demons raging inside. As she is plunged further away from civilisation, her path from retribution to redemption slowly unfurls. A startling transformation of the classic western narrative, The Outlander is the haunting tale of one young woman's deliberate journey deep into the wild.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061491349, Paperback)

In 1903 Mary Boulton flees alone across the West, one heart-pounding step ahead of the law. At nineteen, she has just become a widow–and her husband's killer. As bloodhounds track her frantic race toward the mountains, she is tormented by mad visions and by the knowledge that her two ruthless brothers-in-law are in pursuit, determined to avenge their younger brother's death. Responding to little more than the primitive instinct for survival at any cost, she retreats ever deeper into the wilderness–and into the wilds of her own mind.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:44 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Fleeing the law in 1903 after killing her husband, Mary Boulton races toward the mountains while being tormented by visions about the cold-blooded brothers-in-law who pursue her, a situation that forces her to retreat deeper into the wilds of the West and her own imagination.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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