Gil Adamson's The Outlander

I lead a book club in town, and I get paid in ARCs (advanced reading copies), which is fine by me. In my perfect world, books are currency. After thumbing through a variety of novels to choose the ones I want after each meeting, it is shocking to discover that so many of the ARCs have been written by the same author. Nabakov famously said, and this is misquoted, that there are two authors out there: me and everyone else. I think he's right, though now I would say that there is only one - everyone else. The prose of so many modern novels is pathetically familiar and mind-numbingly boring. The "I" of so much modern fiction must surely be the same person. I could wax on in frustration for a while, but I'll get positive and talk about how refreshingly new The Outlander is.

With her poet's eye and razor sharp observations, it is as if the world has been recreated in Gil Adamson's beautiful novel. The haunted Widow flees headlong through the night, spying ghouls and nightmares on her journey. She is running from her brothers-in-law, who want retribution. The Widow has killed her husband, and the brothers have decided that she must pay. Along the way she meets various and sundry characters, each representing a phase of her former life. As she encounters them, she also encounters parts of herself.

If the suspense weren't stellar, or there at all, the lyrical language would drive you to keep turning the pages. Adamson's poetical triumphs stem from her ability to describe something just as exactly as it is, but in a completely original way.

You won't find this book in the big box stores, and it's possible that The Outlander could founder on a few dusty shelves somewhere without making it's way into our personal libraries, and this is a shame. Buy this book on Amazon or order it at your local independent. It's just that good.


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