Friday, May 3, 2013

Book Review: "The Outlander" by Gil Adamson

I have to admit that it has been a little while since I read this book. The two books I read this week, however, weren't really up for reviewing (one wasn't the greatest and the other- Thomas Hardy's "The Mayor of Casterbridge" doesn't lend itself to the most exciting reviews, although I personally love literature from the 1880s). While staring at one of my many disorganized and in-need-of-dusting bookshelves, this novel kept catching my eye and so here we are at the weekly review...

Seriously, though, Adamson's The Outlander is one of those dark, strange and haunting books that never quite leaves the reader. I picked this book up years ago because of the praise of Michael Ondaatje and Jim Harrison- two writers I deeply admire. It is the story of a woman's race and pursuit through the wilderness at the turn of the 20th century, but more so, it is a poetic exploration of the boundaries, or lack thereof, between the mental and physical landscapes a person dares to inhabit. There is a ghostly tone of alienation and anxiety echoing throughout the pages of The Outlander that is deliciously raw and lyrical.

As a reader, this book satiated my need for stories that blend thrilling and compelling plots with stark characters and lush language. As an author, this book pushed me to carve out a writing style and identity that I could own. The confidence of Adamson's writing is as inspiring as the heroine of her tale.

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