Saturday, 6 June 2009

The Outlander by Gil Adamson

DATE PUBLISHED: 2008 DATE READ: June 2009 NOTES: In 1903 a young woman, Mary Boulton, makes her way alone through the mountains, forests and valleys of Canada pursued by two men with rifles. As the story unfolds we find out that she has murdered her husband and the men are his brothers desperate for revenge. Rather than refer to her by name the author calls her “the widow” which creates a somewhat mythical status for her. Along the way she meets a strange reclusive man known as the Ridgerunner, and Indian and his wife, Bonnycastle, an eccentric but kindly church minister, and McEchern, the dwarf who runs the trading post. Although she is trying to survive in a harsh environment nearly all the people she comes in contact with are benign. But her brothers-in-law are relentless in their search for her. This is a simple story beautifully told. The description of life in the mountains is vividly described – the hunger, the cold and the despair all seemed so real. The mining town of Frank is graphically portrayed. It would be a cold-hearted reader who didn’t care what happened to Mary – I found I was racing to get to the end!

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