The Outlander

The Outlander

Book - 2008
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In 1903 a mysterious young woman flees alone across the West, one heart-pounding step ahead of the law. At nineteen, Mary Boulton 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 fight for life, the widow retreats ever deeper into the wilderness--and into the wilds of her own mind--encountering an unforgettable cast of eccentrics along the way.

With the stunning prose and captivating mood of great works like Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain or early Cormac McCarthy, Gil Adamson's intoxicating debut novel weds a brilliant literary style to the gripping tale of one woman's desperate escape.

Publisher: New York : Ecco, 2008.
Edition: 1st Ecco ed.
ISBN: 9780061491252
Characteristics: 389 p. ; 24 cm.


From Library Staff

Adamson’s debut is an engrossing adventure novel that takes place in the Rockies in 1903. After killing her husband, nineteen year-old Mary Boulton is on the run from her two brother-in-laws who are on her trail. Encountering number of both eccentric and kind people who assist her in her journey,... Read More »

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Dec 07, 2020

As the previous reader points out, this book is the prequel to Gil Adamson's recent book, Ridgerunner, which was nominated for the Giller Prize. You really need to read this one first as it introduces you to the two main characters, Mary Boulton, who is the Outlander, and William Moreland, who is the Ridgerunner.
This is a fabulous read, with the most imaginative and fascinating cast of characters. The writing is lyrical and fluid. As with other readers, I read this in 2 days in every available moment I could find. Reading it is a fully immersive experience.

Jun 16, 2020

A well-researched and engaging adventure yarn set in 1903 about a young woman on the run in mountainous Alberta from two brothers seeking revenge. Ill-prepared for the ordeal, the woman suffers cold and starvation as she crosses the pass through Crow territory. There is a sense of community among wary people who scratch out an existence in the frontier wilderness, a willingness to help a stranger when they themselves have little to share, perhaps a form of insurance should fortune turn against them. The woman’s journey is mental as well as physical; her resourcefulness and confidence grow. People had to be tough to survive. The book also incorporates into the story the historic landslide in the mining town of Frank, Alberta. The writing evocatively captures the rugged beauty of the landscape, the rocks, the trees, the animals, the light, the odors, what can be eaten. The author recently released a follow-up book to the woman’s tale, Ridgerunner.

May 24, 2020

There is such cadence and rhythm in the language, so much sensitivity of the writing in this novel set in the early 1990s about a widow on the run in Western Canada. There is much edge-of-your-seat suspense, and the characters, the widow, the twins, the Ridgerunner, and McEchern, are strong.
I couldn’t put the book down and read it in two sittings. I look forward to reading her latest.

Dec 26, 2018

I could easily read & enjoy this again . Please buy more of her books.

Nov 24, 2018

I liked how the author placed the events with the slide at Frank. I was going to give this 4 ½ stars, but when I read the final 2 words of the book, it was 5 stars. Excellent!

Oct 08, 2016

A memorable novel about a young girls flight from across the Rocky Mountains in the early 1900's from a disastrous marriage which saw her murder her husband. Her two brothers in law pursue her in revenge. The story was filled with great characters and places. Well worth a read.

Feb 27, 2016

Incredibly slow with description that doesn't seem to lead anywhere. If you want nice imagery, this book will allow your mind to create a lot, but I quit reading after Part I.

May 04, 2015

Very descriptive through the entire book.. In fact, for me it was a bit much. If there is a followup I doubt I will read it. However I liked how it ended.

Mar 05, 2015

This was my first Adamson novel and it lived up to the high praise.
Her characters are vivid and her descriptions are on point.
Very enjoyable! Five stars

Dec 18, 2014

This is a little treasure. Not a highland outlander at all. This is very well written. The characters are not only well developed with backgrounds that give them plausibility and motivation in the storyline, but give them life and believability as to their actions and decisions. It was at the same time both a gripping tale and a fun read. Too bad Gil Adamson doesn't have more books.

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