Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Outlander a powerful and promising debut by Canadian author

16. The Outlander, Gil Adamson. Fiction, completed 2-4, p. 389

There are books that set you up for disappointment.

The writing is graceful, yet muscular, the characters are vivid and the narrative springs to life with a propulsive rhythm that makes reading joyful and as effortless as sliding across an icy pond. Yet, the ending rings hollow, as disappointing as socks for Christmas.

The Outlander, Gil Adamson's debut novel, is not one of those books. The writing, the characters and the narrative are all as described above. But the ending, the ending is a wonder. It's wholly unexpected yet fitting; delivering on the expectations promised in the novel’s opening pages.

A tale of a Canadian woman fleeing two implacable pursuers, The Outlander calls to mind Cold Mountain or Kent Haruf’s Plainsong. It is a powerful and promising debut.

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