Occasionally you discover a book that you wish would never come to an end. The Outlander by Canadian author Gil Adamson, has been one of those for me. Set in 1903, it follows a young woman called Mary who is on the run after murdering her husband. She is being pursued by his two brothers, red-haired giants who look like twins. Mary – or ‘the widow’ as she is mostly called – treks over a mountain range, meets a solitary man known as the Ridgerunner, and washes up in a mining settlement called Frank.
This is such a wonderful novel. I was amazed by the amount of physical detail, especially the changing weather the widow has to survive, and how she lives in the wilderness. I suspect the author must have done a lot of camping! How else would she know what it feels like to be in a night-time forest so black you can only feel your way forward by scent?
Adamson, who is 46, spent 10 years writing The Outlander.