Winner of the Amazon.ca First Novel Award and the Dashiell Hammett Prize, Gil Adamson’s internationally acclaimed literary Western is now available in a new edition to coincide with the release of the long-awaited follow-up, Ridgerunner.
In 1903, a mysterious, desperate woman flees alone across the West, one quick step ahead of the law. She has just become a widow by her own hand. Two vengeful brothers and a pack of bloodhounds track her across the wilderness. She is nineteen years old and half mad.
Gil Adamson’s extraordinary award-winning novel opens in heart-pounding mid-flight and propels the reader through a gripping road trip with a twist — the steely outlaw in this story is a grief-stricken young woman. Along the way she encounters characters of all stripes — unsavoury, wheedling, greedy, lascivious, self-reliant, and occasionally generous and trustworthy. Part historical novel, part Gothic tale, and part literary Western, The Outlander is an original and unforgettable read, now available in a new edition to coincide with the release of the long-awaited follow-up, Ridgerunner.
Set in 1903, Adamson's compelling debut tells the wintry tale of 19-year-old Mary Boulton ("idowed by her own hand") and her frantic odyssey across Idaho and Montana. The details of Boulton's sad past an unhappy marriage, a dead child, crippling depression slowly emerge as she reluctantly ventures into the mountains, struggling to put distance between herself and her two vicious brothers-in-law, who track her like prey in retaliation for her killing of their kin. Boulton's journey and ultimate liberation made all the more captivating by the delirium that runs in the recesses of her mind speaks to the resilience of the female spirit in the early part of the last century. Lean prose, full-bodied characterization, memorable settings and scenes of hardship all lift this book above the pack. Already established as a writer of poetry (Ashland) and short stories (Help Me, Jacques Cousteau), Adamson also shines as novelist.