I read and loved The Outlander by Gil Adamson when it was released in 2008. Set in 1900 in the Canadian wilderness, this novel follows Mary Boulton, a young woman who is on the run from her two brothers-in-law, after having killed her husband. Atmospheric and suspenseful, with quiet moments of introspection and flashbacks of Mary’s earlier life, this character-driven novel is just exactly my favorite type of reading. If you asked me for a good historical fiction to read over the last 12 years, it is likely that I handed this one to you.
Finally, this story continues with the release of Ridgerunner, which was published in February. Ridgerunner is set in 1917 and focuses on 12-year-old Jack Boulton. Jack is the son of the recently-deceased Mary and also the son of the man known as the “Ridgerunner,” a notorious wanderer, loner, and thief. Jack is left in the care of a nun with a dark past, as his father robs mining towns and distant outposts in order to build a nest egg for Jack’s future. Don’t let this book’s online description as a “literary western” put you off. Not only does it have the descriptive and well-researched renderings of Canada and the Great Plains that won me over in The Outlander, Ridgerunner also explores the area’s physical landscapes changing due to tourism and the challenges of homesteading at the beginning of the 20th-century. Ridgerunner is a suspenseful ride, as well as an emotional journey between father and son, with twists, turns and secrets that you won’t see coming.
While The Outlander and Ridgerunner can be read independently of one another, why not thoroughly immerse yourself and read both? You can find these books and others by Gil Adamson on our library’s catalog.