Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, August 15, 2016

A pair of literary lifeboats to help you sail through Droughtlander

With the dog days of summer barking down at us, it's hard enough to get through this lull in the pop culture season without longing for the new season of Outlander to come along.

Fortunately, I've come across a couple of books that make the waiting time that more bearable and then some. The first is a novel by kc dyer(she prefers lowercase letters for her name) called Finding Fraser. The leading lady of this story is a modern day gal,Emma Sheridan, who decides to make a bold life choice by selling all that she owns to fund a trip to Scotland.

The goal of her quest,not to mention the blog she's set up to chronicle this adventure, is to see if she can find her own Jamie Fraser, the beloved hero of the Outlander series, as a true soul mate. Emma gets plenty of opposition to this plan from her scarily sensible sister Sophia but those following her blog are eager to cheer her on. With such encouragement, Emma sails forth into the unknown, hoping at least to find a fellow who looks as good in a kilt as Jamie always does:

However, once Emma arrives, things go from awkward to worse. Thanks to a few stumbles and instances of bad luck, she finds herself far from her goals and in need of cash to further along her trip. Plus, finding her Fraser proves to be harder than expected.

At one point, Emma does land on her feet and even manages to hook up with a rugged Scotsman named Hamish. Yet, he may not prove to be her perfect match, as local author Jack Findley keeps popping in and out of Emma's path. Is he meant to be her Fraser or does Emma really need one at all?

The situations that Emma gets into do come close to over the top at times but the good natured quirks of the plot, along with many engaging characters that appeared along the way, keeps the book on a light and even keel. A nice development in Emma 's character is seeing how she falls more deeply in love with Scotland than any man(yes, she does a good bit of romance as well) and it would be fun to see a follow-up where she does return to Scotland and set up shop,so to speak.

Diana Gabaldon herself is a fan of this book, which is quite the ringing endorsement(she has a few cameo moments in the story). If you want a lively romp with a little humor and heart, Finding Fraser should be your golden ticket to Outlandish joy:

I spent a delightful weekend with Finding Fraser and now taking my time with Adoring Outlander, a collection of essays that I won from Library Thing.

Valerie Estelle Frankel edited this set of essays that discuss the success of the Outlander miniseries(Season One only) as well as the growing phenomenon of  the books themselves. Topics include the actual castles seen on the show, how Diana Gabaldon connects with her fans and the issue of genre; is it romance or speculative fiction?

If you haven't read all of the Outlander books, there are spoilers ahead(a couple of the essays deal with the Lord John Grey spin-off series) but if like me, you're willing to take that plunge then this book does have a lot of food for thought to heartily feed any fan. The opening essay alone takes on the history and beauty of Scotland, which the show itself truly writes a love letter to:

No doubt, there are acres of other Scottish themed books to ease through the time between Outlander seasons but I do recommend these two as rather satisfying way stations to relax in.

I would love to hear more suggestions for Outlander themed novels, in order to not only enjoy them but spread the good word about. It's not easy to find the passion,adventure and true romance that Jamie and Claire create on the page(and now the small screen) but such a search for literary love is always worth the taking:

1 comment:

JaneGS said...

Both sound like a kick. I know that Gabaldon has protested Outlander fanfic, so an endorsement from her is amazing.