Review: Finding Fraser
I met Jamie Fraser when I was nineteen years old. He was tall, red-headed, and at our first meeting at least, a virgin. I fell in love hard, fast, and completely. He knew how to ride a horse, wield a sword, and stitch a wound. He was, in fact, the perfect man.
That he was fictional hardly entered into it.
~ kc dyer, Finding Fraser
Finding Fraser is a light-hearted tale of discovery centered around a die-hard Outlander book series fan, Emma Sheridan, who decides to chart a
So...since Jamie Fraser hasn’t found her, Emma sells her belongings, ditches her mundane life in the U.S., and sets off to find him for herself in Scotland. She also starts a blog about her quest, and her posts help tell her story.
This book is chock full of Outlander references. Recognizing them adds to the humor for series fans, but is not necessary to enjoy the story. Sort of like Bridget Jones’s Diary. You can enjoy that without having seen Colin Firth emerge dripping from the pond in BBC’s Pride and Prejudice, but you enjoy it more if you have. You probably enjoy all of life more if you have! ;-)
What did an
I. Can’t. Even.
|Srsly. Just. Cannot.|
Finding Fraser was published just as the Wentworth Prison episode aired for the first time. The timing could not have been better for fans seeking a little relief from the darkest side of the Outlander world. It was a welcome reprieve from the tension that allowed me to remain emotionally connected to Outlander. According to reader comments I’ve seen online, many other fans found the same solace that I did in these pages as we prepared to face our fears.
What story might help us forget Jamie’s current TV plight?
|The elusive Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan)|
in his natural habitat.
Emma doesn’t really have a plan when she gets there, so she does what any book lover would do.
I pulled out my copy of OUTLANDER.
Well, come on. Where do YOU go when your heart is broken?
This is not a rhetorical question.
Some people hit the bar. Some throw themselves into their work. Some just leap into the arms of the first non-homicidal-looking person they find.
Me? I go to the bookstore.
She decides to follow Claire Fraser’s path through Scotland, more or less, and visit key Outlander sites, hoping for some sort of miracle or coincidence — or clue what to do next. Along the way, she meets an assortment of travelers and local residents, muddles through a few mishaps, holds down a job, acquires and hones some useful skills, and accumulates a surprising number of blog followers who cheer her along and keep her honest. (It’s interesting to see how she spins parts of her tale online.)
As for men, she meets a few. One of them even begins a conversation like this:
“I have read the book, y’know.”
“The book? OUTLANDER, you mean?”
He nodded. “Twice, in fact. And just to be clear, I’m no Jamie Fraser.” He crinkled his eyes at me. “I’m not exactly a virgin, for starters.”
Does it soothe and entertain?
|Deep breaths. Each day.|
Repeat until Saturday night.
Some of the developments were fairly predictable, but that didn’t make the story less captivating for me. Emma is an engaging and energetic young woman whom I think many readers can identify with — especially readers who love Outlander or hold a special place in their heart for a literary love. She has the audacity to do something I would be afraid to do, so I had to applaud her courage even when I winced at her stupid decisions or her myopic inability to recognize the opportunities (or lack thereof) right in front of her nose. Over the course of her journey, she gains some much needed self-confidence and clarity, though I think Emma overstates when she says that she has found “her own inner Claire.” I do think she’s on the right track, though!
Her bitch of a sister in particular was a bit one-note, but this was a fast-paced read, so I forgave the broad strokes because they kept the story moving along quickly. After all, I was looking for something uncomplicated and calming to my frazzled nerves. By the time it ended, I felt like I was returning from an invigorating jaunt to Scotland, where I had met all sorts of interesting new people.
Finding Fraser isn’t fanfiction, it’s fiction about a fan who loves Outlander, and I can totally relate to that! Outlander author Diana Gabaldon makes a brief appearance in the book, in a manner of speaking. Herself also recommended this book on Facebook, which is how I found it. And I’m glad I did, because the timing was perfect.
Humor, ancient Scottish ruins, beautiful Scottish countryside, quaint Scottish villages, colorful Scottish characters, pungently peaty Scottish whisky,
This Wench rates Finding Fraser...
This Outlander TV series fan desperately trying to calm down rates Finding Fraser...
Have you read Finding Fraser? Have you found other ways to offset your Outlander anxiety? I hope you’ll share your recommendations with us in the comments below!
* gifs from fuckyeahreactions.tumblr.com, Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser photo from Starz