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Finding Fraser

Publisher: Berkley Books

Finding Fraser is a delightful romp through Scotland via the eyes, or rather, keyboard of one Emma Sheridan, a gal on the adventure of a lifetime in the hopes of finding her very own Jamie Fraser, Scottish hero of the Outlander series.

On Emma Sheridan's 29th birthday, she realizes she needs to make a change. She is in a stagnant job at a coffee shop in Chicago (well, until she gets fired), and she needs some fire in her life. She decides to start a travel blog documenting her absurd trip to Scotland to find her true love personification of the hero of her favorite novel, Jamie Fraser from Outlander. She sells all of her worldly belongings and much to her younger, logical, and much more successful sister Sophia's complete chagrin, she embarks on a bold journey across the world.

Her wild ride begins with a side trip to Philadelphia brought on by fate, a hot pink flyer, and a convention focused on Outlander and "Herself," as Diana Gabaldon, the writer of Outlander, is referred to. Emma not only has a few embarrassing experiences, but also meets an interesting array of Outlander fans, including the very vocal Beauchamp's Belles, a male stripper who is most definitely NOT Fraser material, and most importantly, a charming Scottish writer named Jack Findlay. Not to be side-tracked again from her mission, Emma is on the plane to Scotland and although she has a few hiccups along the way, she couldn't be happier to finally arrive. Her money is quite limited and she decides to retrace Claire's route from the map in Outlander, thinking if Claire found her Jamie, it might just work for her. But fate, too much trust, and a healthy dash of naivete intervene and pretty soon, Emma finds herself in dire straights. Fortunately, most of the folks she meets in Scotland are good people. She meets a handsome lad named Hamish in a pub early on in her trip, only to have him spirited away by his friends before she even got to know him. As she explores the different areas looking for hallmarks from the books, she meets a charming (well, after you get to know him) American fellow Outlander fan named Gerald, who is more on the hunt for ghosts than anything, but they develop a friendship. She also runs into Jack Findlay again and the pair begin to correspond as friends. Throughout her adventures, she is blogging about it all and develops quite a following, especially from a Japanese Outlander book club run by HiHoKitty. Her sister, Sophia, is definitely not posting as a fan though.

She soon comes to think of Scotland, particularly Nairn, as "home" once she finds a place to live in the barn of a farmer named Morag, and she spends her time working at a coffee shop run by an Indian/Scottish man named Sandeep and his son, Ash. Before you know it, Emma thinks she's discovered her Fraser, her one true love, but has she really? Only when Emma realizes the trip to Scotland was about finding herself and not her Fraser will she truly be happy.

I found author KC Dyer's writing style to be delightful. She alternates between blog style entries, handwritten notes that Emma makes to herself, and simply dialogue between characters, but it's a really quick and fun read. She uses alliteration for the title of every blog post and it was fun seeing the interesting titles Emma posted based on her ups and downs. I will admit that I haven't read the Outlander books, but a dear friend has and tells me I absolutely must since I would love them. I feel like I have done myself a slight disservice in reading Finding Fraser first, since I have spoiled a few things for myself, but it only fueled my desire to read the Outlander series and actually, to go to Scotland... but in the month where it is warm, because a summer vacation doesn't involve needing a sweater, in my opinion. Overall, I loved Finding Fraser and found it to be a delightful experience. If you are an Outlander fan, I feel like it is must read stuff, but even if you are not, it's a great summer read.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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