Sometimes searching for true love can be a little…Outlandish.
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.
At 29, Emma Sheridan’s life is a disaster and she’s tired of waiting for the perfect boyfriend to step from the pages of her favorite book. There’s only one place to look, and it means selling everything and leaving her world behind. With an unexpected collection of allies along the way, can Emma face down a naked fishmonger, a randy gnome, a perfidious thief, and even her own abdominal muscles on the journey to find her Fraser?
This is a fun story that I both read and listened to the audio book. Emma is a bit of a disaster at the beginning of the book as she quits her job and heads off to Scotland in search of her own Jamie Fraser (of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander fame). As an Outlander fan I can say that I completely appreciate Emma’s quest. And after seeing Sam Heughan cast as Jamie in the TV series my appreciation for Jamie has only grown! Emma’s journey has her following Claire’s path through Scotland and she meets a host of characters along the way. I loved her adventures even as I was cringing through some of them.
Emma starts a blog to document her journey and the book chapters start with a blog entry. It took me a couple of chapters to get used to the format and then I started to really enjoy it. I liked reading the positive spin she put on things in her blog and then the real story behind the blog posts. I also loved following her path through Scotland. My family is from Scotland and I was lucky enough to go for a visit a few years ago and see the tiny town that my grandparents lived in. Following Emma’s journey to the same castles, towns and spots that I visited was a delightful trip down memory lane. And I was left with a longing to return. The people that she meets are fantastic and unique characters.
One of my favourite quotes in the book comes from Emma’s blog in reference to Scotland
“Even if you never spy the ghosts you seek, the beautiful old spaces and places in this country will haunt your heart forever”
And it’s so true. I love Scotland…I’d move there in a minute if it wouldn’t mean being so far from all my friends and family.
The bits I didn’t like had more to do with Emma’s poor choices and lack of confidence in herself. She definitely makes some questionable decisions, especially in the first half of the book but the results are often hilarious. I didn’t enjoy the Shopaholic books because Becky annoyed me so much. Emma has a bit of that same feel as Becky, but I didn’t find her obnoxious. I was annoyed by some of her choices and she was way too trusting for someone who grew up in a big city. Her character does develop. She goes from having something akin to a quarter life crisis and needing to get away from everything to starting to adult by the end of the book.
A quick note on the audio book: It’s narrated by Romy Nordlinger who does a great job. Her use of accents and different voices really help bring life to the characters and make it clear who is speaking. It’s 12 hours of listening, which is much longer than my normal reading speed but it helped make a couple of very long car rides much more enjoyable.
This is definitely a lighter and very different read than Outlander. It’s a fun escape and if you enjoy following someone else’s misadventures from the comfort of your living room you’ll enjoy Finding Fraser. But a warning, you may be struck by the need to visit Scotland for yourself after reading it (do it!).
As some additional inspiration, here are some photo’s from my trip: