“I met Jamie Fraser when I was 19 years old.
He was tall, redheaded, and, at our first meeting, at least, a virgin.
He was, in fact, the perfect man.
That he was fictional hardly entered into it…”
My mom got me a copy of Finding Fraser by KC Dyer for Christmas. I read it in under a day (the perks of being mostly dead) and thought, who better to share my thoughts with?
Finding Fraser is a charming, funny, and delightful story about Emma, a 29yr old former barista in Chicago who decides on a whim to fly to Scotland and find her own Jamie. James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, that is. What follows is a great adventure about finding yourself as much as finding a man. And honestly, what Outlander fan hasn’t at one point or another thought about jaunting off to Scotland to fling themselves through some standing stones? Emma takes this a bit further by selling literally everything she owns (save some clothes, her laptop, and her well-worn copy of Outlander, of course) and hopping a flight to Edinburgh.
It’s a bit predictable, and Emma may be a bit more naive than I thought entirely plausible, but the style of writing and format (She is blogging her way through Scotland, so it’s a mixture of blog posts, emails, and first-person narrative) make it a fairly quick and easy read. I’ve always loved reading books that are based in or a re-telling of Austen stories, and it was nice to see one about a series I love so dearly.
Emma’s trip is by no means smooth sailing and worry-free, and her focus seems to be on entirely the wrong things for much of the book, but that might be what makes her so relatable. She is smart but flawed and a little socially awkward. She has a sister who is all too happy to point out her mistakes but remains steadfast and resilient, no matter what trials she faces. Some of the situations she finds herself in seem a bit far-fetched, and she tends to hold onto things she should really let go of, but I think that is part of what makes her feel real. Emma is both brave and foolish, but her winning attitude and adventurous spirit had me rooting for her throughout the whole book. This novel isn’t so much a romance as it is a book of self-discovery. I think everyone can relate to Emma’s insecurities and floundering when she realizes that, at 29, she’s at the cusp of “Adulthood,” and that magic age of 30, when it’s an unspoken assumption that by the time you’re in your thirties, you should really have your shit together.
While we await the next installment of Outlander on Starz and the next book from Herself, this is a fun, quick way to pass the time, and cheering on a fellow fan (however fictional) while she hunts for her own Jamie and perhaps finds herself in the process.
(I plan on returning to Scotland in the next couple years, and fully intend on going full-on fangirl while I follow the Outlander tours they now have… I’ll be bringing my own Jamie, though… even if he isn’t Scottish 😉 )
Read if you like: Outlander, Bridget Jones, Austenland, or any other kind of fan homage books.