Katie: As usual, Patty is dragging me kicking and screaming into a read of something I find questionable. In this case, it’s Finding Fraser by KC Dyer, which is an homage of sorts based on the incomparable James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander saga. I didn’t see how this could possibly be a good idea.
Patty: How could having a PERFECT opportunity to use JAMMF images be a bad idea?
Katie: Our heroine read Outlander while in high school and fell in love with Jamie Fraser, or at least the idea of him. I mean, who could blame her?
Now in her late 20s, she’s stuck in a dead end job, divorced, and desperate to make a change before it’s too late. She decides to take a trip to Scotland (in the winter!) and see if she can find her own Jamie. Mishaps and hijinks ensue. To make a record of her trip and keep herself honest, she decides to blog her experiences as she travels. These are amusing and the growing comment sections are a lot of fun.
Patty: She dives head-first into her search despite opposition from her family, having no money, no real idea with regards to how she’s going to find “him” and understanding she’s looking for a man based on a fictional character; but ultimately, she also has nothing to lose. She’s honest about acknowledging the absurdity of her plan and yet is determined and optimistic. In other words, she’s certifiably crazy but driven.
Patty: It’s cute. Kind of has a rom-com feel to it: silly and light on the angst, with colorful characters and a HEA you see coming a mile away. I liked that the heroine wasn’t wealthy – there was no limitless and unrealistic romance-novel income financing her trip – and had to actually worry about stuff like paying for food and lodging. Her travel mishaps were realistic and she didn’t just zip through her Scottish adventure without stumbling across bad luck, bad people and sometimes, the consequences of bad decisions.
Katie: Agreed. I liked she was constantly counting pennies – exactly like a barista travelling on a budget would. And, I giggled at all the references to Outlander culture – and there were many. But that leads to one of the issues I had with the book…
Patty: This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but the story is kind of like one giant inside joke of sorts. The author very much wrote it as a tribute to all things Outlander so a lot of the references and humor won’t quite have the same effect for those who have not read at least the first book of that series.
Katie: Not kidding. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone unless they could tell me who Herself is. There are too many wink wink nudge nudge moments involving Outlander culture for it to be enjoyable if you’re a newbie. That said, if you’re familiar with the novels and the online culture of the fan base, I think you’ll find this an enjoyable way to while away an afternoon. A fun “beach” read, if you will.
Patty: Oh, and…
…which has nothing to do with the book. Just had to throw that in here.
Katie: Well, I can’t possibly top that, so we’ll just end it there.