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The Outcast (P.S.)

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The Outcast (P.S.) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

As menacing as it is beautiful, The Outcast is a devastating portrait of small-town hypocrisy from an astonishing new voice poised for international recognition.

It's 1957 and Lewis Aldridge is travelling back to his home in the South of England. He is straight out of jail and nineteen years old. His return will trigger the implosion not just of his family, but of a whole community.

A decade earlier, his father's homecoming casts a different shape. The war is over and Gilbert reverts easily to suburban life — cocktails at six-thirty, church on Sundays — but his wife and young son resist the stuffy routine. Lewis and his mother escape to the woods for picnics, just as they did in wartime days. Nobody is surprised that Gilbert's wife counters convention, but they are all shocked when, after one of their jaunts, Lewis comes back without her.

Not far away, Kit Carmichael keeps watch. She has always understood more than most, not least from what she is dealt by her own father's hand. Lewis's grief and burgeoning rage are all too plain, and Kit makes a private vow to help. But in her attempts to set them both free, she fails to predict the painful and horrifying secrets that must first be forced into the open.

The Outcast is an unforgettable story of transgression and redemption from a powerful new writer.

Synopsis:

In 1957 Lewis Aldridge, newly released from prison, returns home to Waterford, a suburban town outside London. He is nineteen years old. A decade earlier his father's homecoming at war's end was greeted with far less apprehension by the staid, tightly knit community—thanks to Gilbert Aldridge's easy acceptance of suburban ritual and routine. Nobody is surprised that Gilbert's wife counters convention, but the entire community is shocked when, after one of their jaunts, Lewis comes back without her.

No one in Waterford wants Lewis back—except Kit, a young woman who sympathizes with his grief and burgeoning rage. But in her attempts to set them both free, Kit fails to foresee the painful and horrifying secrets that must first be forced into the open. The consequences for Lewis, his family, and the tightly knit community are devastating.

About the Author

Sadie Jones's first novel, The Outcast, won the UK's coveted Costa First Novel Award and was a finalist for the Orange Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. She lives in London.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

cariola119, November 29, 2009 (view all comments by cariola119)
I got so caught up in The Outcast that I stayed up until 3:30 last night finishing it. That says something for the power of the book--even though, in terms of content, it is probably the most depressing book I've ever read. The novel starts in 1957, as Lewis has just been released from prison and returns home. We flash back to 1945, with seven-year old Lewis and his mother taking the train to London to meet his father, who has long been away in the war. Dad turns out to be . . . well, not exactly an affectionate father; and things go from bad to worse a few years later when Lewis's mother dies. (No spoilers or details, I promise!) Different sections of the novel cover pivotal events in the years in between and in the weeks following Lewis's return. There's only a sliver of happiness in the ending, so if you're looking for a light summer read, don't pick up this one.

My main criticism is that it is a bit hard to believe that so many characters could be so cruel and downright abusive with no one seeming to notice or care and everyone blaming a ten-year old boy for his own misery. I know that the setting was 1945-57, but even then people might question some of the things that happen to Lewis. No one seems to figure out that his quietness has something to do with the fact that he witnessed his mother's death or that he's angry that his father remarries only five months later? Still, the author's ability to evoke a visceral respone in her reader is the novel's strength. She made me physically experience the sadness and anxiety and hopelessness that Lewis must have experienced.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061374043
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Jones, Sadie
Author:
by Sadie Jones
Author:
Ferguson, Amos
Author:
Greenfield, Eloise
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20090414
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from PreS to 3
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
10 x 7.8125 in 6.40 oz
Age Level:
from 4 to 8

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Outcast (P.S.) New Trade Paper
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Product details 368 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780061374043 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In 1957 Lewis Aldridge, newly released from prison, returns home to Waterford, a suburban town outside London. He is nineteen years old. A decade earlier his father's homecoming at war's end was greeted with far less apprehension by the staid, tightly knit community—thanks to Gilbert Aldridge's easy acceptance of suburban ritual and routine. Nobody is surprised that Gilbert's wife counters convention, but the entire community is shocked when, after one of their jaunts, Lewis comes back without her.

No one in Waterford wants Lewis back—except Kit, a young woman who sympathizes with his grief and burgeoning rage. But in her attempts to set them both free, Kit fails to foresee the painful and horrifying secrets that must first be forced into the open. The consequences for Lewis, his family, and the tightly knit community are devastating.

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