bonniegarvin, April 2, 2008 (view all comments by bonniegarvin)
I love this book. For me it has it all. The characters are compelling and heartfelt. The story is powerful and poignant. The language is poetic and evocative. Jones's fluid prose is seemingless effortless. At the same time, I felt as though I was reading a thriller being propelled through the book. My heart was racing at the same time it was breaking. The characters are so real they feel as if they're going to walk off the page. Jones captures a place and time as well as a mood. But she doesn't do it through a lens of nostalgia. Rather she shines a harsh light into the dark recesses where hypocrisy hides, exposing its ugly truths.
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sammy falzone, March 24, 2008 (view all comments by sammy falzone)
Look, when did it become OK to write in the PASSIVE VOICE? I expect more from the British - it is THEIR language. But Sadie Jones, a rank amateur if there ever was, needs to study writing at one of those American Fine Art colleges and LEARN that "It was" ,and other weak constructions like it, stinks; that it is bad and WRONG to overuse "IT WAS". She uses the word WAS and the like about 9000 times. It is a terrible novel and all of you applauding it are nothing but analphabets . . . IT WAS IT WAS IT WAS TERRIBLE IT WAS . . . .
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A deeply felt exploration of damaged families and relationships, Sadie Jones's gorgeous debut novel is subtle, moving, and surprising.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Set in post WWII suburban London, this superb debut novel charts the downward spiral and tortured redemption of a young man shattered by loss. The war is over, and Lewis Aldridge is getting used to having his father, Gilbert, back in the house. Things hum along splendidly until Lewis's mother drowns, casting the 10-year-old into deep isolation. Lewis is ignored by grief-stricken Gilbert, who remarries a year after the death, and Lewis's sadness festers during his adolescence until he boils over and torches a church. After serving two years in prison, Lewis returns home seeking redemption and forgiveness, only to find himself ostracized. The town's most prominent family, the Carmichaels, poses particular danger: terrifying, abusive patriarch Dicky (who is also Gilbert's boss) wants to humiliate him; beautiful 21-year-old Tamsin possesses an insidious coquettishness; and patient, innocent Kit — not quite 16 years old — confounds him with her youthful affection. Mutual distrust between Lewis and the locals grows, but Kit may be able to save Lewis. Jones's prose is fluid, and Lewis's suffering comes across as achingly real." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day"
by Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World,
"It's an arresting story, but The Outcast has plenty of problems....[T]he novel's tone is unremittingly lugubrious, lacking even a hint of humor, much less comic relief...." (read the entire Washington Post review)
by Booklist (Starred Review),
"Beautifully delicate....The teen's struggle for redemption becomes ever more compelling as Jones builds in a palpable sense of suspense."
by O magazine,
"Riveting....The tension in The Outcast is palpable and sensuous, beating loudly beneath the tranquil surface of Jones's calm prose."
by Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review),
"A confident, suspenseful and affecting first novel, delivered in cool, precise, distinctive prose."
In this brilliant debut, Jones tells the story of a boy who refuses to accept the polite lies of a tightly knit community that rejects love in favor of appearances. Written with nail-biting suspense, The Outcast is an emotionally powerful testament to the powers of love and understanding.
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