The Outcast by Sadie Jones
A Novel

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Synopsis

A mesmerizing portrait of 1950s hypocrisy and unexpected love, from a powerful new voice

It is 1957, and Lewis Aldridge, straight out of prison, is journeying back to his home in Waterford, a suburban town outside London. He is nineteen years old, and his return will have dramatic consequences not just for his family, but for the whole community.

A decade earlier, his father's homecoming has a very different effect. The war is over and Gilbert has been demobilized. He 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 foresee the painful and horrifying secrets that must first be forced into the open.

In this brilliant debut, Sadie 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 and cinematic pacing, The Outcast is an emotionally powerful evocation of postwar provincial English society and a remarkably uplifting testament to the redemptive powers of love and understanding.

 

About Sadie Jones

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Sadie Jones's first novel, The Outcast, was published to wide critical acclaim and won the Costa First Novel Award in Great Britain. It was also a finalist for the prestigious Orange Prize, as well as a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Her second novel, Small Wars, a tale of love, war, and honor, was published to impressive critical praise. She lives in London.
 
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 354 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Outcast

Kirkus Reviews

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The boy becomes numb, withdrawn from his friends, “closed and not really there.” But there’s also a well of rage within him which expresses itself when Gilbert announces a swift remarriage, and again when another boy (correctly) describes Lewis’s dead mother as “drunken.” There’s a lot of drinkin...

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The New York Times

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Because Mr. Gooding doesn't underplay his character's distracting tics, his performance makes you feel the uneasiness that Radio's presence provokes in the more heartless residents of Anderson, a town that lives and breathes football.

Oct 24 2003 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The New York Times

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This first novel describes a son's trauma and isolation after his mother drowns in a pond.

Jul 13 2008 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Guardian

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The Outcast by Sadie Jones Find this on the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Shortlisted for the Orange prize for fiction, Jones's debut novel is pure...

Aug 10 2008 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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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.

Oct 29 2007 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

Book Reporter

The daughter of a violent father and a passive mother, and sister to the town's beauty, Kit's strength and defiance make her an outcast, too, and Lewis becomes a symbol of hope and resistance to her.

Jan 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

AV Club

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Jones uses Lewis and Kit's battle against society to make a statement against blind conformity, but her concept of rebellion is nearly as bland as the stuffed shirts who hold the heroes back.

Apr 02 2008 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

What happens to these two tender creatures damaged by a repressive culture is, unfortunately, a less compelling question than why a smart writer like Sadie Jones would choose to write such a painfully old-fashioned novel.

Mar 25 2008 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Bookbag

Summary: When Lewis Aldridge lost his mother it was the beginning of a downward spiral of violence and self-harming which put him in prison.

Mar 09 2012 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

Historical Novel Society

Lewis is a disturbed and difficult young man, but we are taken through the events in his young life, starting with the death of his mother in a drowning accident whilst picnicking.

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Oprah.com

Lewis Aldridge, the protagonist of Sadie Jones's riveting The Outcast (Harper) divides life into befores and afters—there's before Daddy comes home from the Second World War and after, before Mummy drowns despite his struggle to rescue her and after, before prison and after.

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Fiction Writers Review

after Dicky beats him up and leaves him to bleed on the carpet, Lewis notes that his teeth “felt loose in his head, but his tongue couldn’t feel looseness,” then puts a hand to his hurt eye and finds that “it was very big, it wasn’t a hole or a gap or something frightening, it was just too big an...

Oct 10 2008 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

M/C Anderson

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Mar 13 2008 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

BooksPlease

As I wrote earlier The Outcast by Sadie Jones is a book that has sat unread on my shelves for seven years until I noticed that it was being broadcast as a TV drama.

Jul 27 2015 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Dec 08 2013 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

Kate Morton is an author which many of us seem to have read and enjoyed, although I have only read 'The House At Riverton' to date.'The Miniaturist' is also on my 'Want To Read' list.A great way of tracking the books you have read and it is good to be able to categorize them as well.Thanks for sh...

Jul 27 2015 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Jul 13 2015 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Mar 16 2015 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Jun 15 2014 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Jun 10 2015 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Mar 20 2015 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Nov 13 2012 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Feb 02 2015 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Nov 13 2014 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Aug 18 2014 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

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Sep 09 2014 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Jun 09 2014 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Aug 04 2014 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Apr 25 2013 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Aug 28 2012 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Dec 19 2014 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Aug 28 2013 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Nov 19 2013 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Oct 01 2014 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you.

Oct 01 2014 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

The Little Reader Library

Hi Tracy - this is something that has been picked up by teachers and children's book editors - in fact the ex Head Reader for Puffin UK, who now runs The Writers' Advice Centre for Children's Books in London said in her Amazon review: "..because of the strong mix of characters it succeeds in bein...

Oct 29 2013 | Read Full Review of The Outcast: A Novel

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