Read The Outcast by Sadie Jones Online

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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 has recently been demobbed. He reverts easily to suburban li1957, 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 has recently been demobbed. 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 has been 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. As menacing as it is beautiful, The Outcast is a devastating portrait of small-town hypocrisy from an astonishing new voice....

Title : The Outcast
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780099513421
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 441 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Outcast Reviews

  • Saleh MoonWalker
    2019-02-20 23:20

    Onvan : The Outcast - Nevisande : Sadie Jones - ISBN : 701181753 - ISBN13 : 9780701181758 - Dar 352 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2008

  • Victoria
    2019-02-24 20:43

    Every now and again you come across a book that really appeals to you. After reading the blurb on the back, looking at the cover (judge a book by its cover? Me? Erm… yes, quite often) and reading a few well-chosen reviews, I decided that The Outcast was definitely going to be a book I would enjoy. It ticked all the boxes: Lots of praise from literary sources? Yep. Setting some time in the British past? Uh-huh. Dysfunctional families? Hell, yeah. So why, upon finishing, did I award it only two stars?Simple really: I didn’t like it.Writing style was undoubtedly brilliant, sweeping and emotive (and earned this debut novelist one of those two stars). Trouble was, for me - and I’m aware that I am hugely in the minority here - it was hard to care about the story and the characters because of the massive, oppressive depression that dominated every single page.Don’t get me wrong, I can take it when the literary going gets heavy. But I need a little light relief, because there’s always a balance, right? But I just found every element of this story suffused with such a glut of horrific emotional destruction and oppression - and some truly horrible, horrible characters - that I had to battle my way through to the ending. (Which itself was a vaguely pleasant surprise, and earned the other star).I would recommend this to anyone who ‘enjoys’ – for want of a better word – all those misery memoirs that are currently dominating bookstores nationwide. You know the ones; a ‘hand-writing’ font used for the title (which is usually something along the lines of ‘please don’t daddy’ or something equally harrowing) and plain white covers with a picture of a tearful child. Oops, there I go judging books by their covers again. But if you can wallow in others’ misery and not be dragged down yourself, then this well-written book is for you.Oh, and a quick edit to say that I have seen several reviews that liken the main character to Holden Caulfield. I am not a Catcher In The Rye fan either, so maybe there's something in that.

  • M
    2019-03-16 20:19

    The following is a list of things I find so nauseating to read about that I cannot sustain interest in a novel, or in food:1 - children watching their mothers drown (especially if it is described in agonizing detail for several pages)2 - fathers beating children mercilessly3 - sons sleeping with stepmothers4 - incest5 - people cutting themselvesThe following is a list of writing no no's that make me crazy:1 - telling and never showing2 - characters that are not only totally flat but make zero sense3 - dialogue that doesn't at all follow a logical sequence4 - people falling in and out of love with no rhyme or reason5 - characters being clearly sketched as unrealistic villains or saintsI must commend Sadie Jones for this ambitious work that covered all of the above. Was she so worried there would not be a second novel and so she was compelled to shove all of that into one novel?

  • Katri
    2019-02-23 17:34

    4.5 tai 5 tähteä - pakko vielä miettiä!Huh mikä kirja. Olen täynnä tunteita, mutta sanaton. Sadie Jonesin Ehkä rakkaus oli totta oli ihan hyvä, mutten sen perusteella olisi odottanut mitään tällaista. Täyslaidallista, koko pirun lukijan tunnemaailman myllertämistä. Kirja on niin karu, oksettava ja koskettava, että tekee melkein pahaa lukea sitä. Se on liian totta. Samaan aikaan kirjassa on kuitenkin taianomaisuutta, jota kaunokirjallisuudelta kaipaa. Kirjassa on vain kaksi asiaa, miksi en ole varma annanko täysiä pisteitä. Ensimmäinen on eräs kirjan tapahtuma, joka minusta soti kokonaisuutta vastaan. Tavallaan niin odotettava, ja silti jotenkin ei sopinut kuvaan ja ehkä juuri siksi, kun se on piikkinä lihassa, se onkin niin oivaltava. Äh, en tiedä. Toinen juttu on se, että kirjasta jää ihan vähän tunne, että tarinan on jo kuullut. Ja tavallaan onkin, samoja aiheita ja teemoja pyöritellään mitä useimmissa kirjoissa. Mutta silti tuntuu, että tässä oli jotain ihanan uniikkia, ihan oma maailmansa, joka oli silti etäisesti tuttu.No, jään sulattelemaan tätä.

  • Shannon (Giraffe Days)
    2019-03-08 18:19

    I came to read this book mostly due to a review on Goodreads, a negative review, that made the book sound atrocious. I liked the review, but as a couple of years went by I couldn't quite get it out of my head, and my curiosity - was it really as bad as all that? - prodded me to buy it when I saw it at my favourite second-hand bookshop. And the short answer is No, I don't think it's as bad as the other reviewer found it to be, and isn't that part of the joy and the complexity of reading? What's trash to one person can be something quite different to another, and really, is anyone wrong? Is anyone right? When we think dispassionately about reading, we can acknowledge that a wide variety of opinions are valid. The fun is in articulating your own.In 1957 nineteen year old Lewis Aldridge returns home after two years in jail, finding things to be pretty much exactly as he'd left them: his emotionally-disabled father, Gilbert, is still expecting certain things of his son; and his step-mother, Alice, still flutters uselessly around him, mixing drinks for his father. And Lewis himself hasn't really changed, just more withdrawn and quiet and distrustful than ever before, unable to speak, unable to ask for the love of his father or overcome the tragedy of his mother, Elizabeth.Twelve years ago in 1945 we meet Lewis as a little boy meeting his father for the first time, newly returned from the war. Gilbert doesn't know what to do with this seven year old boy except shake his hand and wish him elsewhere. His long-awaited reunion with Elizabeth seems crowded. Settling at home again in the south of England and with Gilbert working hard at a new job, Elizabeth, bored and purposeless even with a small child and husband just returned, drinks herself steadily into an unspoken depression, until one disastrous day at the river with Lewis ends with her drowned. From that moment, that tragedy that Lewis not only witnessed but failed to prevent or save his mother from, he changes. His father won't hold him or soothe him, only demand answers from him. Becoming more and more withdrawn, now taunted by his peers who were once his friends, Lewis resorts to physical violence in retaliation and builds a reputation in the small town community for being violent, unpredictable and even dangerous.Only Kit, the youngest daughter of the wealthy Carmichaels - Dicky who beats his wife and Kit, who is Gilbert's boss; his alcoholic wife Claire who stands by; and their older, beautiful daughter Tamsin who Dicky dotes on - sees Lewis for who he really is. Having worshipped him as a little girl, Kit is the only one who defends him ... but no one listens to her.After returning from jail, his reputation even more firmly entrenched in the minds of everyone but Kit, Lewis spirals even lower. In a post-war world of repression, depression and alcoholism, of harsh peer judgements and class consciousness, there's no room for one lost little boy seeking his father's love.I'll tell you know that the ending is quite satisfying and relatively happy; that might help you get through this novel. The other thing I'll mention is that, when I went back and found the original review that made me curious enough to try the book, I couldn't actually disagree with what she said. I liked the novel, but it's not without its flaws and I still see her argument - or list as the case is - as perfectly valid. Yet I didn't have the same problems with it as she did. What I'm left with though is trying to understand, and separate, my own response to the novel.The Outcast has one of those omniscient narrators that keep a tight control on the narrative, sharing so much detail that you think you know everything and thus at times clouding your own impression with something almost pre-ordained. The narrative is high on telling, low on showing, but the emotional tangle the key characters are in is part of the latter and that's what saved it from being a totally hand-holding experience. The highly functional narrative has a strong plus in its favour here, though: it creates a very tangible 50s world and atmosphere and often made me feel like I was watching a BBC show. (Having seen plenty, I had no problems visualising the story, the characters and the setting, right down to the dresses and the wallpaper.) Here's a taste:The rain stopped as everybody came out of the church and got into their cars or walked away through the village and Elizabeth pulled Gilbert to the car faster and faster, like running away, and made him laugh. At home they ate lunch without talking very much and not tasting anything particularly at all and the afternoon, for Lewis at least, was strangely flat and just difficult. He couldn't seem to do any of the things he normally did, and the sight of his father was still unfamiliar to him and disturbing. He was used to a feminine presence and he found his father's maleness oddly threatening. He was exciting, and to be adored, but he was foreign too, and he changed the balance of the house. Gilbert's uniform had not been burned, but hung in the wardrobe in the spare room, where he dressed, and Lewis should have liked him to keep wearing it and be distant and heroic instead of real and influencing Lewis's daily life the way he did. In his suits and tweed jackets he looked like a father and more approachable, but it was deceiving, because he was a stranger, and it would have been easier if he hadn't looked like someone you might know very well and yet not be. (pp.26-7)There's definitely a liquid flow to Jones' writing that makes the book an effortless read; her words simply carry you along, insightful and fresh and yet allowing little to no wriggle room for the thinking reader. On the one hand, I had no trouble letting her tell the story to me the way she has, going along with it, like watching a movie and simply feeling but certainly not doing any great thinking. On the other hand, yes, it's a shame to be told (not literally) that you're not needed in the storytelling process, that you just need to be still and listen. The one thing that you can't help but notice, amongst the narrative, is how truly dysfunctional everyone really is, how repressed and reliant on drink to blot things out - not necessarily the war either, as most of the drunks in the story never even fought or were involved at all. It's more that their once stable society and social rules are rotting from the inside-out, that things are changing and they haven't caught on or don't want to, that what was once important is slipping away and a new world order is emerging. The 50s sounds like a truly depressing time, reading The Outcast - and the 40s weren't much better. The children born in this time are our Baby Boomers, and their world is quite different from their parents'.And for all the hand-holding Jones' does - as prettily as she does it - I couldn't but be deeply emotionally affected by Lewis and his relationship with his father. What his mother did was horrible, but believable. His father was also horrible, and just as believable, and it doesn't matter that he was a typical father of his time. You get caught up in the story and in Lewis' pained silence and you want to smack his dad and scream at him to just comfort the boy for god's sake! If nothing else, this is a story of bad parenting - not just Gilbert, but Dicky too. Yet both are products of their time, their upbringing, their social standing and their own failings. Pompous, repulsive Dicky, leering at his pretty daughter and beating his younger one, blustering and puffed up with his own sense of self-importance. It's not like there aren't still plenty of Dicky's in the world. Or Gilbert's.One of the things that I felt worked with this novel was how the "tell" narrative was so telling. Like the characters, it focused on petty details and surface looks. The characters were unable to communicate with each other, or understand each other. The focus on surface details and dialogue in the narrative was reflective of that, and added to that tightly repressed atmosphere in the novel.Lewis reached them and Gilbert got out of the car. Alice wished she had gone into the house and didn't have to watch. Gilbert bore down on Lewis, who was trying to pass him. She couldn't hear what they were saying and didn't need to. Gilbert was shouting at Lewis, who was backing off; he made a grab for Lewis and grasped his arm, and they struggled, with Gilbert trying to force up Lewis's sleeve to look for himself. They were out of sight of the village and there was no-one to see, but Alice hid her face in shame at all of them anyway and didn't see Lewis, pulling away from his father, cast one quick look at her.Gilbert, gripping Lewis's hand, yanked his sleeve up. Lewis's arm was bared and they were both still.Gilbert had no way of demonstrating his feelings at seeing his son's scars, or about the day, or about the things Lewis had done in all the years he could remember since Elizabeth's death. For just a moment, like a brightly lit photograph, he remembered the son he thought he would have. Then he let go of Lewis's marked up arm and looked into his face and Lewis saw himself reflected. Gilbert told him to cover himself and walked away. The worst had happened between them, it seemed. (p.177)If Lewis is a sympathetic character - and he is - then so is Gilbert. Both mourn Elizabeth, and neither can speak of their feelings, certainly not to each other. They are clearly headed down the same path to dismantling their family, and blame each other. It's not like watching a car crash, it's like being in a car you know is going to crash and being unable to do a thing about it. Lewis is the one you want better things for, the one you feel most deserving of love and a second chance. He was relatable and understandable and definitely loveable, but it was painful having to stand by and watch it all unfold and not be able to help him.This is a novel of profound human sorrow in a very mundane setting; of the pain caused by upholding certain social values over that of basic human needs; of love, loss and the things that lead ordinary people to drink. I didn't mind the narrative style because, really, Jones' writing made it bearable, helped you get through it and even added beauty to this stark town life. It's an intriguing balance but one that worked well. I still prefer Atonement (they're not exactly similar but it came to mind), but The Outcast was a perversely enjoyable read (and quick), and made me care for the characters and hope for better things for their future.I'm glad I let my curiosity prompt me to read this book; it's one that will stay with me for all it's good and bad points. A morbidly fascinating debut novel from Jones.

  • Will Byrnes
    2019-03-17 22:31

    There is merit to this book, but I found that it irritated me quite a bit. The events take place in rural England from 1945 to 1957, centering around Lewis Aldridge, the Outcast of the title. The author tortures poor Lewis throughout, so that we are properly prepared for his rousing redemption at the tale’s end. The bad people are pretty bad, the good people are few and far between. There is some middle ground as well, thankfully. Lewis’ troubles begin when he is ten and his alcoholic mother drowns in the local river while on an outing with him. His withdrawal is abetted by his father’s rejection of him, and used by the town bullies as a reason for ostracizing the weirdo. He suffers the perils of Pauline throughout, being falsely accused, having the elders refuse to hear him out, being framed abused, lied to and about, until he expands his punishment from himself (he scars his arm with a razor to force himself to feel connected with life) to the town church, to which he sets fire and is sent away. On returning from prison things do not go well for him. Although he is hired by the town rich guy, Dicky Carmichael, (who specializes in beating his wife and daughters) for a menial job, he does all in his power to humiliate Lewis. One of the few lights in Lewis’ life is the affection of Dicky’s daughters, Tamsin, who is two years older than Lewis and who is the town flirt, and Kit, three hears younger and more truly smitten with him. Lewis finds redemption at the end, but by then I was truly annoyed at the author for torturing the poor guy. It was this sense of overdoing it that made it a tough read for me. There is much to recommend the book. The characters are believable (although one would think word of Dicky’s predilections might have leaked out before Lewis spills the beans) for the most part, but it was hard to engage with many of them. Lewis’ stepmother is both pathetic and sympathetic in her way. Dicky is a complete lout. Kit is maybe too good to be true. Perhaps it truly represents the twisted mores and blinders of the post war era in this section of English society. It would certainly be of a cloth with the American experience during that period.I would not cast this book out. There is some lovely writing here, and a nice bit of final uplift, but the relentless awfulness made it tough for me to bring it into the fold.

  • Anaarecarti
    2019-03-05 19:35

    Ignoră imaginea de pe coperta 1 (atât de siropoasă, că mi s-au cam strepezit dinţii când mi-au căzut ochii pe ea)! Ignoră şi citatele atât de elegante şi de corecte de pe coperta 4. Pe mine, nici una, nici celelalte nu m-au prevenit cu privire la experienţa de care am avut parte citind “Proscrisul” de Sadie Jones!Recenzia completa pe https://anaarecarti.ro/main/proscrisu...

  • Mai Laakso
    2019-03-12 19:46

    Ensimmäinen osa oli tyyntä myrskyn edellä, tarinaa kerrottiin melkein kylmästi, toteavasti, sitten se myrsky vyöryi päälle ja melkein hukutti minut. Sydän hakkasi ja lukeminen ei meinannut edetä ollenkaan, sillä nenäliinat kastuivat ja kastuivat ja kastuivat... Tätä on vaikea selittää ja vaikea ymmärtää, mitä minä luin. Minä luin todella suuresta pahasta ja hippusellisesta onnea.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-03-10 20:27

    The Outcast is an unforgettable, nostalgic little novel, taking place in post-war England in a small town, telling the story of a young man recently out of jail and finding himself an outsider among his former friends and family. How is he supposed to change their attitudes?

  • Susan Burpee
    2019-03-02 16:43

    I though The Outcast was a tremendous book. The writing style was lean and evocative at the same time. You'd never know it was a first novel. I found the characters believable and came to really care what happened to them even as they sometimes exasperated me. The plot dragged a tiny bit in the middle but persisting is worth the effort. I read the last few chapters while on the exercise bike and cried the whole time. Moving but definitely not sappy or sentimental. Lewis, the main character is kind of a Holden Caulfield-type of character. The book is set in the 40's and 50's, and like Holden, Lewis struggles with the hypocrisy of his society. But while Holden is driven over the edge by this hypocrisy, Lewis copes with tragedy that makes him unable to face the hypocrisy of his society and the values of his society make his father and his neighbours and friends unable to help him, or even acknowledge his pain. Worth the price of the hardcover. I await the next book from Sadie Jones with anticipation.

  • Djrmel
    2019-03-18 16:42

    If Ian McEwen had ever been a sixteen year old girl, this is the book he would have written. A young boy loses his mother, and no one around him has the tools or the heart to help him recover. Instead, they all have their own levels of disfunction to travel through - all except one, who fanfic readers will recognize as a Mary Sue of the highest calibre. That's not to say this isn't a good read, if you enjoy a pretty good gothic mixed with a heavy dose of romantic idealism. My complaint is that Jones paints her characters in such obvious broad strokes that you know what they're going to do pages before they do it. Also, there's a gender bias so broad (women = silently suffering victims, men = brutes that can't help themselves), it might have worked for a story set in the 1850's, but not the 1950's, The author is capable of letting characters reveal their flaws through subtle actions, there are some very moving passages of this book that prove it. It's when the story is dragged back onto a "love conqueres all" path that it becomes difficult to read.

  • Jeanne
    2019-03-21 22:18

    Lewis Aldridge has been released after 2 years in prison. It is 1957, and he is coming home. But for some reason, nobody's really keen on seeing Lewis again. Why?Rewind to 1945. His father has just returned from the war and somewhat dismayed to see that young Lewis has become quite attached to his mother. For his part, Lewis barely remembers his father. A few years later, in a tragic accident, Lewis's drunken mother drowns in the river, and nothing is ever the same again. For anyone.For Lewis, life is hell. From his father's swift remarriage to being shipped off to boarding school, there is a decided lack of love in his life. For his father, there is only unexpressed pain regarding his wife's death and his son's resemblance to the dead woman.This is the heartbreaking story of Lewis, his family, and the repressed society in which he lives. It is very sad and very real.

  • Alla
    2019-03-08 20:18

    I loved this book, plain and simple.My heart just broke for Lewis in this story. I got so sad for him and angry about how he was treated in the community, over the injustice he was up against and how poorly he was treated as just a young, sad and broken boy. A boy that needed love and help and the person who should have been there for him just wasn´t. I was even cursing out loud and telling people in the book off, out loud! (I am not sure of what my co-worker thinks of me now). I absolutely felt for him, my emotions were running high; sadness, anger and then happiness. It is written in the 3rd person and the author is constantly switching between characters. I was not sure in the beginning where she was going with it like that, but it worked very well in my opinion. This book is very well written and it is very English ;)I just got sucked up into the story, it is very good and realistic and I just loved it.

  • Deb
    2019-02-19 20:36

    Who exactly decides when a person is an outcast? Has society really changed that much since 1950? Don't people still only want to hang with the "right" people? This book brings up a lot of questions that could lead to great discussions in a reading club. And Dickie....I loathe Dickie in this book. When you read it, you'll understand why. You are not stuck with your history. At any time in life you can chose a new direction and create your own new beginning. Thank God for new beginnings.

  • Jessi
    2019-02-24 23:29

    Really well written, the characters are flawed and amazing,it is heavy at times but found it a quick read.Like I did not want to put it down, and thus stayed up all night reading it, weeping a lot (the exhaustion I'm sure). Lewis' life is quite heartbreaking,you really sympathize and love him .Also Lewis is hot and the sexual tension is unreal,with um ...like everyone. I adored sweet Kit and her last scene was just...perfect, not corny, PERFECT.

  • Lukutoukka-Krista
    2019-03-15 17:30

    Vau! Kotiinpaluu ihastutti, varsinaista tarinankerronnan aatelia. Jonesin edellinen suomennos jäi jostain syystä kesken, mutta näköjään sitäkin kannattaa yrittää uudelleen.

  • Kiwiflora
    2019-03-15 20:17

    THE OUTCAST by Sadie JonesWhat a depressing, sad and sorry bag of bones this book is. I understand it was originally conceived as a screenplay, maybe that should have told everyone something that it didn't get further than that. But I also see that it is to become a movie directed by the guy who directed Shakespeare in Love. I really can't visualise how that will turn out, although movies have been made of much less. And that reminds me, even though the blurb on the back sounded a bit suspect, I took it to read because I knew it was being made into a movie. Big mistake.Because, really not a lot happens in this novel. It has a busy sounding plot, with young Lewis Aldridge, growing up in post-war England in a suffocating satellite/commuter town of London where appearances count for everything. At the age of ten Lewis's lively, attractive and loving mother drowns in a river - the perils of drinking and swimming - and this changes the way his life is quite dramatically. His emotionally retarded father, Gilbert, swamped by grief cannot deal with his own grief, let alone that of his son. He quickly remarries, and life returns to 'normal' as Gilbert knows it, but of course not for Lewis. From this point on the downward spiral of Lewis's life takes off. Increasingly alienated from the people in his closed, insular community who quite simply don't understand him and don't want to, he becomes more isloated, takes to drinking, self harming, visiting a prostitute and ends up commiting arson and goes to prison for two years, where by all accounts he was actually quite happy.The second half of the novel focuses on his return to the town and to his father's and stepmother's house. Nothing has changed of course, and it is as if he has never been away. Nothing has changed in the neighbourhood either. The other main character in the book is Kit, a girl a few years younger than Lewis who comes from an equally disfunctional family headed by a man who is a master in domestic violence but hides behind the enormous respectability of being the richest man around. There are some truly lovely people that live in this small community! Kit has always been desperately in love with Lewis, probably because she recognises a similarly damaged soul. Now that Lewis is 19, and Kit 15, they begin to notice each other, surprise surprise, and this is the main focus of the last third as they deal with the chaos of their lives.But the whole thing is so depressing and monotonous and grey and gloomy. Perhaps Ms Jones is trying to depict life in the straightened and controlled times of the 1950s, which she does actually succeed in doing. Her writing is quite descriptive and very visual but it has so many 'ands' in every single sentence. I read another review of this book and the reviewer also commented on the excessive use of 'and'; apparently it is intentional to illustrate the monotony of everything. She succeeds here too. Reading it reminded me very much of Atonement by Ian McEwan, but way way more happens in the latter, plus being a better story, better characters, and you can see it becoming a movie, sad ending nothwithstanding. A vastly superior book, I have no idea how this will be turned into 90 minutes minimum of entertainment. I won't be going! The only reason I finished this book is because I have to review it for bookclub.

  • Writer's Relief
    2019-03-12 23:31

    In 1957, 19-year-old Lewis Aldridge is released from prison after two years and returns to the London suburb where he spent his childhood. His return isn’t met with much fanfare from his father, his stepmother, or the community at large. Sadie Jones’s novel follows Lewis’s youth, including the traumatic event that shaped his life forever, the crime that turned the community against him, and his bid for redemption after being released from prison.Jones’s writing is etched with sympathy for Lewis, as well as the other characters. They are all broken, though the social contract of their suburban lifestyle demands that they keep their messes under wraps. The psychology of the characters is fascinating in both its subtlety and complexity. And while Lewis isn’t always the most likeable character, the reader’s heart breaks for his plight.The plot of the book has echoes of American classics such as Peyton Place and Revolutionary Road, both of which attempted to peel the glossy, idyllic veneer of American suburbia. The Outcast takes that concept and applies it to post-World War II Britain, where England’s attempt to rebuild itself after a destructive war is reflected in the community’s reaction to Lewis’s return from prison. While the war is barely mentioned by the characters (perhaps on purpose), destruction is omnipresent in the book’s atmosphere.The book’s melodramatic bent feels deliberate and the story veers wildly in the second half, with events that the reader doesn’t quite feel properly prepared for. Constantly shifting POVs may also jar some readers, but we felt it contributed to the quick pace and intimate telling of the story. There are descriptions of self-harm that are graphic and uncompromising, and certainly not for the faint of heart. But the topics of domestic abuse, self-harm, and isolation are universal and important, and the story is fast-paced and absorbing in spite of the heavy subject matter.For readers who enjoy stories with complex characters and a compelling plot, The Outcast is highly recommended.

  • Jen
    2019-02-28 21:38

    Set in a small village outside of London in the 1950s, this is a story about everyday people trying to cope with and hide their brokenness from everyone else. Lewis, our protagonist, witnesses the accidental death of his mother at 10 years old, and it understandably affects him deeply. But his wounds are left to fester when none of the adults in his life take any responsibility for giving him the emotional care he needs after such a traumatic incident. As he gets older, he turns to increasingly more self-destructive behavior in an effort to numb the pain. Throughout it all, his childhood playmate Kit, four years younger than him, loves him and wants to protect him, dealing with her own awful home life by clinging to the hope that she can help him and he will finally see her.This book is sad and dark and dysfunctional - make no mistake - so if you don't go for that kind of story, don't bother with this one. I personally love the dark and dysfunctional, particularly when they end with a sort of hope, as this one does. I picked this book pretty randomly from my to-read pile, being a book given to me by a friend when she was cleaning out her bookshelves before a move, and so I didn't really know what to expect. There's something about characters who are so very broken, but who shove it down and don't talk about it and try to hide it behind a face of "normal" and all of the terrible things that can lead to, that rings true and really captures me. And that is true of almost every character in this book, not just Lewis and Kit. I quickly found myself drawn in by the characters and had a hard time putting the book down once I was about 40 or 50 pages in.

  • Jackie Molloy
    2019-03-20 23:41

    Repressed, abusive, middle class 1950’s England is the setting, transgression and redemption. Lewis is 7 when his mother drowns while they are picnicing by a river and the emotional turmoil that follows him and his father colour and effect all his growing years. With no help or understanding of what would now be called P.T.S.D, Lewis battles with self-harm and lack of self-esteem, his troubles land him in prison from the age of 17 -19 for setting fire to the local church.Kit is my favourite character, a much younger childhood friend of the family, she is brave, resilient and a survivor, in love with Lewis. Her father beats her and her mother in the days before this was seen as entirely wrong. Dickie Kit’s father is the villain of the piece, abusive, arrogant and powerful – a law unto himself. Gilbert, Lewis’s father is the weak one, never confronting problems always pushing things under the carpet. Well meaning, but ineffectual and quickly remarried to a young, naïve second wife who is ill equipped to deal with the life she has married into,.Each chapter stood out in its own way. It’s a shocking book full of revelations about 1950’s male dominance, double values, lack of knowledge about mental health, fear of anything not strictly ‘normal’ in a controlled and fearful world. I really enjoyed this book.

  • Fredsky
    2019-03-08 22:32

    I'm rating this a 3.7. Why can't we rate decimally?It's a good book. Depressing, most reviews say, and I disagree. Depressing would have been if Lewis STAYed home! Or if he'd worked for Dicky FOREVER! Sadie Jones is a fine writer. I'm sorry I can't reach for her next book tomorrow. Some scenes were a bit over-the-top for me, mostly Lewis going berserk at home. I think Ms. Jones depicted these family lives perfectly, as well as the village cruelty. She did avoid life in Brixton, however. As I suppose one must always do.

  • Suketus
    2019-03-10 20:39

    Erinomainen kirja! Vahva tarina, sykkivä vire, moniulotteiset henkilöt.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-02-27 20:26

    (view spoiler)[Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

  • Silvia
    2019-03-11 16:27

    It was reeeeally really good, and I liked it very much.I didn't think I would enjoyed it so much.Of course it was very sad, but it was also hopeful, and I think I cried a bit at some part.It was a great read :)

  • Jaana
    2019-02-28 15:29

    Ensimmäinen lukemani Sadie Jones, huh! Kirja on hyvin kirjoitettu ja vangitsi ainakin minut ihan alusta asti. Kuitenkin jouduin yhtenään keskeyttämään lukemisen kun tuntui liian piinaavalta lukea päähenkilön (päähenkilöiden) rankoista kokemuksista. Luulen, että kirja olisi ollut parempi jos kerronnassa olisi ollut enemmän suvantopaikkoja, jotain keventävää. Hieno kirja mutta en suosittele lukijalle joka haluaa viihtyä kirjansa parissa.

  • Elizabeth (Merely Reading)
    2019-03-10 16:47

    At the heart of this novel is a young man, Lewis Aldridge, who we see first as a child. He has been living a quiet, calm and contented life with his mother whilst his father has been away at war (WW2). When his father returns and is back in their lives and assuming the role of head of the house it has an unsettling effect on them and events begin to unfold which have a life long effect on Lewis. (view spoiler)[ His mother drowns in the river. Lewis was with her and made repeated unsuccessful attempts to save her life. He never got over the trauma of that and was unable to speak of it. A classic case of PTSD, for which he would have got counselling nowadays. His father's reaction was to remarry, far too soon, bringing a much younger and unsuitable stepmother into the home which Lewis found unbearable.(hide spoiler)]His life spirals out of control, one event following another, to the point where he commits an act so serious that he is sent to prison.The novel, set in the 1950s gives just the right feel of a tight-knit upper middle class community, with repressed social attitudes. You never know what's going on behind closed doors. A seemingly respectable family is suffering horrifically violent domestic abuse at the hands of the upstanding Church-going father, and are too terrified of losing their social standing ever to admit the shame of their terrible injuries. There's self-harm, alcoholism, under-age sex, buttoned-up repressed emotions, post-traumatic stress, social ostracism, bullying and mental illness. It's all there, in bucket loads. It's full on and doesn't let up all the way through. Emotionally it's quite draining and if you're looking for a happy ending well there's really only a glimmer and it's not that hopeful, if it ever does happen.I don't think there's a single character who wouldn't have benefitted from counselling or psychotherapy and, in Dicky Carmichael's case, much more.Yes it's a depressing read, but well worth it. It sounds wrong now to say that I enjoyed it, but it is a good novel, well written. After all no-one would ever read Hardy if happy endings were always required!

  • Diane
    2019-02-23 18:25

    This story takes places in the 1950's in England, though much of the angst portrayed is just as common place today, no matter where you live. We meet Lewis Aldridge at the beginning of the story, he is 19 years old and just out of prison for setting fire to a church. He is hoping for a new chance at life, a new beginning, but things are off to a rocky start with his father, right from the beginning. The story then reverts back to Lewis' childhood. He is a happy though quiet child who enjoys his mother, Elizabeth's, company. Elizabeth is an outcast of sorts in that she tends to drink too much and is a free spirit. When her husband, Gilbert, returns from the war there is a shift in patterns at the house. They are expected to behave in a certain way and tend to him. It is obvious from the start that Gilbert is cold and distant from his son. When a tragic incident occurs and Lewis has to return home, without his mother, things get worse for Lewis and the strained relationship between father and son continues to deteriorate. As time continues, Gilbert, the small community and even Lewis' new stepmother all consider him to be damaged. Lewis becomes even more aloof and begins to cut himself. Kit Carmichael is the young daughter in an influential family. Her dad just happens to be Gilbert's boss as well. Kit has always liked Lewis and she wants to help him. She has her own problems to deal with in her family but she is always in Lewis' corner. Kit is actually somewhat of an outcast herself and does not agree with most of her family's observations. When Lewis completes his stint in prison and does return home, he and Kit decide to change their situation and break free from their lives as they know it. They can no longer sit quietly and accept their roles in life. This is a wonderfully written first novel. Its themes of war, alcoholism, emotional and physical isolation can be applied to today's world as well. No matter the time or place, the possibility of change and hope is always something to strive for.

  • Alison
    2019-02-27 23:34

    There was a point about three quarters through this sodden, posh "Rebel Without a Cause" that I started laughing. The book wasn't meant to be funny(in fact, I'd be hard pressed to imagine a more humorless novel I've read this year). In fact, Sadie Jones puts her attractive, well-heeled young characters through a catalog of After-School Special/Lifetime movie horrors so unrelentingly grisly that a medieval martyr would shake her head in "Surely you jest" disbelief. There is a great deal of good literature about repressive 1950s suburban society. Finding some new angle to exploit is hard to do. Simply tarting up the material up with child abuse, rape, incest, cutting, alcoholism, infidelity, sex-crazed teenagers, arson, bullying and spousal abuse feels cheap and decidedly unearned. It's a soap opera solution. I think all writers are sadists to a certain degree. We invent imaginary, sometimes idealized friends, unleash Job-like torments upon them and watch them writhe miserably across the page in the name of making a good story. If the story and the characters are lost to the torments, however, then the story becomes explicitly about the torments themselves. There are some fine and interesting books in that category. But (and I could be wrong here) I think Sadie Jones wanted to write Revolutionary Road, not some unintentionally absurd, dishwater Book of Job. If you're looking for something salacious and horrifying about the effed up children of the English upper crust, you'd be far,far better served seeking out some Edward St.Aubyn and skipping this dreary novel entirely.

  • Linda Lipko
    2019-03-10 23:36

    This book packs a wallop and is definitely not for those who like soft, rosy stories.It is a book that will haunt me for awhile...a long while.As stated in the opening chapter, two people went into the woods for a picnic and only one returned!When young Lewis witnesses the drowning of his mother, his life spins way out of control while his father and the upper crust social strata of 1940-1950's England encourages and foments denial.When his father rapidly re marries and Lewis' feelings are pushed further and further underground, he acts out in ways that harm himself and those around him.This is a graphic novel -- not in the sense of cartoon like pictures -- but in the reality of stark images written at the hand of a very adept and powerfully skilled author.Struggling to write a review about the awesome power of this book, I'll simply say it is a very compelling look at the phoniness of society. It is an incredible story of a young man struggling to find meaning in a very crazy environment.While those around him are quite comfortable in their accouterments, lavish lifestyles, dinner parties and social status, their out-of- reality behaviors literally drive Lewis crazy!While the adults emotionally and physically abuse their children behind closed doors, they quite comfortably drive their Rolls Royce cars out into the guilded land of la la land.Highly recommended!

  • Melinda
    2019-02-27 23:26

    The Outcast by Sadie JonesThis is the story of Lewis who is introduced as a small boy just after WW2. Lewis and his mother have been alone while his father was in the war. When Lewis' father returns, life changes. Lewis is an interloper. His father resents any time Lewis spends with his mother, calling it spoiling. The father is cold and totally unloving. Unfortunately, Lewis' mother drowns in a nearby river when he and she are alone one day and people begin to treat Lewis as if he had something to do with it. He is a little boy, speechless with grief and loss and now not only is his father unloving and cold, but most of the rest of the town people are also suspicious and strange. Lewis moves into himself, and becomes more and more strange and alone. He has no one to talk to and no one who appears to care for him. This all continues and escalates with various events, prison time, discovering girls and women, more disassociation from the mass of the town people. In the end, Lewis discovers a kindred spirit, falls in love and there is hope. I kept wanting to grab the father and give him a slap so he would FEEL something. This book isn't bad, just a bit sad and pointless feeling.