The Outcast by Sadie JonesA 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 fathers 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 Gilberts 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 fathers hand. Lewiss 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.
Sadie Jones - The Outcast
Sign up for our newsletters! Before you read In the Sanctuary of Outcasts , what did you think of when you heard the word "leper"? Did the book change your impressions? When he was in the cafeteria, White would eavesdrop on the patients. He heard them call themselves "secret people. Did the name fit them? White began his publishing career fighting for underdogs and the disadvantaged.
The novel, one of my favourites, bursts with a fragile intensity that, while filmic, seemed unlikely to survive the transition. The whole story balances on the emotional state of a child and later, a young man, as we see the consequences of his stifling upbringing. Where would they find a year-old sophisticated enough to cope with the demands of such a part? But step forward Finn Elliot, the astonishing young talent who plays Lewis Aldridge for the first half of this taut opening episode. She is so perfectly cast, the lack of her is palpable on screen. We miss her too.
A spectacular page-turner now in paperback--if you were a fan of Atonement, you 'll love The Outcast.
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Wednesday 30 July , Editor's note: This episode of Bookclub is available from Sunday 3 August and will be available to listen online or for download. The transition from dark domestic doings in the emptiness of an American dormitory town to the stifling conventions of the Home Counties in the s turned out to be a natural one. She went on to say that it was the decade when we held our breath — between the cataclysm of war and its immediate aftermath and the social explosion of the sixties. We can certainly understand his pain.
James Naughtie chairs, and a group of readers join in the conversation. With James Naughtie. The book is about a boy called Lewis - his childhood and adolescence - as he grows up in the stultifying world of the home counties in the late forties and fifties. It's a tale of drunkenness, violence and a fair amount of sex, set amongst the well-brought-up professional classes. It is also a love story. Sadie says : There's something fascinating about the 50s, the cataclysm of the war and the 60s.
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