The Outcast by Sadie Jones

About the book

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 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.

Reviewed by Cambridge Reading Group

We all agreed a very gripping book and very insightful for a first novel. Had the author personal experience? We all ‘felt’ for Lewis and so much wanted things to go right for him which we felt they were starting to do at the end.
Star rating ***

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3 thoughts on “The Outcast by Sadie Jones”

  1. Review by Firgrove Ladies:
    We thought that it evoked the stifling atmosphere of the 1950s where people hid their feelings. A compelling read despite the subject matter. Very thought provoking.
    Rating: ****

  2. Review by Fareham 5:30 reading group
    We all really enjoyed this book, it is well-written, with very believable characters and a well-constructed plot with considerable tension. It was difficult to read in places, becuase of the subject matter…. but then it has its bleak mpoments. We felt it gave a good insight into families of those times, and how parents can be oblivious to the damage they do to their children. We would all read another book by this author.
    4 stars

  3. Review by Bookworms
    Most of the group found this an enjoyable and easy read which presented an accurate portrayal of life in the 50s. Provoked a lively discussion.
    Star rating: ***

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