The Outcast

The Outcast

3.63 (9,035 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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'If you liked Atonement by Ian McEwan, you'll love this' Harper's Bazaar

The bestselling novel from the author of The Snakes, The Outcast is a powerful portrait of unexpected love and treacherous charades against the backdrop of a sleepy post-war English village

August 1957. Lewis Aldridge, straight out of jail, stands alone at a Surrey railway station.

He's returned to the village where he grew up: the village where, a decade earlier, tragedy tore his family apart, leaving him to a troubled adolescence without a mother and with a father he barely knew.

Now, the only person who understands him is Kit, daughter of a bullying local businessman. Soon they realise that to forge their own futures, they must first confront the darkest secrets of their past.

As family, love, passion, sex and violence become ever more so intertwined, can Kit and Lewis find their way back to each other amidst the chaos?


'A tragic account of the devastating effects of parental abuse and the redemptive power of true love' Guardian

'In the tradition of Remains of the Day...a passionate and deeply suspenseful novel' Margot Livesey

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Product details

  • Paperback | 464 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 29mm | 367g
  • Vintage
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0
  • 0099513420
  • 9780099513421
  • 91,534

Review Text

The prose is elegant and spare, but the story it reveals is raw and explosive... Devastatingly good'
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Review quote

An elegant, subtle, haunting novel that stayed with me long after I finished it. Sadie Jones has a long literary future ahead of her -- Tracy Chevalier The prose is elegant and spare, but the story it reveals is raw and explosive... Devastatingly good' -- Eithne Farry * Daily Mail * Jones's story is imbued with brooding atmosphere and drama. Understated and elegantly narrated with attention to period detail, this is a gripping love story with a twist. If you liked Atonement by Ian McEwan, you'll love this * Harper's Bazaar * Eminently readable first novel....reads like a thriller, the tension and menace build expertly...a powerful, promising first novel * Financial Times * She writes with simmering intensity... particularly strong on atmosphere... Jones uses small, startling phrases to convey depths of passion and information and she can make seemingly innocuous passages radiate beauty * Sunday Telegraph *
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About Sadie Jones

Sadie Jones is a novelist and screenwriter. Her first novel, The Outcast ('Devastatingly good', Daily Mail) won the Costa First Novel Award in 2008 and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. It was also a Richard and Judy Summer Reads number one bestseller and adapted for BBC Television. Her second novel, Small Wars ('Outstanding', The Times; 'One of the best books about the English at war ever', Joel Morris), was published in 2009, and longlisted for the Orange Prize. Her third, in 2012, was The Uninvited Guests ('A shimmering comedy of manners and disturbing commentary on class... a brilliant novel', Ann Patchett) followed by Fallout in 2014 ('Intoxicating and immersive', The Sunday Times).
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Rating details

9,035 ratings
3.63 out of 5 stars
5 21% (1,857)
4 37% (3,343)
3 30% (2,729)
2 9% (850)
1 3% (256)

Our customer reviews

<p>**A Richard and Judy summer Read 2008**</p> <p>Sadie Jones' atmospheric and beautifullly written novel <a href="">The Outcast</a> is set in the South of England, in Surrey, in the 1940s and 50s. It is the haunting and tragic story of Lewis Aldridge and Kit Carmicael.</p> <blockquote>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. <br /><br />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. <br /><br />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. </blockquote>show more
by Mark Thwaite
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