Thursday, April 17, 2008

THE OUTCAST by Sadie Jones (2008)

In this first novel set in rural England in 1947 and 1957, Jones primes the pump with secrets and rumours among the upper class. Lewis Aldridge returns home at nineteen after serving two years in jail for burning down the local church where his family worshipped a few years after the accidental death of his mother Elizabeth--one that he witnessed helplessly at the age of 10. His return to his father and his stepmother's home leads to new trouble in the two weeks before he reports for service in the British Armed Forces.

Kit Carmichael, a few years younger than Lewis, watches from afar as the local community makes it very difficult for its prodigal son to start over. The younger daughter of a prominent businessman revered by the townsfolk has her own secrets to protect.

I couldn't put this book down and can't believe that it's a first novel. Jones's narrative voice is the true thing.

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