The Outcast

The Outcast by Sadie Jones

In books read on December 29, 2010

This book got off to a bad start with me. It hooks you into the story by showing what happens way later on. In this case we see nineteen year old Lewis Aldridge being released from prison in the 1950s. Then we go right back in time to see the events of his childhood starting with when his dad returns from fighting the second world war. I don't like the 'flash forward' device in fiction and rarely think it adds to the story, and I didn't feel it was needed here. This tale is all about how an ordinary kid gets bashed about by events and ends up living a not quite so ordinary life. I think the title gives enough knowledge to the reader that everything isn't going to go swimmingly for Lewis and the prologue is unneccesary. I was pleased that the story went on past the events of the prologue.

Apart from that I really enjoyed the story and found the characters very well drawn. Children turn into adults in a realistic coherent manner and the class boundaries of village life ring true. There are people in the story guilty of much worse crimes than Lewis and I found all the family interactions, both within families and between families completely believable. On the whole it was a good book, I think it's Sadie Jones' first novel, and I'll be looking out for more.

This was a library book.

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