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1-8 of 8 reviews Show most helpful reviews first Newest first


The Outcast: a dark tale of feeling unloved

Advantageseasy to read; well written; sympathetic characters; interesting context

Disadvantagessensitive subject matter may by disturbing to some readers

"...as a book group read. The plaudits on the back cover suggested it was written in a similar style to ‘Atonement’ so, having loved that book, I was keen to read this. == The premise == Under the neat façade of the church-going, lunch-attending 1950s middle classes, rural life is full of familial abuse and misery. Lewis Aldridge, returning from jail at the tender age of nineteen, is frustrated by the polite hypocrisies of this world. A social outcast ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Struggling with the tragedy

AdvantagesExcellent thought provoking novel

DisadvantagesPrologue was wrong

" ==Synopsis of the book:== The war is over and Lewis Aldridge life changes dramatically when the man he only has distant memories of returns. Being an only child he has always had a very close relationship with his mother and he feels this is threatened by his father returns. And while he settles back easily into civilian life Lewis struggles to form a new relationship with this man. ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Oh Lewis.....

AdvantagesGreat charaters, good depiction of the era

Disadvantagesdreary and depressing at times, some scenes I found uncomfertable to read.

"...had quite high expectations. == The Plot == The book begins in 1957 and Lewis Aldridge has just been released from prison (for a crime we are not told of until later in the book) and is making his way back to his home town of Waterford in Surrey. It appears that no-one in the village is pleased to hear of his return, least of all his own father and step mother, apart from 15 year old Kit Carmichael. It's very clear from the opening pages that ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

We need to talk about Lewis

AdvantagesSuperb characters, very evocative, compelling story

DisadvantagesSeems somehow lacking

"...of until much later in the book - and returns to Waterford, his childhood home where his stepmother is nervously expecting him. He receives a frosty welcome not just from his stepmother and his father, Gilbert, but from most of the residents of the village. Only two are remotely pleased to see him, and for very different reasons. Sisters Tamsin and Kit Carmichael couldn't be more different. Kit lives in the shadow of her lively and attractive ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

I couldn't cast this book out!

Advantagesgreat book


"...a friend of mine recommended The Outcast by Sadie Jones. It is this author's first novel (although she has now written another) and it had been short listed for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction in 2008, as well as being recommended by Richard and Judy. I was so glad that she lent it to me though, as I thoroughly enjoyed every single word and read the entire book in a matter of days. The Outcast is a truly moving and poignant book. The Daily ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 6burtybookw...


A sad little book !

AdvantagesUnusual story, well written, great characters

DisadvantagesVery sad! You might want to stop reading, but don't!

"...say it is one of the saddest books I have ever read - heres why. === THE PLOT === The Outcast is about a boy called Lewis Aldridge and his life in a small town outside of London post WWII. The book begins with Lewis leaving prison at the age of 19 for a crime we are not yet told of to head home to his family. We are then taken back to Lewis' childhood beginning when his father returns from war and things take a dramatic change for Lewis..... Despite ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Not an outcast from my bookshelf

AdvantagesGood story,interesting read, well researched

DisadvantagesSome graphic and disturbing scenes, some characters a bit weak

"...this proof copy from Waterstones, the second such book I have received from them, so I felt quite lucky when this one arrived at my house! I will be honest and say that this is not the sort of novel I would go for, as you can see from my other book reviews, but I wanted to read it with an open mind, and I did actually enjoy it in the end! Sadie Jones is an upcoming author and The Outcast is her first novel. I am always a bit wary of debut novels ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 1CharlieK


A powerful first novel about a repressed era.

AdvantagesA beautifully written and subtle recreation of a boy's inner torment in the 1950s.

DisadvantagesEver so slightly overlong and starts going round in circles a little by the end.

"...of a tearaway teenager in the 1950s and how his family's repression leads his behaviour to worsen rather than improve. The book was a rather odd choice for Richard and Judy's Summer Read Book Club as it is a rather darkly themed book, but whatever time of year you read it you won't fail to be affected by the story and its realistic characters. The book beings in the 1940s when the protagonist Lewis is a small child. His father returns from the ..." Read review

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

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