One summer's day in 1957, Lewis Aldridge looks like any nineteen-year-old travelling home to the South of England, except that Lewis is straight out of jail and now sees his world-the oppressive suburb of Waterford-with fresh eyes. From the fractured remains of this old life, Lewis must forge his own future in this place, and in doing so forces painful and horrifying childhood secrets into the open-secrets that may trigger the implosion of the entire community.
I finished reading The Outcast by Sadie Jones last night and decided not to write about it right away. I thought I would let it sit with me for a little bit, to process the story.
I am not picky about what I read and generally don't find fault in anything (if I don't like something, it's probably because it was actually really bad). This sometimes makes me wonder if the book I thought was wonderful was actually wonderful. But whatever, it doesn't matter. I know beauty and I know good writing, and this book by Sadie Jones had both.
The Outcast opens with Lewis leaving prison and contemplating what this means for his life and how things are going to be different for him now, and how he wants to make amends. Right away I wanted to know what he did; what had been so bad. This isn't revealed right away. This makes sense, because in order to know why Lewis did what he did, you had to know Lewis, his life and the people around him. He was so broken and throughout the story you could see what broke him and how if certain individuals had made different decisions or responded differently his life and his relationships would be been different.
What made this book amazing was Kit, and how loyal she was to Lewis, and how clueless Lewis was to her loyalty. She loved Lewis even when he was broken and when Lewis does something that jeopardizes this, you can't help but feel like Lewis is doomed.
The whole time I was reading this book, I felt sad for Lewis, but not depressed, I was more hopeful. I knew that something was going to happen to make things alright. In a way they were. This was a really great read-not an easy read, but totally worth it. I was very pleased.