Sadie Jones's compulsive debut novel of transgression and redemption has the potential to garner huge word-of-mouth success and huge sales
Sadie Jones lives in London. The Outcast is her first novel.
Set in post WWII suburban London, this superb debut novel charts the downward spiral and tortured redemption of a young man shattered by loss. The war is over, and Lewis Aldridge is getting used to having his father, Gilbert, back in the house. Things hum along splendidly until Lewis's mother drowns, casting the 10-year-old into deep isolation. Lewis is ignored by grief-stricken Gilbert, who remarries a year after the death, and Lewis's sadness festers during his adolescence until he boils over and torches a church. After serving two years in prison, Lewis returns home seeking redemption and forgiveness, only to find himself ostracized. The town's most prominent family, the Carmichaels, poses particular danger: terrifying, abusive patriarch Dicky (who is also Gilbert's boss) wants to humiliate him; beautiful 21-year-old Tamsin possesses an insidious coquettishness; and patient, innocent Kit-not quite 16 years old-confounds him with her youthful affection. Mutual distrust between Lewis and the locals grows, but Kit may be able to save Lewis. Jones's prose is fluid, and Lewis's suffering comes across as achingly real. (Mar.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
With his mother dead and his stepmother indifferent, Lewis finally blows up at age 17 and lands in prison. There's more trouble when he returns home. An amazing debut, declares the publicist. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"Febrile and atmospheric" * Good Book Guide *
"An assured voice, a riveting story, and an odd, wrenchingly sympathetic protagonist. I would never have imagined this was a first novel." -- Lionel Shriver
"In the tradition of Atonement and Remains of the Day but in her own singularly arresting voice, Sadie Jones conjures up the straight-laced, church-going, secretly abusive middle class of 1950's England. The Outcast is a passionate and deeply suspenseful novel about what happens to those who break the rules, and what happens to those who keep them. I loved reading this wonderful debut." -- Margot Livesey