A decade earlier, his father's homecoming casts a different shape. The war is over, and Gilbert has recently been demobbed. He reverts easily to suburban life - cocktails at six-thirty, church on Sundays - but his wife and young son resist the stuffy routine.
Lewis and his mother escape to the woods for picnics, just as they did in wartime days. Nobody is surprised that Gilbert's wife counters convention, but they are all shocked when, after one of their jaunts, Lewis comes back without her.
Not far away, Kit Carmichael keeps watch. She has always understood more than most, not least from what she has been dealt by her own father's hand. Lewis's grief and burgeoning rage are all too plain, and Kit makes a private vow to help. But in her attempts to set them both free, she fails to predict the painful and horrifying secrets that must first be forced into the open.
As menacing as it is beautiful, The Outcast is a devastating portrait of small-town hypocrisy from an astonishing new voice.
The Outcast has been selected as Richards and Judy's first book for their summer reading promotion.
©2008 Sadie Jones; (P)2008 Random House Audiobooks
"[A] superb debut novel....Jones's prose is fluid, and Lewis's suffering comes across as achingly real." [Publishers Weekly]
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