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Publisher's Summary

Daddy is going to camp. That's what I told my children. A child psychologist suggested it. "Words like prison and jail conjure up dangerous images for children," she explained. But it wasn't camp....

Neil White, a journalist and magazine publisher, wanted the best for those he loved - nice cars, beautiful homes, luxurious clothes. He loaned money to family and friends, gave generously to his church, and invested in his community - but his bank account couldn't keep up. Soon White began moving money from one account to another to avoid bouncing checks. His world fell apart when the FBI discovered his scheme and a judge sentenced him to serve 18 months in a federal prison.

But it was no ordinary prison. The beautiful, isolated colony in Carville, Louisiana, was also home to the last people in the continental United States disfigured by leprosy. Hidden away for decades, this small circle of outcasts had forged a tenacious, clandestine community, a fortress to repel the cruelty of the outside world. It is here, in a place rich with history, where the Mississippi River briefly runs north, amid an unlikely mix of leprosy patients, nuns, and criminals, that White's strange and compelling journey begins. He finds a new best friend in Ella Bounds, an 80-year-old African American double amputee who had contracted leprosy as a child. She and the other secret people, along with a wacky troop of inmates, help White rediscover the value of simplicity, friendship, and gratitude.

Funny and poignant, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts is an uplifting memoir that reminds us all what matters most.

©2009 Neil White (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Carol
  • Wasilla, AK, United States
  • 11-22-15

great book

this was a great book and easy listen. many interesting facts and just as many lessons learned. I found it up lifting, taking something such as a prison sentence and making it a positve experience and opening one's heart and mind.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Just meh

Just meh. Could have been a great story- but feel short. Author comes off disingenuous. I wouldn't deem this one credit worthy.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • B Rose
  • Ivins, UT USA
  • 03-16-15

Terrific, heartwarming book.

If you could sum up In the Sanctuary of Outcasts Unabridged in three words, what would they be?

Great, heartwarming, interesting

What other book might you compare In the Sanctuary of Outcasts Unabridged to and why?

None

What does Taber Burns bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He was very good.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

Any additional comments?

This was truly an eye opener! I had no idea a place like this would exist in America in the 90's. It's an excellent book!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Superb memoir

What made the experience of listening to In the Sanctuary of Outcasts Unabridged the most enjoyable?

What most people know of Leprosy could fit in a thimble, and most of that would be wrong. That was what was most interesting, but the book is also about an unlikely cast of characters and their odd interactions. I was sorry when it ended, as I would miss the setting and some fascinating people, including the author.

What did you like best about this story?

A glimpse into a world I will never experience.

What does Taber Burns bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Great voices for that cast of characters.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened as I did a walk through some backroads of Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound in Washington state.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Harriet
  • Kill Devil Hills, NC, United States
  • 01-11-14

A very interesting and warm story

Any additional comments?

The characters in this book are great. I laughed quite often but the basis of the story line was never lost. Very good book.