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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
"Two years is not a long time, but maybe longer from seventeen to nineteen than at other times of your life." It's a long time indeed for Lewis Aldridge; two years spent in prison, where he was sent for a reckless act of violence even he can't quite comprehend. Lewis's struggle with middle-class life on the outskirts of 1950s London has a long history. He witnessed the death of his mother at ten and was neglected by his father and stepmother. But Lewis now faces the nearly insurmountable challenges of fitting back into a tightly knit community that wants no part of him and, embracing the family who treats him like a stranger.
Beneath the manicured lawns and social proprieties, behind the 5 p.m. cocktails and regular church attendance lies a legacy of cruelty and violence that infects the most respected residents of Waterford. Though Lewis is determined to redeem himself, he despises his uncertainty and turns it on himself, blindly acquiescing to a dangerous situation with his stepmother and pursuing a doomed relationship.
Juggling his desire for atonement with his loathing of the community's duplicity, Lewis refuses to abandon love in favor of appearances. A dramatic and incisive exploration of postwar provincialism and small-town hypocrisy, The Outcast is brave, heartfelt, and gracefully told, the story of a young man finding his heart without sacrificing his soul. (Summer 2008 Selection)