Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Outcast

theoutcast

I spent a week in April 2012 on the island of Molokai, Hawaii. It’s different than any other island — it has the spirit of an older Hawaii. There are no movie theaters, no traffic signals, the beaches are never crowded. If you travel there for sight-seeing, you can quickly run out of things to do after two days. But for peace and relaxation, you cannot find a better destination.

On one of our trips to “town” – The Molokai Library was having a book sale. Only $0.50 for a paperback, and $1 – $2 for a hardcover. I bought quite a few books on this day, but the first I would like to review is The Outcast by Sadie Jones. Besides the price, it was a hard bound with one of those plastic covers you remember from elementary school. I skimmed the summary — romance and suspense — debut novel — reviewed by Lionel Shriver. I like the tension of romance but mixed into other genres. I can’t stand when it’s too easy.

In One Sentence: A town of troubled families try to cover their secrets through picnics, gossip, and finger pointing.

Favorite Line: “…She knew she was in love with him. He was her secret. He was her imagining. She didn’t long or yearn, or other things she had read about being in love, but she had him in her heart. Sometimes she felt surprised that he didn’t know it.” p. 117

Review: The book is narrated with both the present day (late 1950s) and past (1940s) to show how the kids in a ‘perfect’ suburbia grow up post-WII. Life on the outside is easy for all, except for Lewis aka the “Outcast” who carries all of his mistakes in the forefront. I highly recommend this book – especially as a beach read. The relationships are complicated and the author gives details that reveal the internal struggle of each character. It reminded me when I was a teenager, having feelings for boys I didn’t know, and wondering what it would mean if I did know them. The book builds suspense  nicely – though I’m not sure it would please a mystery sleuth or someone looking for more action than fisticuffs. On the whole, I found it to be an enjoyable read – one I couldn’t put down.

The Book Would Have Ended a Lot Sooner If: Everyone could just learn to communicate! All this town needed was one good taping of Dr. Phil to settle all of these misunderstandings.

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I read a lot of books…

but not as many as I buy. Some might think of it has hoarding. I find it to be closer to an addiction. I can stand in aisles for hours, reading through each book jacket and summary with special care. After all, this could be the book that changes my life. This could be the book that tells me something I never knew about myself. This could be the book that keeps me up all night, because I can’t stand to put it down.

Not every book is like that. We readers search constantly for it. Most of the time, you may ask a friend for a suggestion or turn to the New York Times Best Sellers List — I like to find it myself.

I’ve always enjoyed used book stores ever since Barnes and Noble got a bit expensive as did my fines at the library for overdue books. It wasn’t until I bought We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver for only one pound (I was travelling in London) that it turned into a habit. It was one of those books. It became my favorite book. And I had never heard of it, only found it in a discount bin. I wanted every book I read to be like that.

And so I thought I’d tell you about what I’ve found so far.

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