Don't miss

The Outcast

The last book recommendation I got from my sister-in-law went something like this.

“I've just finished a great book.” “What was it called?” “I can't remember.” “Who was it by?” “I can't remember that either.” “Well, what was it about?” “That's the sad thing. I only finished it a couple of days ago and I really can't remember what it was about. I do remember, though, that I really enjoyed it.”

Not much help then, but she partially redeemed herself the other day with a text from France, where she had been doing a bit of work for a couple of days.

"A book reco 4 u," it said. "The Outcast. I read all 450 pages of it yesterday in one sitting b4 passing out at 10.30. The luxury of being w/o children here, I guess.

"Desperately sad, ending cld have bn improved but v unputdownable. Now I have nothing 2 while away the lonely nights."

Not having had the luxury of escaping from my children for a couple of nights, it took me a bit longer to read it, but it's definitely a page-turner.

The Outcast of the story is Lewis Aldridge, a boy growing up in the suffocating atmosphere of post-war Britain - focussing specifically on the traumas and injustices that were part of 1950s middle-class family life.

It is very sad, but has a fast-moving plot that makes it also very readable. The perfect thing to while away nights, whether lonely or not.