Monday, June 24, 2013

The Outcast - A Book Review

The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim is a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter.  I have never read The Scarlet Letter, but I know enough about the story that I knew what this story would be about.  With that and the beautiful cover I was anxious to read the book.

Rachel is the mother of an illegitimate baby and the talk of her old order Mennonite community.   She is unmarried and refuses to repent and she refuses to name the father of her child, instead she bears the sin of both her and her partner.  Eventually she is driven out of the community by the bishop who is also her twin sister's husband.

Secrets always have a way of coming out and when Rachel's baby gets a life threatening illness, there are choices that must be made that will bring light to the darkness and will forever change the lives of everyone involved.

I really didn't like this book at all.  I really don't like when an author writes from the first person perspective, but what bothered me the most is that it switches from Rachel telling the story to Amos telling it.  That in itself can be confusing, but that was not even the worst part of it.  The story starts at Amos' funeral.  So a good deal of the story is being told by a dead guy.  He apparently is overseeing the goings on of his family from heaven.  This was just too much for me.  I could of gotten into the story more if it was not for this detail.  I wish that it all would have been told from Rachel's point of view.  The only bright part of the story for me was Judah, Rachel's childhood friend who loves her and is willing to look past her "sin" and marry her if only she will have him.  There are several twists and turns to the story so if first person narrative does not bother you (and the dead guy thing) then maybe you would enjoy it!

***This book was given to me by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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