Kent, Kathleen. (2013). The Outcasts. Little, Brown and Company; New York.
I have not come across many Western novels that I find particularly thought-provoking, but Kathleen Kent’s novel The Outcasts was one of the most moving and thoughtful books I had the pleasure of reading in 2013.
Set in Texas in the 1870s, the novel switches between the story of Lucinda Carter and Nate Cannon (Amazon Review). A compelling and rich storyline brings the reader from a Fort Worth brothel to a Middle Bayou schoolhouse, complete with exciting manhunt and the search for hidden treasure (Kent, 2013). Throughout the novel the fragility of human nature – in the form of Lucinda’s frequent breakdowns – sheds light on the nuances of ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ morals. I applauded the brave but struggling Lucinda and had mixed feelings about the law enforcement tactics of Nate’s companions.
This was one of those books that I couldn’t stand to put down, and I would strongly encourage you to add it to your list of to-read novels for 2014.
There is also a book trailer of this novel available on Youtube; the video doesn’t provide any spoilers but has some interesting interpretations of the book’s content: