Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Outcast by Sadie Jones, read by Dan Stevens.
1957, and Lewis Aldridge is travelling back to his home in the South of England. He is straight out of jail and nineteen years old. His return will trigger the implosion not just of his family, but of a whole community.
A decade earlier, his father's homecoming casts a different shape. The war is over and Gilbert has recently been demobbed. He reverts easily to suburban life - cocktails at six thirty, church on Sundays - but his wife and young son resist the stuffy routine. Lewis and his mother escape to the woods for picnics, just as they did in wartime days. Nobody is surprised that Gilbert's wife counters convention, but they are all shocked when, after one of their jaunts, Lewis comes back without her.
Not far away, Kit Carmichael keeps watch. She has always understood more than most, not least from what she has been dealt by her own father's hand. Lewis's grief and burgeoning rage are all too plain, and Kit makes a private vow to help. But in her attempts to set them both free, she fails to predict the painful and horrifying secrets that must first be forced into the open.
As menacing as it is beautiful, The Outcast is a devastating portrait of small-town hypocrisy from an astonishing new voice.
Made into the major BBC drama starring Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) and George MacKay (Pride)
'A gripping love story with a twist. If you liked Atonement by Ian McEwan, you'll love this'
"An elegant, subtle, haunting novel that stayed with me long after I finished it. Sadie Jones has a long literary future ahead of her"
"The prose is elegant and spare, but the story it reveals is raw and explosive... Devastatingly good'"
"Jones's story is imbued with brooding atmosphere and drama. Understated and elegantly narrated with attention to period detail, this is a gripping love story with a twist. If you liked Atonement by Ian McEwan, you'll love this"
"Eminently readable first novel....reads like a thriller, the tension and menace build expertly...a powerful, promising first novel"
"She writes with simmering intensity... particularly strong on atmosphere... Jones uses small, startling phrases to convey depths of passion and information and she can make seemingly innocuous passages radiate beauty"
The Snakes is the devastating story of a family whose worst sins come back to bite them. In this extract, Bea and her husband Dan arrive at her brother Alex's hotel in France, having escaped London for a few months. To their horror they find Alex living alone, the hotel ramshackle and deserted apart from a nest of snakes living in the attic…