Beckie Burnham's Reviews > The Outcast: a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter

The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim
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it was amazing

There have been so many glowing reviews of Jolina Petersheim’s debut novel, The Outcast, that I was intrigued by this book. Add the fact that it was inspired by The Scarlet Letter, I knew I had to read it sooner than later. I purchased the audiobook and took off on my morning walks becoming immersed in Rachel’s life, her struggles and heartbreak. The Outcast was a book I just could not put down, er, turn off! Great writing, characters and plot — this novel has it all and gets a very highly recommended designation from me.

Petersheim sets her story of betrayal, jealousy, and judgment in an Old Order Mennonite community. Forgiveness is available, but only if repentance comes first. But not all sins are brought to light, and hypocrisy and pride drive innocents out into the world.

As stated, The Outcast is inspired by The Scarlet Letter. If your high school experience with that novel was less than enjoyable, don’t let that fact keep you from reading this book. Petersheim’s voice is fresh and accessible for her readers. Characters are real and relatable. The dual points of view of Rachel and a recently deceased Amos give fascinating and insightful glimpses into the heart of the characters. The faith message of God’s love, forgiveness and restoration runs throughout the novel. The Outcast also echoes the story of Rachel and Leah from the book of Genesis. — a nice touch. Petersheim also does a great job of exploring the impact of cancer on the entire family.

The Outcast is a winner in my book!

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: adults.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 3, 2015 – Shelved

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