I selected this book because I enjoy Amish/Mennonite fiction, but I did not see the small print of “a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter” until I picked it up to begin reading it and my heart sank a little because I did not enjoy The Scarlet Letter way back in the days of literature class. So I had a little negative bias as I began the book.
I’m happy to say that about halfway through the book, I was completely hooked and couldn’t put it down! While it has similarities to The Scarlet Letter, this story is different in so many wonderful ways.
The three things I look for in a great fiction book are interesting, believable characters, surprising plot twists, and the message of the story. Petersheim offers it all. The characters are wonderfully written, full of love (despite betrayal), human failings, courage, loyalty (despite betrayal), compassion, and mercy. The plot had surprises that I didn’t see coming. Petersheim offered messages of unconditional love, doing the right thing (even when there are brutally painful consequences), and accepting consequences of sin. There is such a tangled web of deception that comes to light in such a cleverly written way.
The Outcast is an excellent book that I highly recommend! I know I will read it again after passing around my copy to my friends.