The Outcasts


MULTICULTURAL:  All the village wives warn Alice about Hunter, the mysterious, strong man who was born of an English mother and a native Australian father, and who has been the town’s outcast for years. When Alice hurries off into the rainforest to get some herbs and is trapped when a storm hits, Hunter allows her into his home and takes care of her. 


Hunter is traumatized by the past, and although certainly alluring, there’s also something dark and primal about his personality. As Alice struggles to break past the emotional shield he’s put up, and to find out more about the man behind the myth, she learns of the tragic history that makes him the man he is today. Meanwhile, Alice opens up about some of her own troubles as well, and the two of them fall for each other, which leads to a passionate, forbidden love. 


In this fast-paced, relatively short (seventy-five pages) story, author Elizabeth Preston crafts two intriguing main characters who come from totally different backgrounds, but somehow make a good match. The setting leaves a little to be desired, though, since all readers may be familiar with the time period or village life, and the author doesn’t give a lot of details about the time period. The plot is entertaining though, and original as well. The writing is decent, and the pacing is fast from start to end.  


Majanka Verstraete