Outcast by Dianne Noble
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s fiction
Length: Full (308 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Review by Rose
Rose leaves her Cornwall café to search for her daughter in the sweltering slums of Kolkata, India.
In the daily struggle for survival, she is often brought to her knees, but finds strength to overcome the poverty and disease, grows to love the Dalit community she helps.
But then there are deaths, and she fears for her own safety.
Her café at home is at risk of being torched, and finally, she has to make the terrible choice between her daughter and the Indian children.
This is a beautifully written book about mothers and daughters, about forgiveness and redemption, about loss and finding oneself. The subject matter itself isn’t pretty. It deals with the poverty and struggle that is the life of the Dalits–the untouchables–of India. But the story itself is beautiful and is one I think I will be thinking about for a long time.
The story begins with Rose discovering that the plane on which her daughter was supposed to be arriving after her gap year in India was missing. Her relief that Ellie did not actually get on the plane quickly turned to a desire to repair the damage that had been done to their relationship over the years, so she decides to go to India on a surprise visit, leaving her café in the capable hands of Hannah, who we discover has her own mother issues that are juxtaposed against the story of Rose and Ellie.
I really enjoyed the juxtaposition of the two stories, and I hope Ms. Noble plans on revisiting Hannah and Willow. I would like to see how their story plays out.
Although the ending was not the one *I* would have chosen, I can quite see how it was the right decision for the characters.
Good job, Ms. Noble. I will definitely be checking to see if you have other books available.