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The Outcasts: A Novel Hardcover – September 24, 2013

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316206121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316206129
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #607,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The fates of a newly minted lawman, a former prostitute, and the promise of buried gold collide in Kent's (The Traitor's Wife) gripping third novel. Set in Texas in the 1870s, the novel alternates between the lives of Lucinda Carter and Nate Cannon, both of whom are starting over but under vastly different circumstances. After years in a Fort Worth brothel, Lucinda makes her escape—along with a pouch full of silver from the stingy landlady—to the remote outpost known as Middle Bayou, where she's arranged a teaching position while she waits for her mysterious lover. Meanwhile, Nate, an Oklahoma native in his first year as a member of the Texas State Police, is sent to track down two legendary Texas Rangers, Capt. George Deerling and Dr. Tom Goddard, and alert them that William McGill, a killer they've been chasing for years, has struck again. The men form an uneasy trio, with the experienced Rangers unsurprisingly less than ecstatic to be saddled with a greenhorn, though Nate soon proves his worth. In Middle Bayou, Lucinda bides her time, waiting for her lover's arrival and for him to follow through on his promise of a life made rich with pirates' gold hidden near her new home. That Lucinda and Nate's paths will cross is inevitable, but Kent ditches predictable romance for a tense, unsparing look at the price we'll pay to get what we think we want. (Oct.)


"A talented storyteller...[Kent] manages to upend expectations through rich characterizations, historic verisimilitude and a close study of East Texas geography...There are echoes of...Cormac McCarthy, in Kent's bloody novel....But time and again, largely because of the humanizing attention to women and minority characters traditionally given short shrift in historical fiction, Kent manages a fresh take on a tale that could have been just another redundant entry in the Lonesome Dove sweepstakes."—Dan Oko, Texas Observer

"As historically grounded and perhaps more explosive than her first works, this new offering should be great for book clubs, which have always favored Kent."—Barbara's Pick, Library Journal

"A rollicking tale."—Steve Bennett, San Antonio-Express News


"Vivid...Mixing history, love story and suspense, Kent seamlessly blends true events with fiction to bring a fraught, endlessly fascinating period of American history to life."—Joanna Powell, People

"A cinematic but refreshingly unsentimental take on the classic Western, starring a woman who is no romantic heroine, but a definite survivor."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Kent's novel burns slowly, with polished prose, a gripping plot and characters-particularly smart, independent-minded Martha-who will linger in your mind...A novel of suspense, a love story and a moving portrait of the struggles of the early colonists, The Wolves of Andover is a richly layered tale."—Jay Strafford, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Beautifully written."—Shawna Seed, Dallas Morning News

"Kathleen Kent has a unique talent for early American storytelling...combines the steadfastness of well-research historical fiction with the organic mien of oral storytelling."—Catherine D. Acree, Bookpage

"Gripping fiction...part historical love story, part thriller set against the well-drawn backdrop of Puritan America."—San Antonio Express-News

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Customer Reviews

This is one of the best books I've read in a while, and it's easily recommended.
With The Outcasts, I could appreciate the author's skill in telling the story & felt connected to the characters as well.
Great story,couldn't put it down once I had started, interesting twists and turns.
M. L. Mcsweeney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nitty's Mom TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It is unusual that I would pick a Western for an end of the summer read. I am very glad I did. The Outcasts is an absolutely splendid novel complete with many complex characters and insight into their motivation and the relationships they form in this harsh and unforgiving environment. The plot development starts slowly, however ended with an edge of your seat showdown. The author effortlessly makes you feel like you are in the old west using her great descriptive powers, the harsh landscape of the Gulf Coast , the brothels, saloons, the endless days of isolation riding on horseback.

The Outcasts has an alternating narrative by Nate Cannon and Lucinda Carter. Nate was born in Oklahoma to a mission raised mother and father. With little support or love from his father, Nate leaves home at fourteen. A decent and honest man, his first job is to drive three hundred horses into Texas. Years later in order to make a better life for his wife and child he joins the Texas state police force. On his first assignment he is commissioned to ride with two old time rangers, George Deerling and his long time partner Tom Goddard to find a ruthless killer. This killer McGill, has no compunction about killing woman and children if opportune. George and Tom have ridden together for 20 years and it is with these two men that the horse-whisperer Nate forms an unlikely but strong bond of love and loyalty.

Lucinda Carter is an epileptic whose father sent her to a lunatic asylum as a child. Lucinda Carter is initially seen stealing from the Madame of the brothel she works for. With this money she intends to travel to Middle Bayou to meet her lover and and start a new life. Even though their initial encounter was at the brothel her lover accepts her with her illness.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By The Curious Dame on September 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I loved this novel! The Outcasts is an engrossing novel set in the American west where no one is perfect and everyone is in search of something! The story unfolds through the points of view of Nate Cannon and Lucinda Carter.

Nate is an immediately likeable character. He leaves a young wife at home to join a cattle drive and later the Texas State Police. On his first assignment, he encounters two crusty old Texas Rangers, George Deerling and Tom Goddard. They have spent a lifetime hunting a ruthless killer named McGill who has killed women and children. Good with horses, Nate impresses the rough and tumble duo and the three ride off in search of McGill. The scenes in the book pertaining to these characters are excellently written, in fact, I would classify it as amazing, capturing the crudeness and wisdom of old age cowboys and rangers. Incredibly fabulous!

Then there is Lucinda Carter. Lucinda is running from a horrible past. She is an unloved epileptic whose father banished her to a lunatic asylum when she was a mere child. Now, she makes her living as a whore in a bothel. When she earns enough, she hopes to meet her lover and start a new life. So to hasten her destiny, she steals from her notoriously ruthless madame, who sends a killer after her. But Lucinda's lover insists she take a job as a school teacher first. Yes, that's correct, a whore working as a school teacher, one of the many fascinating tweeks and lilts this story takes. While there, she learns of a long-lost treasure hidden by the infamous pirate, Lafitte, many years before.

There is so much to gush about in this novel, I don't know where to begin. The characterization is stupendous, the plot magnificent, the characters inter-connected, the creativity superb!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By kas on September 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Additional Info based on 2nd reading finished last night: This book was more interesting on the second reading. I got more insight into the characters and the plot was as fun as ever. I am now a staunch Kathleen Kent fan. Don't miss this if you're looking for a fun read with some literary qualities!

Original (1 read under my belt) Review published on GoodReads: This was my first experience reading Kathleen Kent, and I very much enjoyed it. Fans of historical fiction from this time and place should be well satisfied by this offering.

*The Outcasts* was beautifully written. One distinctive quality of the narration is the distance between the 3rd person narrator and the subject or object being contemplated (either by a character or the narrator). This type of narration, in my view, helps to paint a picture of an unforgiving world where people must steel themselves to hard truths to the effects of causes they did not necessarily create. It's not as depressing as I make it sound! It's just...tough. The novel is a great, interesting read.

Please be advised I received a copy of this book through the GoodReads First Reads Giveaway program.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. David on September 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kathleen Kent's two previous books 'The Herectic's Daughter' and 'The Traitor's Wife' gave the reader a raw sense of living conditions in early New England. She has done the same with 'The Outcasts', but this time in Texas shortly after the Civil War. The characters are real people, not the romanticized versions that are so typical of so many Westerns. The plot twits are unexpected, and the reader is left at the end, with a few saddle sores. But this reader cannot wait to saddle up and read it again.
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More About the Author

Kathleen Kent is the author of three best-selling novels. Her first novel, The Heretic's Daughter, has been published in 15 countries and is a recipient of the David J. Langum Sr. award for American historical fiction. The book chronicles the life of Martha Carrier, the author's grandmother back 9 generations, during the Salem witch trials of 1692, and is based in part on family stories passed down through generations.

Her second novel, The Traitor's wife, explores the life of Thomas Carrier, husband to Martha; a man who was a soldier during the English Civil War and who is rumored to be one of the executioners of King Charles I of England.

The author's latest novel, The Outcasts, is set in Reconstruction Era Texas and follows the paths of a young woman fleeing a life of prostitution and a newly-minted lawman on the hunt for a killer of men, women and children across the frontier. It is the recipient of the American Library Association's 2014 top choice for Historical Fiction.

A short story titled Coincidences Can Kill You was published in the crime anthology, Dallas Noir. She is currently working on a novel-length work based on this short story.

The author lives in Dallas, Texas.

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