The Outsider

Arlene Hunt. Portnoy (Dufour, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (318p) ISBN 978-1-909255-06-7
This psychological mystery from Irish author Hunt (The Chosen) vividly portrays life in the Irish countryside during the 1970s. Anthony Byrne is the son of Evelyn and Jack Byrne, who eloped when Evelyn’s upper-class family disowned her for wanting to marry Anthony’s Catholic father. Anthony’s twin sister, Emma, is autistic, and the plot revolves as much around her struggle against a traditional upbringing and schooling as Anthony’s own coming-of-age story. After a slow start, the narrative picks up when the teenage Emma falls in love with her work at a horse stable and eventually develops a reputation as the best horse trainer for miles around. While Emma’s newfound status brings her success, relative wealth, and admiration, somebody clearly means her harm. Can Anthony figure out who has targeted his sister? Horse lovers and students of Irish literature and culture will find a lot to like. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/03/2014
Release date: 02/01/2014
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