Book Review: Outcast

3:30 AM Sarah Koves 0 Comments

by Dianne Noble

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.

As many of you know, I taught a women's studies class first semester this year. This novel was a wonderful examples of the challenges that gave women on a daily basis.


Kolkata, India. Dec 2014
A fierce white light burning her eyes. A silent wind tearing at her skin, ripping her clothes, pitching her forward. A moment as long as infinity when gravity deserted the world and the air was sucked away. And then the terrible thunder of the explosion shaking the streets, vibrating the ground beneath her.

She raised her head to see the hotel being sucked inwards on itself with a roar, a whirlpool of glass and steel. Her tongue moved over her dust coated lips. The metallic taste of blood. Felt her vital organs shrivel with fear.

Kishan. Oh my God, Kishan.

She struggled to her feet, broken glass crunching beneath her flip flops. Felt the warm trickle of blood down her face, saw the lacerations on her hands and arms. Looked through the black smoke at the hotel, at the raging fire.

Kishan is in there.

Started forward but there was no hotel, only a burning crater. Bodies and pieces of bodies. Blood, already glossy with flies, running down the street. Within a minute the sirens were screaming.

‘Go, go.’ The policeman waved his arms and those who could stand began to stagger away. ‘Quick, quick.’

Is it another bomb?

Frantic, she followed the others. A woman wailing. A child silent with shock. An old man whose clothes hung in shreds, a white faced pregnant woman. She stepped on a dismembered leg, blood and mush at one end, a gold sandal at the other. Doubled over and vomited. As she straightened, wiping her mouth on the back of her hand a small girl in pink knickers clutched on to her arm. Rose looked at her blankly for a moment then remembered.

AUTHOR Bio and Links

I was brought up as a Service child in Singapore and Cyprus which ensured itchy feet forever! Journals kept on a lifetime of travelling in far flung places are now providing rich material for my writing. Readers will be transported to exotic and atmospheric settings in the company of women responding to enormous challenges.
I am currently writing a novel set in Cairo about a forced marriage, and re-editing an earlier manuscript about an English woman trying to help the street children of Kolkata, India.

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