Book Reviews of The Outsider

The Outsider
The Outsider
Author: Penelope Williamson
ISBN-13: 9780684807591
ISBN-10: 0684807599
Publication Date: 7/2/1996
Pages: 464
Rating:
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 18

4.2 stars, based on 18 ratings
Publisher: Simon Schuster
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

18 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Outsider on
Helpful Score: 5
I LOVED this book! I read it in only 2 days (before and after work!) and enjoyed every minute of it. I disagree with the review that states the story is too long--it is not. There were moments of laughter and tears throughout--exactly what I look for in a good book--as well as some instances of unexpected horror.

This story of a strong woman "healing" an alpha male included the right amount of romantic tension, complicated peripheral relationships and a truly ruthless, despicable villain.

I was planning to post this book to fulfill someone else's Wish, but alas, I have decided it is a KEEPER.

One of the reviews mentioned the book was made into a movie and I'll be checking that out as soon as possible...
reviewed The Outsider on + 204 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Edgy, Intense Version of "Witness"
This story is an edgier, intense version of "Witness". Rachel struggles with her passion for Johnny and her strict, "Plain" upbringing. I only gave it four and a half stars because I felt that it was about 200 pages too long. There were many places which had too much superfluous information or description that would have been best left out.
reviewed The Outsider on + 65 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
"A bittersweet story of love, passion and final reckoning."
reviewed The Outsider on + 440 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I enjoyed this story. A Historical tale of a couple finding each other even though they are from completely different backgrounds. A story of love conquering Adversity.
reviewed The Outsider on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The story was made into a movie (for TV, I think), and I watched it. The book, as so often happens, is rich with the history and the time and I found it a very enjoyable read.
reviewed The Outsider on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is an outstanding book about an Amish woman, and a test of her faith. If you have any interest in The Amish community/ways, you'll find this book extremely interesting.
reviewed The Outsider on + 1361 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very unique romance. Couldn't put it down.
reviewed The Outsider on
Helpful Score: 1
I've read this book three times already- checked it out from the library each time- and when I saw it on here I had to have it because it's one of those books you can read over and over.
reviewed The Outsider on + 122 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great read. Couldn't put it down.

Isadora
reviewed The Outsider on + 56 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fast reading- good escape novel.
reviewed The Outsider on
Helpful Score: 1
A perfect 10!!!

Rachel Yoder is a Plain (Amish) woman; a widow with a son and a sheep ranch who still grieves over her young husband's death at the hands of the cattlemen. One icy cold night, a stranger wanders onto her land, in danger of bleeding to death from a bullet wound. Rachel cannot turn him away and nurses the man with the gunbelt back to health. Johnny Cain is a man-killer, a gunslinger who has lost his conscience years ago. Still, something about this beautiful Plain woman compels Johnny to stay and help with the sheep and bring a light of laughter into Rachel's eyes.

Rachel knows what Johnny is, but she has always been a little rebellious. She knows that by allowing him to stay, she is asking for trouble, yet she cannot help falling in love with him after she sees his gentle, caring side as he works with her son and the sheep. This woman of peace and man of violence have been brought together to forge a new life and to face the challenges of the future while opening their souls to love's healing light.
reviewed The Outsider on + 283 more book reviews
This was a great book. I have read everything by this author and this is one of her best books.
reviewed The Outsider on + 1155 more book reviews
One word is all that is necessary to describe this book: unique. It is the story of a Plain People (Amish) community; Rachel Yoder is a young, widowed woman taking care of her son and her sheep farm. Life changes for Rachel and Benjo when an outsider, Johnny Cain, stumbles onto her land. "The Outsider" is almost dead and is obviously a killer of men.

This deeply religious woman takes Cain in and brings him back to health. However, she is afraid of the gunman, although she is also fascinated. Because she is a perceptive woman (although she is not a healer, as her grandmother is), she quickly comes to understand that Cain thinks he is doomed for his sins.

This author did a wonderful job of slowly opening Cain's heart and showing the goodness in Cain to Rachel. However, this romance seems impossible; Cain won't let go of his gun and Rachel is a deeply religious woman. She also has a man eager to marry her within the Plain People community (Noah Weaver). Unfortunately for him, Noah has always wanted to marry Rachel (he lost out years before to Rachel's husband, Ben). Noah represents Rachel's strict religion he judges her and criticizes her for her own good.'

Ben, through his years of marriage to Rachel, showed her that life could have its light-hearted moments within the strict bounds of their religion. If Rachel marries Noah, she knows that life will become more rigid. Cain, as sinful as he has been, helps her laugh again.

The reader learns that Johnny Cain is not unschooled in the Bible; with his quotes of appropriate verses, we know that he understands how far he has fallen. Life has taught him not to believe in anything; but he tells Rachel that he believes in her.

The difficult life that the Plain People live is shared with the reader through vivid descriptions of life on a sheep ranch and the rare times they take for enjoyment. The author weaves a wonderful tale between Benjo, Rachel and Johnny Cain.

Penelope Williamson does not sugar-coat the difficult decisions Rachel makes. She shows the gentle natures of the Plain People but she also shows how severely they punish anyone willing to defy their religious principles.
reviewed The Outsider on + 39 more book reviews
Is a good book with story line of Plain People (Amish) Unfortunatly too descriptive with the cruelty of life (abuse, anger etc) and outside of marrage sexual relations. Could have been a terrific book otherwise.
reviewed The Outsider on + 1155 more book reviews
One word is all that is necessary to describe this book unique. It is the story of a Plain People (Amish) community; Rachel Yoder is a young, widowed woman taking care of her son and her sheep farm. Life changes for Rachel and Benjo when an outsider, Johnny Cain, stumbles onto her land. "The Outsider" is almost dead and is obviously a killer of men.

This deeply religious woman takes Cain in and brings him back to health. However, she is afraid of the gunman, although she is also fascinated. Because she is a perceptive woman (although she is not a healer, as her grandmother is), she quickly comes to understand that Cain thinks he is doomed for his sins.

This author did a wonderful job of slowly opening Cain's heart and showing the goodness in Cain to Rachel. However, this romance seems impossible; Cain won't let go of his gun and Rachel is a deeply religious woman. She also has a man eager to marry her within the Plain People community (Noah Weaver). Unfortunately for him, Noah has always wanted to marry Rachel (he lost out years before to Rachel's husband, Ben). Noah represents Rachel's strict religion he judges her and criticizes her for her own good.'

Ben, through his years of marriage to Rachel, showed her that life could have its light-hearted moments within the strict bounds of their religion. If Rachel marries Noah, she knows that life will become more rigid. Cain, as sinful as he has been, helps her laugh again.

The reader learns that Johnny Cain is not unschooled in the Bible; with his quotes of appropriate verses, we know that he understands how far he has fallen. Life has taught him not to believe in anything; but he tells Rachel that he believes in her.

The difficult life that the Plain People live is shared with the reader through vivid descriptions of life on a sheep ranch and the rare times they take for enjoyment. The author weaves a wonderful tale between Benjo, Rachel and Johnny Cain.

Penelope Williamson does not sugar-coat the difficult decisions Rachel makes. She shows the gentle natures of the Plain People but she also shows how severely they punish anyone willing to defy their religious principles.
reviewed The Outsider on + 1361 more book reviews
Solid historical with very original plot.
reviewed The Outsider on + 3389 more book reviews
From Publishers Weekly
For her latest western romance, Williamson (Heart of the West) adapts the recipe used in the John Wayne film Angel and the Badman (itself retooled for Harrison Ford in Witness): take one strong-willed, God-fearing Plain woman; add one worldly tough guy with a penchant for firearms; dramatize the difference between redemption and revenge; and stir. Time passes steadily with a "sweet sameness" for the hardworking Plain People in the Montana mountain valley where they raise their sheep, until one bleak late-winter day in 1886, when wounded gunslinger Johnny Cain staggers into widow Rachel Yoder's hay meadow, leaving a trail of bloody footprints. Rachel tends to the handsome stranger, who gradually recovers and seems to bond with Benjo, her stuttering nine-year-old son. Filled with "the smells of fried mush and blood," "the sour stink of sheep" and "the whispered perfume of apple blossoms," The Outsider contains plenty of details that nicely evoke the hardships of life on the frontier, along with the simple joys. Dialogue ranges from terse (Plain people aren't big talkers) to corny: "I know I'm nothin' but a worthless chippy, a whore, a tart, sportin' gal and fancy gal," says the town prostitute to the town doctor. The plot is unreservedly melodramatic, as some evil ranchers plot against the Plain people and Johnny and Rachel hem and haw their way toward consummating their forbidden love. But there are enough supporting characters and subplots to keep historical romance fans turning the pages all the way to the bittersweet ending, in which the relative merits of revenge and redemption come to somewhat of a stalemate.
reviewed The Outsider on
The genre for this book might say "Christian," and it is anything BUT Christian. Within the first couple of chapters there was horribly foul language. I threw the book away because I didn't want to recirculate that trash. I tried to have the genre information edited on PBS, but the admins didn't change it.