The Body Lies

The Body Lies

Jo Baker

Jo Baker

A dark, thrilling new novel from the best-selling author of Longbourn: a work of riveting psychological suspense that grapples with how to live as a woman in the world—or in the pages of a book—when the stakes are dangerously high.When a young writer accepts a job at a university in the remote English countryside, it's meant to be a fresh start, away from the bustle of London and the scene of a violent assault she is desperate to forget. But despite the distractions of her new life and the demands of single motherhood, her nerves continue to jangle. To make matters worse, during class a vicious debate about violence against women inflames the tensions and mounting rivalries in her creative writing group. When a troubled student starts turning in chapters that blur the lines between fiction and reality, the professor recognizes herself as the main character in his book—and he has written her a horrific fate. Will she be able to stop life...
Read online
  • 439
A Country Road, a Tree

A Country Road, a Tree

Jo Baker

Jo Baker

Samuel Beckett is a young writer living in Paris—intoxicated by new friendships with James Joyce and the other writers and artists making the vibrant city their creative home—when war breaks out in 1939. He determines to stay and is swiftly drawn into the maelstrom, joining the Resistance. With him we experience the terrifying excitement yet stubborn vibrancy and camaraderie as the Parisians flee the Nazis and the Resistance goes underground; his friendships with the astonishing group of men and women who find themselves caught up in the Occupation; his quiet, committed love for Suzanne, the Frenchwoman who will become his lifelong companion; and his dangerous work encoding critical messages in translations and narrow escapes from the Gestapo. Here is a remarkable story of survival and determination, and a portrait of a uniquely brilliant mind.
Read online
  • 57

The Mermaid's Child

The Mermaid's Child

Jo Baker

Jo Baker

In this fantastical novel, the acclaimed author of Longbourn brings us the magical story of a young girl in search of her mother...who just might be a mermaid. Malin has always been different, and when her father dies, leaving her alone, her choice is clear: stay, and remain an outsider forever, or leave in search of the mythical inheritance she is certain awaits her. Apprenticed to a series of strange and wonderful characters, Malin embarks on a grueling journey that crosses oceans and continents--from the high seas to desert plains--and leads to a discovery that she could never have expected. Beautifully written and hauntingly strange, The Mermaid's Child is a remarkable piece of storytelling, and an utterly unique work of fantasy from literary star Jo Baker.
Read online
  • 48
The Telling

The Telling

Jo Baker

Jo Baker

A ghost story of the most unusual kind, The Telling is a thrilling--and sometimes chilling--tale about two women, separated by almost two centuries, grappling with change and loss. After her mother dies, Rachel sets off alone to pack up and sell off the remnants of her family's isolated country house. But from the moment she steps through the front door, she feels that the house contains more than she had expected. Generations earlier, a young housemaid, Lizzy, called the same dwelling home. On course for a life of service no different from her mother and her mother's mother before her, Lizzy's world is upended by the arrival of a mysterious lodger. Interweaving the two narratives, Jo Baker--best-selling author of Longbourn--brings these women, both struggling against their stations and their duties, vividly to life.
Read online
  • 47
The Undertow

The Undertow

Jo Baker

Jo Baker

The American debut of an enthralling new voice: a vivid, indelibly told work of fiction that follows four generations of a family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century—a novel about inheritance, about fate and passion, and about what it means to truly break free of the past.This is the story of the Hastings family—their secrets, their loves and losses, dreams and heartbreaks—captured in a seamless series of individual moments that span the years between the First World War and the present. The novel opens in 1914 as William, a young factory worker, spends one last evening at home before his departure for the navy . . . His son, Billy, grows into a champion cyclist and will ride into the D-Day landings on a military bicycle . . . His son in turn, Will, struggles with a debilitating handicap to become an Oxford professor in the 1960s . . . And finally, young Billie Hastings makes a life for herself as an artist in contemporary London. Just as the names echo down through the family, so too does the legacy of choices made, chances lost, and truths long buried.This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.Amazon.com ReviewGuest Reviewer: Kate Alcott on The Undertow by Jo Baker Kate Alcott, the author of The Dressmaker, was a reporter covering politics in Washington D.C., where she and her husband still live.One warning for the reader about to open The Undertow: don’t plan to read this remarkable, tender novel in short snatches of time, because it won’t work. Jo Baker’s story following the Hastings family through four generations will pull you up and hold you to the last page. A young and frightened seaman facing the battle of Gallipoli during World War 1 scribbles out a cheery postcard to his wife. Years later, his great-granddaughter picks the postcard out of an old album and thinks about what this distant, unknown man must have felt and feared; for her and for us, he breathes with life.It is, yes, a grand sweep of a family’s love and sadness and joy through time – but what makes the story stand out is the author’s gift for drawing every character vivid and full. She paints them with finely tuned detail. She understands their strengths and weaknesses, and, with great sensitivity, their contradictions.As in real lives, choices are made, paths taken and sometimes regretted. Always, time moves on. So settle down in a chair and dive in. Follow these people through chapters that crackle with the bloody horrors of war and others that end as lightly as a kiss. You will be absorbed by them all – and their stories are ones you will not soon forget.Review“We’re in love with the intricate, sensitive historical novel The Undertow.” —Oprah.com (Book of the Week)“Gripping . . . This portrait of four generations of a British family is emotionally powerful . . . Baker is skilled at evoking not only the distinctive social circumstances of the settings but the essential nature of each character . . . You can’t walk away from her book.” —*New York Times Book Review“Moving but never sentimental . . . The Undertow has a quiet, cumulative power; you read it not quite realizing how it’s burrowing under your skin . . . ‘The whole world in a little room,’ says Amelia to William in the book’s early pages, speaking of the miraculous way that cinema can capture a moment and show it anywhere. It’s a description that applies nicely to the experience of reading this novel, as well.” —*Seattle Times“An engaging novel. The Hastings family must fend off adversity of all kinds and from every side. Their challenges—so movingly detailed here—provide a profound sense of the whole tumultuous century.” —*Washington Post “Richly evocative . . . Places Baker at the top end of the list of emerging British literary talent.”  —Time Out London“Poignant . . . An exceptional 20th-century saga . . . Intricate, but never dull, Baker’s U.S. debut is a four-generational span of extraordinary history and ordinary lives, eloquent about the unshared interior worlds of individuals even when connected by the closest of bonds . . . This searchingly observant work captures a huge terrain of personal aspiration against a shifting historical and social background. Impressive.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred) “The Undertow, so deeply and richly imagined, is one of those books that make you forget to turn off the bedside light. I found myself thinking, just one more page, and then, just one more chapter. If what you love is a larger-than-life story with epic dimensions that pulls you in and won’t let you go, this is your book.” —Kim Barnes, author of *In the Kingdom of Men*“Some writers let you know you’re in safe hands from the start, and Jo Baker is one of them. Stretching from the First World War to the present day, this drama-rich saga unfolds as a series of intimate family portraits . . . There are gripping set-pieces, from childbirth to battlefield, all related in cut-glass prose and embedded with telling period detail.” —The Independent (UK)“Jo Baker is a novelist with a gift for intimate and atmospheric storytelling . . . She skilfully delineates the currents of social change and the essential human drama that persists: the intertwining of love and grief, the moments of ecstasy that transfigure banality, and the painful throb of personal loyalty. She writes with conviction and an eye for pregnant detail. The result is an agile, keenly observed novel that evokes the minuscule rewards and disappointments of the everyday.” —Financial Times “Deeply affecting . . . This is a sweeping drama with real emotional depth . . . The novel has cumulative force, the final chapters impressing most. Baker infuses her fluid, descriptive prose with a brilliantly generous squirt of smells [and sensations].” —Daily Mail (UK)  “A poignant, emotionally intense read that illuminates the legacies of love and loss for ordinary people.” —Marie Claire “An emotionally involving story [whose] scenes ring true . . . Baker tackles Boy’s Own subjects—war, cycle racing, great escapes—with impressive confidence. Yet the book’s most moving moment is not amid the tragedy of war but in a quiet little scene between a teenage boy and his half-sister.” —The Observer (UK)
Read online
  • 9
Offcomer

Offcomer

Jo Baker

Jo Baker

An honest, affecting work of fiction about a young woman's search for her place in the world, Offcomer is the powerful first novel from the acclaimed author of Longbourn. Against the backdrop of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, recent Oxford graduate Claire is a mess. She's trapped in a disastrous relationship with a young academic, working a dead end job, stunned by the emergence of secrets from her mother's past, and seemingly addicted to self-destructive behavior. But like the ceasefire that has brought renewed hope to Belfast, Claire too is afforded an opportunity to reflect, gradually learning to accept herself and to discover her sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Unflinching in its depictions of the uncertainties of youth, Offcomer ("An arresting debut" --The Independent (London)) is a novel of real and quiet power, from literary star Jo Baker.
Read online
  • 8