Books by Jo Baker
A Country Road, A Tree
Paris 1939. The streets rumble with the footfalls of Nazi soldiers. A young writer, recently returned from Ireland, smokes a last cigarette with his lover, before the city they know is torn apart. Soon he will put his own life on the line, and those of his loved ones, by joining the Resistance. Spies, artists, deprivation, danger and passion: this is a story of life at the edges of human experience, and how one man came to translate it into art.
‘Beautifully written, empathetic and unflinching, it is very very good.’ Daily Mail
‘Skilful… daring… an extraordinary story.’ The Guardian
‘vivid and well-wraught.’ Times Literary Supplement.
‘If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats,’ Sarah thought, ‘she would be more careful not to tramp through muddy fields.’ It is wash-day in the Bennet household, and Sarah’s hands are chapped and raw. Life below stairs, ruled with a tender heart and iron will by Mrs Hill the housekeeper, is about to be disturbed by the arrival of a new footman, bearing secrets and the scent of the sea…
‘A really special book, and not only because its author writes like an angel.’ Daily Mail
‘A triumph: a splendid tribute to Austen’s original, but, more importantly, a joy in its own right.’ Guardian
‘Delightful and audacious… a work that’s both original and charming, even gripping.’ New York Times Book Review
‘A novel that contrives both to provoke the intellect, and, ultimately, to stop the heart.’ Guardian.
‘Ambrosia from the gods…’ O Magazine
The Picture Book
Spanning one century and four generations, an exquisitely told story of family, war, and love.
'An utterly involving, beautifully crafted epic... this story will have you weeping on the bus and page-turning well into the night.' Easy Living
'A deeply affecting, sweeping drama with real emotional depth.' Daily Mail
Spanning one century and four generations, an exquisitely told story of family, war, and love. Published in the UK as The Picture Book.
'The architecture of a family, constructed over decades, through relationships, wars and secrets, is assembled with fine detail and insight in an exceptional 20th-century saga... Impressive.' - Starred review, Kirkus
'There was someone else in the room. I could feel it in my flesh. If I just turned my head a fraction, she'd be there.' When Rachel arrives in her mother's isolated country house, she knows that packing everything up will bring back painful memories of what she has lost. But she soon senses that there's something else too - a presence in the house, not quite tangible, trying to make itself known. Unsettled, she starts to piece together fragments of a life lived there long before: a woman caught up in turbulent times, and drawn inexorably to a dangerous man...
'A knock-out ghost story' Daily Telegraph
'A fascinating and richly atmospheric story that I couldn't put down' New Books
The Mermaids Child
Malin has always felt different. With a dreamer for a father and an absent mother, who is, by his account, a mermaid, it could hardly be otherwise. It is only when a stranger comes to her isolated village that Malin's choice at last becomes clear: stay, and never feel at home, or leave and go in search of the fantastical inheritance that has, until now, seemed completely out of reach.
'This is a world which might have been ours had history worked out differently: a place of famine-blasted countryside and filthy towns, strange oceans and deserts, populated by the outcast and eccentric, the cunning and desperate. And yes, by mermaids too - possibly; there is a certain unreliability about our protagonist, Malin Reed, whose alleged exotic lineage is just one of the marvels found here.' Books Quarterly
Jo Baker's powerful and moving first novel tells the story of Claire, a young woman who feels unable to belong anywhere, even in her own skin. Adrift and alone in post-ceasefire Belfast, she is forced to confront the core questions of her life: who is she, and where, if anywhere, can she call home?
'Quietly yet powerfully moving' TLS
'The writing is very strong. A newcomer to watch.' Publishing News