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The Undertow

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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book

The American debut of an enthralling new voice in fiction — a vivid, indelibly told novel that follows four generations of a family against the backdrop of a century of turmoil.

The Undertow traces the lives of the Hastings family, from the eve of the First World War to the present day:  William, a young factory worker preparing to join the navy; his son Billy, who cycles into the D-Day landings; his grandson Will, an Oxford professor in the 1960s; and his great-granddaughter, Billie, an artist in contemporary London. Here Jo Baker reveals the Hastings’ legacy of choices made, chances lost, and truths long buried in what is an enthralling story of inheritance, fate, passion, and what it means to truly break free of the past.

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The American debut of an enthralling new voice in fiction — a vivid, indelibly told novel that follows four generations of a family against the backdrop of a century of turmoil.

The Undertow traces the lives of the Hastings family, from the eve of the First World War to the present day:  William, a young factory worker preparing to join the navy; his son Billy, who cycles into the D-Day landings; his grandson Will, an Oxford professor in the 1960s; and his great-granddaughter, Billie, an artist in contemporary London. Here Jo Baker reveals the Hastings’ legacy of choices made, chances lost, and truths long buried in what is an enthralling story of inheritance, fate, passion, and what it means to truly break free of the past.

Product Details
Paperback (352 pages)
Published: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307946942
Other books byJo Baker
  • Longbourn

    Longbourn
    • Pride and Prejudice was only half the story •   If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she’d most likely be a sight more careful with them.   In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended. Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen’s classic—into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily particulars faced by the lower classes in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars—and, in doing so, creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own. 

    The Telling

    The Telling
    Her mother recently deceased, Rachel sets off alone for her family’s isolated country house in order to pack up and sell off the remnants of her estate. She tells herself the process will only take a few weeks, but from the moment she steps through the front door, Rachel feels that the house contains more than she had expected. Along with the memories of her mother, there is something else in the house, a presence trying to make itself felt. As Rachel struggles to put her mother’s affairs in order, she grows ever more convinced that the house holds a message for her. Can the ghosts of the past be nudging their way into the present, or is Rachel really beginning to lose her mind? 

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