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The Body Lies

A Novel
By: Jo Baker
Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
4 out of 5 stars (47 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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, a vicious debate about violence against women inflames the tensions and mounting rivalries in her creative-writing class. 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 imitating art before it's too late? 

At once a breathless cat and mouse game and a layered interrogation of the fetishization of the female body, The Body Lies gives us an essential story for our time that will have you checking the locks on your doors.

Read by Imogen Church, Deborah McBride, Sam Woolf, and Simon Ludders, with Julie Maisey.

©2019 Jo Baker (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Jo Baker’s The Body Lies is gripping and strange in the best possible way: the perfect marriage of risky literary fiction and full-on thriller.” (Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette)

“A must read . . . With an unflinching eye, Baker deftly explores the pressure, judgment, and dangers women are subjected to on a daily basis simply because they are female. Her brilliant novel is a scathing indictment of the many ways society excoriates women while excusing violent men.” (Kristine Huntley, Booklist, starred)

“Beautiful words wrapped around brutal truths - The Body Lies is a novel for now...It’s an outstanding story.” (Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go)

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well written and impressively narrated

Good book, but hard to take in at times due to subject manner. It definitely left me with my head reeling over these situations and the realistic depiction of frustration and helplessness. I know I grew as a person from being able to understand these situations better, at least. Jo Baker is a wonderful author and keeps your interest at the same time as depicting realistic and painful situations that usually get swept under the rug.

I'd like to give 5 stars for the story but with all the trials that the main character keeps going through get mildly frustrating and I found myself just wanting her to have a win for once. But i guess that's not realistic either and we can't save everyone from their hurt.

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Couldn’t get enough

Love the authors writing style. Narration was perfection - like she was made to read for the writer and the characters.