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The Body Lies  By  cover art

The Body Lies

By: Jo Baker
Narrated by: Imogen Church, Deborah McBride, Sam Woolf, Simon Ludders, Julie Maisey
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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

“Baker’s heroine is one of the most believable I’ve seen on the page in a long time . . . nuanced, non-linear, lifelike. The truthfulness of this creation carries us as long as the story shifts gear from literary fiction to thriller . . . Baker manipulates these gears masterfully, and the final chapters deliver the heart-in-mouth genre denouement we’ve been waiting for.”—The Times Literary Supplement

“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)

The Body Lies is a train of brilliantly realized scenes that can speed the reader along, but it is better to stop now and then to ponder the issues raised by this thought-provoking book. Not a conventional ‘summer read’ perhaps, but a rewarding one.”—The Washington Times

What listeners say about The Body Lies

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    3 out of 5 stars

well written and ultimately hopefully but...

Such a painful journey as main character lets men get handsy rather than complain, lets them get away with most anything without complaint I guess due to insanely low self esteem? Can't believe such a character would have had the self esteem to become a professor or a novelist as you have to be pretty strong in yourself to be either. also, we are never told what broke her to MAKE her this way - the sole described incident of random violence would not have - and it certainly would have made her more protective of both her physical space and personal space - she wouldn't have been so blindly trusting of obviously very damaged I individuals. yeah - I spent 98% of the time cringing at this characters poor choices and what she chose to just ignore in her life. last book I will read by this author, because the emotional investment is not worth the payoff - a pity for essentially an author with an exceptional way with words, etc. writing is top quality, storyline is NOT. DO editors still exist? surely publisher could have provided a bit of guidance regarding a main character you cannot identify with until the last few pages because she has no identity or backbone. narration was generally again, quality, even top notch, but if you do not know how to pronounce a name, figure it out before you record it especially when it is a name as famous as Simone de Bouvier... (hint: BooVeeYay - it is French, so you do not "sound it out" as if it is an American name).

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7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Raw, honest, and devastating

I loved this novel. I think it was so truthful that any woman who has been hurt in the past could relate to it. I loved learning about all the characters too. Very dark though and many triggers to be aware of: violence, assault, sexual assault, suicide, etc