[Download] ➿ The Body Lies ➻ Jo Baker – Freeboooks.com


The Body Lies A Layered And Thrilling Suspense Novel That Grapples With How To Live As A Woman In The Modern 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 Countryside, It S Meant To Be A Fresh Start, Away From The Big City And The Scene Of A Violent Assault She S Desperate To Forget But Despite The Distractions Of A New Life And 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 Group.When A Troubled Student Starts Sending In Chapters From His Novel That Blur The Lines Between Fiction And Reality, The Professor Recognises 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 Battle Of Wits And A Disarming Exploration Of Sexual Politics, The Body Lies Is An Essential Book For Our Times.___________________ Gripping And Strange In The Best Possible Way The Perfect Marriage Of Risky Literary Fiction And Full On Thriller MARIA SEMPLE, Bestselling Author Of Where D Ya Go Bernadette


10 thoughts on “The Body Lies

  1. says:

    By this point I m sure you re tired of hearing me hem and haw over my inability to enjoy the flashy psychological thrillers being published these days, but I think I ve found an excellent compromise Enter the literary crime fiction novel typically, it is dark, gritty, atmospheric, and brooding, and contains many of the suspenseful and thrilling components I ve previously loved in the twisty new novels, yet with a relaxed pace The focus isn t on a twist that you ll never see coming usually, there is either a procedural aspect or an underlying drama that is overlapped with a current event or timely issue Here, we have a tiny vein of mystery that is wrapped in the social issue of sexual assault against women, and how it affects the typical female s life This format of character study that isn t dependent on a twist that, let s face it, after being tipped off to you ll DEFINITELY see coming, is so thoroughly working for me these days that I ve mostly tossed all other reads aside Why mess with perfection while it lasts The book takes place in the U.K., but The Body Lies is so relatable that it could have taken place anywhere I m not sure if it was the way I read the synopsis, or a genius move of the publisher s, but I felt the story was actually quite different than what the description above insinuates This isn t a bad thing in fact, I think it kept the slow burning pace suspenseful while also keeping me in the dark until the ending Again, the ending is not some huge, unexpected twist that you ll never see coming someone should really trademark that, yes but an emotional conclusion to a compelling buildup that has been meticulously crafted The conclusion wasn t rushed, it didn t come out of left field, and it wasn t dropped into the narrative for shock value What a novel concept I know that, as a community, we thriller consumers have really come to expect the most wild and outlandish conclusions possible for a story, but what if the next wave of popular fiction returns to the roots of reliable, satisfying stories that stand on their own merit of solid writing and character development If you are sensitive to content containing sexual assault, there are two scenes in this book that may put you off, but I felt both were done in a minimal manner and in good taste Nothing was included in a severely graphic manner or for shock value, and both brief portions are vital to the overall plot The author did a fantastic job bringing light to the discussion of how rape and sexual assault can be processed by females in different manners, and how the outside world seems to be comfortable hearing that a woman was taken advantage of, rather than hearing that she was in a consensual, unconventional relationship Honestly, I had to sit for a few minutes and process a particular conversation between two of the characters it was profoundly moving and something I think everyone should take a moment to think about Obviously, slow burning, literary crime fiction isn t everyone s cup of tea, and I respect that, but if you ve been frustrated or in a slump by reading the typical thrillers and feel like you need a change of pace, don t be afraid to pick up The Body Lies, or something like it You might find, like I did, that there is an entire sub genre of books that you adore, but just haven t discovered yet Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.


  2. says:

    The Body Lies starts with the assault of a thirty year old pregnant unnamed woman and this assault colors her life in the next years Three years after she has her baby, she takes a job as a professor in rural England university, living apart from her partner husband Mark, seeing him only on holidays and some weekends Immediately the Creative Writing department, which should have had two experienced mentors, is down to just her and her boss is piling on work constantly With a three year old toddler to raise, way too much work for one person to accomplish, and the feeling of loneliness that comes from moving to the country from the city, she is always tired, always behind, always frazzled and always aware that she could be attacked at any time, like she was attacked three years earlier The author chooses not to name our main character so I can only speak of her as she and her Into her masters writing class comes a very troubled young man, Nick According to Nick, the story he is writing must adhere to his rules and one of them is that whatever he writes must be true He writes of a young woman he loved, dying, his anguish and his time after her death We can see the parallels to his classmates and to his teacher Nick really is writing about what has happened in life although the way he sees things are not the way others see them Nick is obviously obsessed with our main character, something the woman does not need, especially with her jumpiness from her attack three years ago Nick pushes himself on the woman, she makes decisions that are not wise such as not reporting Nick as disturbed, of Nick having crossed a very wrong line, and then for not coming to classes There is a claustrophobic feel to the story, despite it taking place in the country Her boss is constantly inserting himself into her personal space, loading her with massive amounts of work that she isn t even trained to do, Nick is ever present in her thoughts even when he s not around and the parts of his story that he sends to her intimately detail what has happened between them although his view of what has happened aren t realityNick is a very troubled man I had such a feeling of dread throughout the book, Even when there were moments of friendship or of a possible budding romance, after her marriage goes sour, there is always a darkness lurking A huge bright spot in the story, for me, is little three year old Sammy I could read a story about Sammy every day Such a cute little one and he seemed so real to me, the light in her life and what kept her from giving in to the oppression she felt around her Thank you to Knopf Random House and Edelweiss for this ARC.


  3. says:

    The beginning had me intrigued I loved the writing The beck is frozen into silence Snow falls It muffles the road, bundles up the houses, deepens the meadows, turns the river black by contrast It settles along the gray green twigs and branches of the beech wood, sifts like sugar to the hard earth below and dusts the young women curled there, her skin blue white, dark hair tumbled over her face She doesn t say a word she doesn t even shiver now Her breath comes thinly A deer, scraping at the snow for roots, stops and snuffs the air, and scents her, and turns to move silently from the place Above the canopy, the sky is clear, the moon stands full An owl scuds across the meadow, drops to kill a vole In the shadow of the beech tree, there is stillness, not a breath The body lies A young woman no name was assaulted while pregnant Luckily the baby and she were physically ok I was definitely engaged and curious about where the story was going,.but then I started to feel frustrated trying to keep track of all of the students and each of their stories and characteristics that the woman taught at a University in a small town She was their creative writing teacher Main students were Nicolas Palmer, Merlye E Sharratt,Karen, Steven, Tim, Richard Plus we meet the head of the department Christian Scaife Who assigns himself as her mentor , and many other staff members Mina and PatrickSimon Peters, Michael Lynch.plus another dozen characters.We knew the woman was on edge.still fearful from the attack She loved her toddler little boy, Sammy We think she cares for her partner, Mark, the man she lived with in London but I wasn t sure Mark stayed back in London he had his teaching job.while the the woman took a job further away She and Mark worked out an arrangement He came to visit on weekends and visited his little son, Sammy It doesn t take long to figure out that one of the students had something to do with the sexual assault that happened to the woman a few years back, before she came to teach at this university But there is still much mystery I found this book in parts GOOD yet disjointed with loose ends that never went anywherewith a boggled down feeling from too many students to keep track of Jo Baker does write beautiful sentences and engage our thoughts I apologize I just felt a little confused at times.Maybe other readers won t Little things made me laugh about the University rules Students could declare if they had mental issues or not For the students who did a yellow sticker was attached to their file However no teacher was allowed to find out any specifics about their students issues Around 40% of the creative writing students did declare having a mental health issue One particular student wrote heavy dark stories about grief and self destruction It s creepy enough that I didn t know what to make of him Or what he s up to.Too hard to write without spoilers I do like Jo Baker s work but this was a mixed bag Be clear I DID ENJOY much of it the unlikable flawed characters too.At the same time it s a book of only around 3 stars for me.Much thanks to Knopf Publishing and Jo Baker


  4. says:

    The Body Lies by Jo Baker was a compelling, tense and suspenseful thriller that I enjoyed right from the start When a young writer accepts a job at a university in the remote countryside, it s meant to be a fresh start, away from the big city and the scene of a violent assault she s desperate to forget But despite the distractions of a new life and 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 group When a troubled student starts sending in chapters from his novel that blur the lines between fiction and reality, the professor recognises herself as the main character in his book and he has written her a horrific fate I really did find this author s style of writing a breath of fresh air, there were so many different variations of writing within the story The short stories we were privy to of the students work were so different to each other, they themselves were as entertaining as the book itself I enjoyed how the multi layered story was set out, with occasional witness statements and in particular, chapters of one of the character s novel which was crucial to the suspense of the plot I also thought it was ingenious how the title of the book was incorporated into sections of the story, which were literary and atmospheric Above the canopy, the sky is clear, the moon stands full An owl scuds across the meadow, drops to kill a vole In the shadow of the beech tree, there is stillness, not a breath The body lies Including the exploration of sexual politics in the thriller and the timely theme of how men see women in the world, it really was a powerful, gripping and very modern book, for a very modern world The fact that the main female protagonist has no name in the story reflects how she represents all women and was a very clever idea It s difficult to write much about this story without giving too much away, suffice to say I was totally hooked and although some of the characters are totally flawed and unlikeable, they are addictive and you want to follow each of their journey s through to the end There are a couple of unsettling scenes but they were appropriate to the story and really enhanced the powerful message of the book and along with a tense and suspenseful denouement this really is an immensely entertaining novel.I d happily recommend The Body Lies and I wish Jo the very best with this excellently written and well thought out piece of modern literary fiction.5 stars


  5. says:

    Many thanks to Knopf Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest reviewEdit temporary dnf I m so bored plus there are a ton of other books that I have audio for and that I m interested in Bye for now Me eats gluten Body ALERT BACTERIA DESTROYYYMe It s just breadBody No IT S BACTERIAAAAAAAAA Me LLLLLLLIAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRR Goodreads Blog Twitch Pinterest Buy


  6. says:

    Beautifully told, thought provoking, and DEEPLY unsettling.


  7. says:

    I was hooked on this book from page one sinking into it like a knife into butter The premise is galvanizing a thirty something woman takes a position as a creative writing professor in the rural English countryside on the heels of a violent assault She is assigned six students, including the immensely talented and mercurial Nicholas Baker, whose work he claims is always based on truth Yet the truth begins to get darker and darker particularly after the first person narrator begins to recognize herself as a main player in his bookThe theme is riveting the fear of being caught up in someone else s story of being written by someone else the fear of having no say in who I was at all Without being cloying or overpowering, essential questions are raised here how can a woman claim her authentic voice, especially after assault, when she feels compelled to say yes instead of no at the workplace, when she forced to upset her work life balance, when her very life becomes fodder for a volatile student s sick writings Jo Baker does a masterful job of capturing her narrator s state of mind as well as the often ridiculous politics of a university setting for example, student writers must issue trigger warnings in case something they write upsets someone else I was well on my way to a glowing five star rating But about two thirds through the book, the author deviates from her premise in favor of a cinematic ending Suddenly the narrator makes a few choices that are inconsistent with the character we ve come to know Her sympathies with Nicholas belie her own carefully crafted sense of self protection, particularly since she is also caring for her three year old son Ultimately, we get action scenes that would play well in the movies but discredit the nuanced psychological suspense we ve come to expect and also veer wildly from the book s theme My verdict the first two thirds of the book contain 5 star writing The last third only 3 star I ll clock in at 4.


  8. says:

    And I was struggling with my own question of whether there was a way to write female without writing body, and whether there was a way to be female without being reduced to body The thing I like about Jo Baker is that every book of hers I ve read has been utterly different she s not an author who writes herself into a rut In this book she tackles fiction head on how and why people write, writing as a form of gendered expression pre loaded with ideology, authorship as power, the twisted and complicated relationships between truth and fiction Dealing with on trend and rightly uncomfortable topics of physical assault, rape, non consent, this also deals subtly with other nuances of gendered politics the physical vulnerability of women whose bodies are, generally, smaller and less powerful than those of men spacial sexism as male characters, unconsciously or not, intimidate through unwanted touching, invading personal space and cornering women even in professional situations There s an acute intelligence that threads these moments through the narrative, the daily struggle that women will recognise but which are so hard to explain to men since they re not overtly aggressive or intimidatory the man who stands in his open office doorway, for example, to welcome you in so that it s impossible for you to enter without squeezing past his body while trying to avoid touching himFor all the good stuff, though, there is also a particularly lurid B movie sequence towards the end which relies on our heroine being as dumb as women always are in horror films view spoiler his parents own the house you re renting, of course he s got the key to get in hide spoiler


  9. says:

    The book is described as suspenseful and thrilling It s not.The story is plodding, with not much happening until the end And even that end is unsurprising than exciting.Our characters are smug and insufferable and they spend the book doing smug and insufferable things all with an overlay of complete arrogance.Our main character has an oddly fatalistic viewpoint Since things are going to happen to her anyway, she simply lets things happen Including a very odd sex scene which she hints is rape, but maybe not Because it was going to happen anyway and the whole encounter bored her I do think the author has some talent She has a way with words and can definitely impart atmosphere But the plot and characters left me cold.


  10. says:

    I chose to read listen to this book because I enjoyed A Country Road, A Tree, and took a liking to Baker s writing She was educated at Queens University, Belfast where I believe she did her dissertation on Samuel Beckett It was in Belfast in the mid to late 90 s she recalls You saw novelists in the street, poets at the cinema You bumped into playwrights in the pub That s my kind of city Dublin used to be like that My James Joyce Book Club spent a year or reading Beckett s prose, so I admire anyone willing to tackle him.I was also attracted to the novel because the protagonist whose name we never learn accepts a job in academia, to teach in a MA Writing Program The details of academic life one I just retired from felt very accurate although harrowing It is a job that requires too much education, is very underpaid, and in the last several years has changed radically for the worse There are those who argue that graduate study in creative writing is not worthwhile It can t teach someone to write I would not recommend a career in academia to anyone, but those with the thickest skin, and resources for support Our protagonist is anxious to leave London after a senseless assault in a London park leaves her fearful But her move to a northern university with her three year old toddler, leaving her husband in London made little sense To make things worse, she is without a car her husband retains it despite the fact he lives in LONDON and lives in an isolated rural house Even incomprehensible is that she has no phone in her house and her mobile phone does not get a reliable signal.Finally, I picked this book up because it is a thriller I like the genre, but lately have not always been satisfied with some of the most hyped titles However, the thriller aspect of this story is well done, and was often frightening At times I was frustrated with the main character s actions and failure to take action But as someone new to academia, she was in over her head, and the sole carer for a toddler.Baker writes beautiful prose and as other reviews have noted, her creation of written pieces by the students was impressive Recommended for readers looking for a well written thriller.


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