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by Jo Baker

The American debut of an enthralling new voice: a vivid, indelibly told work of fiction that follows four generations of a family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century—a novel about inheritance, about fate and passion, and about what it means to truly break free of the past.This is the story of the Hastings family—their secrets, their loves and losses, dreams and heartbreaks—captured in a seamless series of individual moments that span the years between the First World War and the present. The novel opens in 1914 as William, a young factory worker, spends one last evening at home before his departure for the navy . . . His son, Billy, grows into a champion cyclist and will ride into the D-Day landings on a military bicycle . . . His son in turn, Will, struggles with a debilitating handicap to become an Oxford professor in the 1960s . . . And finally, young Billie Hastings makes a life for herself as an artist in contemporary London. Just as the names echo down through the family, so too does the legacy of choices made, chances lost, and truths long buried.

Download The Undertow epub
ISBN: 0307957098
ISBN13: 978-0307957092
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Genre Fiction
Author: Jo Baker
Language: English
Publisher: Knopf (May 15, 2012)
Pages: 352 pages
ePUB size: 1820 kb
FB2 size: 1852 kb
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 701
Other Formats: azw docx lrf lrf

from earth
This is essentially a family saga, but for that format, the book is plain too short. Several of the characters are fascinating, but not enough time was spent telling their stories. I do hope that whatever editor might have suggested shortening this book will allow the author freer reign next time a similar manuscript is submitted. "People won't buy it if they can't lift it" is no longer a valid argument in the era of the e-reader. We want to savor the full meal, not have the waiter hovering to take the plates away.
Unlike many family sagas, this book doesn't try to do too much. It does what it aims to very very well. The themes are few but haunting. the family cannot shake its destiny of historical tragedy, internal strife, missed opportunities to love. Throughout I was deeply touched with active empathy for and connection with the characters, and by extension, by lesson, with those in my own history. Forgiveness and the consequences of resisting forgiveness. Envy and it destructiveness. The voice is sometimes uneven and a few detours away from the steady building of emotion and suspense - but overall reading Jo Baker a satisfying experience in both depth and scope. Brava.
Beautifully written. Sort of a long and boring read. Hard to get involved with the characters.
This book, which I found I had read previously, appealed because it covers 4 generations and most of the 20th century
as well. William llives briefly, but is followed by son Billy, grandson Will and great-grandaughter Billie as the years
describe Britain at war, at peace and at war once again. Well written, it is a page turner for those of us who enjoy
following one family and the choices they make through the decades, spanning the years between 1914 and 2004.
I recommend it.
good novel for easy reading
I know, it was pretty true to life, but I was not entertained. I had to push myself to finish the book. I could have put it down and not finished it, but I hate to do that. I was hoping there was a happy ending. I guess you could say that Billie was happy by the end of the book. Would not recommend this story to my friends.
Want to read more by this author. Loved Longbourn too. Both should be movies. I think Longbourn is already being made.
Wonderful story. Very well written