Synopses & Reviews
From the best-selling author of Longbourn, a haunting new novel of spies and artists, passion and danger, hope in the face of despair
Paris, 1939. The pavement rumbles with the footfall of Nazi soldiers marching along the Champs-Élysées. A young, unknown writer—Samuel Beckett—recently arrived from Ireland to make his mark, smokes one last cigarette with his lover before the city they know is torn apart. Soon he will put them both in mortal danger by joining the Resistance...
Through it all we are witness to the workings of a uniquely brilliant mind struggling to create a language that will express this shattered world. Here is a remarkable story of survival and determination, and a portrait of the extremes of human experience alchemized into one man’s timeless art.
Publisher Weekly Reviews
"In this worthy successor to Longbourn, Baker skillfully captures Beckett’s world, the rhythms of his bare-bones prose, and the edginess of his point of view...Baker details how wartime experiences provide the key to Beckett’s transformation from Joyce disciple to distinctive literary voice." Publishers Weekly
"A triumph: a splendid tribute to Austen’s original but, more importantly, a joy in its own right, a novel that contrives both to provoke the intellect and, ultimately, to stop the heart." The Guardian
"Gripping...Delightfully audacious...An absorbing and moving story about the servants at the Longbourn estate." Diane Johnson, The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Jo Baker was born in Lancashire and educated at Oxford University and Queen’s University Belfast. She is the author of Longbourn, a national best seller and New York Times Notable Book. Her previous novels are The Undertow, The Telling, The Mermaid’s Child and Offcomer. She lives in Lancaster, England.