A SUNBURNT PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER OF OBSESSION AND ESCAPE …
Cynthia is twenty-one, bored, and desperately waiting for something big to happen. Her striking fitness instructor, Anahera, is ready to throw in the towel on her job and marriage.
With stolen money and a dog in tow they run away and buy ‘Baby’, an old boat docked in a beautiful bay. But strange events on an empty island turn their life together in a different direction.
'Jochems' debut is witty and unique ... A promising new voice.' * Kirkus Reviews * 'Cynthia doesn't disappoint. As we meet her, she embodies everything a baby boomer has ever whinged about millennials in a newspaper or on talkback radio ... You could suggest that Jochems is doing some broad metaphorical work here, that Cynthia's apathy is all of our apathy, that the consequences Cynthia must face are all of our consequences. But really, isn't it possible that Jochems is just having a little fun?' -- Emma Marie Jones * The Lifted Brow * 'An original and accomplished first work.' -- Helen Elliott * Weekend Australian * 'From page one, Baby is a dryly funny study of a young woman driven to shocking acts by what seems like boredom and lust alone, devoid of any semblance of a conscience ... Come to Baby for a full-blown psychopath who makes you laugh out loud despite your horror.' -- Rebecca Varcoe * The Saturday Age * 'Compelling reading.' * The Burgeoning Bookshelf * 'Baby tells a bizarre story of obsession and desire and takes a satirical look at the millennial condition ... However the cleverness of Jochems' writing ensures Baby is not only a strange and claustrophobic book but also a pretty good one.' -- Catie McLeod * The Saturday Paper * 'Sparse and tantalising in its unfolding, it never quite allows you to get your sea legs.' -- Ruth Spencer * NZ Herald * 'In Cynthia, she has crafted a memorable monster. Creepy and subversive, Baby is a classy debut.' -- Linda Herrick, NZ Listener 'An amazing, fresh voice in New Zealand fiction.' -- Jenna Todd, RNZ 'Baby is a funny, taut, relentless fever-dream of a novel. Buy it and read it now, and you can brag about it one day the way people who bought and read Emily Perkins' Not Her Real Name in 1996 do today.' -- Louise Kasza, The Spinoff 'This year's best local debut novel.' * Metro * 'Taut, savvy, biting, and at points piercingly beautiful - Jochems's sentences shift from deadpan humour to lyrical simplicity to emotional menace with deft, edgy style.' -- Tracey Slaughter, author of deleted scenes for lovers 'Patricia Highsmith meets reality TV in this compelling debut. Jochems nudges up the tension until we can't bear to look - and can't bear to look away: thrilling, dangerous and deliciously funny.' -- Catherine Chidgey, prize-winning author of The Wish Child and The Beat of the Pendulum 'From page one, Baby is a dryly funny study of a young woman driven to shocking acts by what seems like boredom and lust alone, devoid of any semblance of a conscience ... Come to Baby for a full-blown psychopath who makes you laugh out loud despite your horror.' -- Rebecca Varcoe * The Saturday Age * 'A savvy, excruciatingly funny, nerve-shredding debut.' -- Rose Shepherd * Saga Magazine * 'This funny, sexy, unnerving novel challenges received ideas and delivers jolts of pleasure and disquiet throughout. Jochems, like her extraordinary creation Cynthia, is a force to be reckoned with.' -- Emily Perkins, author of The Forrests and Novel About My Wife 'A dark satire of entitlement and the "me" culture.' * i * 'Whip-smart.' * The Telegraph * 'In her young female protagonist ... Annaleese Jochems has succeeded in creating a highly original voice that both intrigues and repels ... she has created a fresh voice, a memorable monster who could well have her own series of books if the author chooses to go down that road.' -- Sarah Gilmartin * The Irish Times * 'Dripping with cynicism and green-eyed lust, this suspenseful debut from a Kiwi author is driven by the compulsively off-kilter worldview of its 21-year-old heroine ... Creepy and tense, with a blood-thirsty climax.' -- Anthony Cummins * Daily Mail * 'Sultry, sinister, hilarious and demented, Baby blazes with intelligence and murderous black humour. Heavenly Creatures for a new generation.' -- Eleanor Catton, author of Man Booker Prize-winning The Luminaries 'It's easy to see why this dark comic thriller has been compared to works by queen of the genre Patricia Highsmith.' * Elle * 'Cynthia, the simpering, scheming, covetous emotional sinkhole of New Zealander Annaleese Jochems's assured debut novel, Baby, is alive and squirming; a memorable addition to the growing coteries of unapologetic antiheroines (dis)gracing the pages of contemporary fiction ... There are echoes here of Megan Abbott, Emma Cline, Zoe Heller and Miranda July: writers drawn to the intricacies and ferocious possibilities of female friendship. There's a dollop, too, of Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley; a dash of Lord of the Flies. What Jochems adds is a cloying grotesqueness. Baby is a novel of close-quarters living: of masticating mouths and human stink; of piss and vomit, sunburn and bruises, pimples and dandruff; of new fat expanding under the skin. A novel of bodies.' -- Beejay Silcox * The Guardian *
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