Baby – Annaleese Jochems

READ FOR NZ BOOK AWARDS

In this debut novel, young lovers run away, stealing money to buy a boat but inciting disaster wherever they turn.

➽ “I think we are all capable of horrible acts, depending on circumstances and surely we all sometimes wonder how far we would go given the situation. Baby explores this idea beautifully and looks at what happens when two regular people are placed slightly out of their comfort zones. I felt I was in no position to judge the characters’ actions as what would I have done if faced with their options (or lack thereof)? I absolutely loved the dark humour of this novel, but I never quite decided whether I really liked the whole thing. The glowing recommendations on the cover from Eleanor Cotton and Emily Perkins tell me maybe I could do with a re-read and reassessment. As a small aside, this is the second Ockham shortlisted novel I have read with a dog as a minor character and I am hoping for a strong showing from cats in 2019.” – Suzy

➽ “I have struggled to pen my feelings on this book because every time I felt piqued about something, I realised it could also be regarded in the affirmative. The focus on the Millennial’s view of self importance, social media and immediacy. (Annoying. Relevant.) None of the characters were likeable nor relatable. (I felt nothing for them. Perhaps I was meant to.) A lot of bodily fluids mentioned. (Gross. Real). I am happy to hate a book, because it shows it was written well enough to move me into feeling something. And while I acknowledged talent and skill in the prose, I felt neither love nor hate for Baby, hence my current reluctant fence sitting. I’ll be interested to see how I feel about this book in a month’s time. If I’m still pondering it, I’ll know it meant something. Or, will I have forgotten it completely?” – Rachel

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Published 2017
Victoria University Press
219 pages

 

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