A Country Road, A Tree by Jo Baker
A Novel

68%

6 Critic Reviews

...in “A Country Road, A Tree” much of Beckett’s story is as untethered to a local habitation and a name as the stories of the characters of his own works. This does not prevent the novel being gratifyingly readable, but it lacks the imaginative reach that would shift it definitively beyond the field of biography and into the realm of fiction.
-Washington Times

Synopsis

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.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Jo Baker

See more books from this Author
Jo Baker was born in Lancashire and educated at Oxford and Belfast. The Undertow is her first publication in the United States. She is the author of three previous novels published in the United Kingdom: Offcomer, The Mermaid's Child, and The Telling. She lives in Lancaster.
 
Published May 17, 2016 by Knopf. 305 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Action & Adventure. Fiction
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Critic reviews for A Country Road, A Tree
All: 6 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 3

Publishers Weekly

Good
on May 28 2018

In this worthy successor to Longbourn, she skillfully captures Beckett’s world, the rhythms of his bare-bones prose, and the edginess of his point of view.

Read Full Review of A Country Road, A Tree: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by MARCEL THEROUX on May 20 2016

And yet for all its deliberate obscurities, “A Country Road, a Tree” is much less radical in style and conception than the man Baker has chosen to honor. The purpose of the book is to show how a directionless expatriate writer ripened into the Samuel Beckett of literary history.

Read Full Review of A Country Road, A Tree: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Viv Young on Jul 18 2016

...readers not too familiar with Beckett’s work should not be deterred by its literary credentials: Just relax into what is sure to be an award-winning book, and more importantly, simply enjoy Jo Baker’s beautiful writing.

Read Full Review of A Country Road, A Tree: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Star Tribune

Below average
Reviewed by Brigitte Frase on May 27 2016

...sensitive, well written, with great compassion for their characters. It's just that, I wonder, half-ashamed of my presumption, do we need so many of them?

Read Full Review of A Country Road, A Tree: A Novel | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Washington Times

Above average
Reviewed by Claire Hopley on Jul 04 2016

...in “A Country Road, A Tree” much of Beckett’s story is as untethered to a local habitation and a name as the stories of the characters of his own works. This does not prevent the novel being gratifyingly readable, but it lacks the imaginative reach that would shift it definitively beyond the field of biography and into the realm of fiction.

Read Full Review of A Country Road, A Tree: A Novel | See more reviews from Washington Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Justine Jordan on May 27 2016

Do you need to be interested in Beckett to engage with this novel? Well, as with the Longbourn servants, if you’re not, you should be, because again this is an extraordinary story that shines a light both on individuals caught up in the sweep of history and the way life is transmuted into art.

Read Full Review of A Country Road, A Tree: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Reader Rating for A Country Road, A Tree
87%

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