Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Book Review: Baby (Thriller/Suspense)

Annaleese Jochems

Publisher: Scribe Publications
Publication Date: 5th March 2019
Pages: 272
RRP: $29.99
Format Read: Paperback Advance Reading Copy.
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via Better Reading 

‘Cynthia can understand how Anahera feels just by looking at her body.’

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 the Bay of Islands, where Cynthia dreams they will live in a state of love. But strange events on an empty island turn their life together in a different direction.

I can’t say I loved this book but it certainly was compelling reading. It’s not a book to be loved; it’s a dark story of obsession, both possessive and self.
It takes place over a relatively short period of time. There is very little before in the telling.

Cynthia is a young woman of 21 but she looks and acts much younger. She runs away with Anahera, her fitness instructor.
Cynthia’s mind is chaotic, she flits from highs to lows and as the story is in her POV it makes the story also quite chaotic. She is constantly internally obsessing over Anahera’s love for her.
Cynthia has no conscience; her only thoughts are what Cynthia needs and what Cynthia wants. She was a complex character easily obsessed and just as easily bored.

I wasn’t sure where the story was heading until a third character was introduced that completely changed the dynamics of the plot. A male is introduced who is also interested in Anahera and he will not so easily pander to Cynthia’s moods.

 The setting of the boat was both claustrophobic and atmospheric. The characters could not easily get away from each other which made for some volatile scenes
The characters have no past and what little we do learn is unreliable as to its truth.
This is a strangely compelling read and I was intrigued to find out what would happen next.

Baby is a tautly written dark satire on the age of entitlement and self obsession.

My Rating  7/10


Content: minimal coarse language
                 some violence
                 sexual references

Photo credit: Scribe Publications

Annaleese Jochems was born in 1994 and grew up in Northland. 
She won the 2016 Adam Prize from the International Institute of Modern Letters and the 2018 Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction for Baby, which is her first book.

You can connect with the author at the following sites:
Twitter   ||  Goodreads



  1. Ooooh! I clicked through this one straight away based on the cover design alone, gorgeous! It sounds like a really compelling story, stifling but in a good way. Thank you for sharing!

    1. It’s interesting to see how the title and cover design fit with the story.