Baby by Annaleese Jochems has been announced as a finalist in the 50th annual New Zealand Book Awards.
The NZ Book Adwards site says Baby is:
“A savagely funny and daring debut, this novel shimmers with feverish, fatalistic intensity. Baby is a strange and strangely moving love story built on obsession, narcissism and damage. Annaleese Jochems writes with uncanny insight and skill as well as with a raw and urgent power: her characters take the reader on an unpredictable ride in which it’s unclear who’s in control until the very end.”
The publisher Victoria University Press describes the story as below.
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.
Baby is a sunburnt psychological thriller of obsession and escape by one of the most exciting new voices in New Zealand fiction.
Reviews: Praise for Baby
‘Sultry, sinister, hilarious and demented, Baby blazes with intelligence and murderous black humour. Heavenly Creatures for a new generation.’
‘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.’
‘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.’
‘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.’