The Undertow and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: CDN$ 18.00
  • You Save: CDN$ 5.00 (28%)
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
The Undertow has been added to your Cart
+ CDN$ 6.49 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ships from the USA. Please allow 2 to 3 weeks for delivery.  Book shows minor use. Cover and Binding have minimal wear and the pages have only minimal creases. A tradition of quality and service.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Undertow Paperback – Dec 11 2012

See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 13.00
CDN$ 8.81 CDN$ 1.32

Gifts For Dad

Frequently Bought Together

The Undertow + Longbourn
Price For Both: CDN$ 31.90

Buy the selected items together

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (Dec 11 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780307946942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307946942
  • ASIN: 0307946940
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #293,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


“Gripping. . . . Emotionally powerful. . . . Baker is skilled at evoking not only the distinctive social circumstances of the settings but the essential nature of each character. . . . You can’t walk away from her book.” 
The New York Times Book Review

“Jo Baker is a novelist with a gift for intimate and atmospheric storytelling. . . . [She] skillfully delineates the currents of social change and the essential human drama that persists. . . . The result is an agile, keenly observed novel that evokes the minuscule rewards and disappointments of the everyday.”
The Financial Times

“Engaging . . . . The Hastings family must fend off adversity of all kinds and from every side. Their challenges—so movingly detailed here—provide a profound sense of the whole tumultuous century.” —The Washington Post

“A poignant, emotionally intense read that illuminates the legacies of love and loss for ordinary people.” 
Marie Claire

“Moving but never sentimental. . . . The Undertow has a quiet, cumulative power; you read it not quite realizing how it’s burrowing under your skin.”
The Seattle Times

“Intricate, sensitive. . . . What is the legacy of four generations of loss? For Americans without a direct link to the current conflicts overseas or who get their war news from TV and Twitter, the question can seem like a distant concept. . . . However, this tightly crafted English novel, tracing a family from World War I to Iraq, brings it to life.”
— (Book of the Week)

“Some writers let you know you’re in safe hands from the start, and Jo Baker is one of them. . . . This drama-rich saga unfolds as a series of intimate family portraits. . . . There are gripping set-pieces, from childbirth to battlefield, all related in cut-glass prose and embedded with telling period detail.”
The Independent 

“Emotionally charged. . . . Baker’s saga about four generations of the British Hastings family, beginning with a young William sailing off to WWI, explores the effects of war, poverty, dreams, and the difficulties of love.”
Publishers Weekly

“Richly evocative . . . Its fast-flowing style, sparky dialogue and lean narrative hops through decades, taking in wars, deaths, births, hardships and dark family secrets. . . . Well crafted and highly readable, [The Undertow] places Baker at the top end of the list of emerging British literary talent.”
Time Out London 

“Deeply affecting. . . . A sweeping drama with real emotional depth.”
Daily Mail 

“An exceptional 20th-century saga. . . . A four-generational span of extraordinary history and ordinary lives, eloquent about the unshared interior worlds of individuals even when connected by the closest of bonds. . . . This searchingly observant work captures a huge terrain of personal aspiration against a shifting historical and social background. Impressive.” 
Kirkus Reviews (starred) 

“The Undertow, so deeply and richly imagined, is one of those books that make you forget to turn off the bedside light. I found myself thinking, just one more page, and then, just one more chapter. If what you love is a larger-than-life story with epic dimensions that pulls you in and won’t let you go, this is your book.” 
—Kim Barnes, author of In the Kingdom of Men

About the Author

JO BAKER was born in Lancashire and educated at Oxford University and Queen’s University 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.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

By rusty on Jan. 22 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mostly I liked this story of a family stretching from Galipoli to a bus bombing in 2005 in London.
My problem with it was I didn't always understand what happened. One character comes up several times but for no real purpose. All in all a pleasant read
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Scenes from a family saga Feb. 6 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book, perhaps because I'm British but live in the US, and perhaps because I'm interested in the wars that shaped the last century. The structure is interesting, though the short extracts from the lives of four generations of a British family where all the protagonists are called a version of William made me feel that perhaps I wanted a four book saga. The writer pulls no punches in writing about war and its effect on Britain's ordinary families, and for that I give her credit. For some reason I found the book overall a bit unsatisfying.
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Does not live up to its publicity June 3 2012
By M. Coleman - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading two favorable reviews, I eagerly ordered the Kindle version of The Undertow. I found the characters unappealing and uninteresting and their circumstances sordid. It was not until the final generation that I found a sympathetic individual. I was greatly disappointed as I had expected a truly compelling family saga.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
My new favorite author Nov. 4 2013
By Eire - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading this author's The Telling followed immediately by Longbourn, both immensely satisfying and enjoyable reads, I looked to see what else Jo Baker has to offer. I am not a fan of multi generation sagas typically avoiding them like the plague. That and the very mixed reviews had me hesitating over giving The Undertow a try. In the end it is Ms. Baker's excellent writing skills and compelling story telling that convinced me to give it a try and I am so glad that I did. In each of their stories - William's, Billy's, Will's and Billie's - we are presented with sufficient facts to give us a sense of their characters and their lives without it becoming so tedious as to cause a glazing over of the eyes and a book set aside unfinished. Ms. Baker's immense talent shows in the way she weaved the stories together returning briefly to those who went before to fill in some of the blanks and give us a better understanding of the Hastings family as a whole. In one short week having read all three books, Jo Baker has zipped to the top of my favorite authors list. I anxiously await her next book.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Depressing story Dec 23 2013
By Natalie McMurdy - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I know, it was pretty true to life, but I was not entertained. I had to push myself to finish the book. I could have put it down and not finished it, but I hate to do that. I was hoping there was a happy ending. I guess you could say that Billie was happy by the end of the book. Would not recommend this story to my friends.
Terrific book Jan. 24 2014
By linda Kislingbury - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Want to read more by this author. Loved Longbourn too. Both should be movies. I think Longbourn is already being made.