Customer Reviews for

Baker Towers

Average Rating 3.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

A Great Classic in The Making

Set in a coal mining town of Bakerton PA we meet a host of characters each telling their own story but intertwining with each other. Taking place during WWII. The neighborhoods are divided into 3; Little Italy, Swede town and Polish Hill. The story is about the five No...
Set in a coal mining town of Bakerton PA we meet a host of characters each telling their own story but intertwining with each other. Taking place during WWII. The neighborhoods are divided into 3; Little Italy, Swede town and Polish Hill. The story is about the five Novack children and their obstacles they must face as young adults in an uncertain world. I fell in love with this book with each of the different story lines and time period. It's a really good book, one I will be reading again in the future.

posted by 1195640 on April 6, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Poor Follow-up

I loved 'Mrs. Kimble' and looked forward to reading this novel. I was sorely disappointed. I found it depressing. I disagree with the reviewers who said the charcters were fleshed out. I thought they were two-dimensionable. And the author has a habit of making a sw...
I loved 'Mrs. Kimble' and looked forward to reading this novel. I was sorely disappointed. I found it depressing. I disagree with the reviewers who said the charcters were fleshed out. I thought they were two-dimensionable. And the author has a habit of making a sweeping statement at the beginning of the chapter and then not following through. Some of the characters appear and then pop up later with little or no explanation of where they have been. This is an ok book and a good escape read but that's probably giving it more praise than it deserves

posted by Anonymous on January 4, 2006

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Classic in The Making

    Set in a coal mining town of Bakerton PA we meet a host of characters each telling their own story but intertwining with each other. Taking place during WWII. The neighborhoods are divided into 3; Little Italy, Swede town and Polish Hill. The story is about the five Novack children and their obstacles they must face as young adults in an uncertain world. I fell in love with this book with each of the different story lines and time period. It's a really good book, one I will be reading again in the future.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2008

    Transported

    From the opening pages the reader is transported back to a time when life revolved around the family. Haigh's portrayal of the Novak family is filled with perceptions of real life which can be challenging and bitter-sweet. Women were supposed to raise children and their ambitions for anything greater were usually frowned upon. I liked all the characters because each one of them had their moments and their heartaches. She does an excellent job of keeping multiple story-lines running toward the end which is the sign of a talented writer.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2013

    A realistic good read!

    I found this book hard to put down. It transported me to a different time in american history. Tragic and realistic, i will definitely read more fron this writer.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2013

    I love this book!

    I love this book! The old neighborhoods, ethnic foods, small town feel all ring so true. I can see my aunts, mother and grandmother(s) in this book, sweet, sad satisfying read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    Not great.

    Characters were always to vague to really care about. It seemed like the plot never really went anywhere.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2006

    Totally Engrossing!

    This is the first of Haigh's books that I've read and I definitely want more. Didn't want this book to end. Each chapter leaves you wanting more and you get it. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes an historical saga.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2006

    Poor Follow-up

    I loved 'Mrs. Kimble' and looked forward to reading this novel. I was sorely disappointed. I found it depressing. I disagree with the reviewers who said the charcters were fleshed out. I thought they were two-dimensionable. And the author has a habit of making a sweeping statement at the beginning of the chapter and then not following through. Some of the characters appear and then pop up later with little or no explanation of where they have been. This is an ok book and a good escape read but that's probably giving it more praise than it deserves

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2014

    These were the depression kids generation of

    The last "good" war whose parents were "the lost generation" many who were also in two wars the first to end wars. This was the time of genocide by nations gone mad. WWI was contained at a front between armies but from then on insane killing ended by two a bombs. trying to repeat the military industrial recovery of the depression kids by little wars with their grandkids has failed. Look at the "made in" tag of everything. Deoression kid

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2013

    Start of a series about a Pa mining town

    I did not realize that this was the start of a series when I purchased the book. I'm not sure if I will continue reading the others or not. It was well written and the characters, of course a about a dysfunctional family, were interesting. The books was written from the viewpoint of some of the characters, but at least she kept it to a reasonable number of people so that they could be better developed rather than trying to do all of them. It was a good, relaxing type read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Great read

    Lovef

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  • Posted March 19, 2012

    A tale of family

    The story starts with the beginnings of a Pennsylvania mining town and ends when the town starts a new beginning. The reader follows the Novak family during that period of time. Rose and her children George, Dorothy, Joyce, Sandy, and Lucy discover life inside and outside of Bakerton. Although most of the children can't wait to escape the mining town, the find themselves drawn back time and time again. Starting with their father's death, the family find themselves facing a life where the only certainty is the small company house that they all called home at some point.

    This book was a bit difficult for me to get into but when I did, I really enjoyed it. The story follows all the family members of the Novak family but jumps from person to person with no real introduction and skips long periods of time. Sometimes I would read full paragraphs without knowing from which point of view I was reading and where their particular story was set. This was frustrating but I soon became accustomed to this style. As I got to know the characters better, it became easier to ascertain. The reading and the story became smooth sailing after that. I enjoyed the trip through time, following one family as it expanded over the years. This book is character driven and I enjoyed following as each character's personality, quirks, and story unfolded. They were extremely well-written. I often wondered how the story would end since there wasn't much of a plot. It seemed that the book moved just by the passage of time, but when I got to the end, it made it a bit more sense to me. I thought the wrap-up and ending was quite perfect and satisfying.

    Ahhh if it all sound so vague, perhaps it is because this book is about the ups and downs of life and saying more would spoil it for many. This reminds me of a Maeve Binchy novel in it's organization and style. Though the community aspect is present, it doesn't have the same homey feel. Once I got to know the characters, I was very invested in this book and couldn't put it down.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    easy read

    great characters, but tragic

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I like this authors' writing style

    Jennifer Haigh has a nice style about her. I intend to read all of her books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    Excellent characterization

    The characters come alive from the very beginning. Brings to life a slice of American history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2007

    Very good

    I enjoyed this story very much and the different story lines. Not as good as Fannie Flagg, but a good story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2006

    Very realistic family saga

    I really enjoyed this book as the characters were very real and like people from my home town of Joliet. I really cared about their family dramas and thought it was very well done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2006

    Good...

    Would have like to have seen the first 50 pages cut down a bit. The story began for me in earnest in the middle of the book. It wasn't until then that the characters took solid shape. I am currently reading Mrs Kimble and was hooked right from the get-go. I think the character development is much more cohesive and believable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2005

    Families & Friends at their Best and their Worst

    I couldn't put this novel down for long once i started reading it. It was a five star gem! Her style of writing is very descriptive thus allowing me to feel as though I was there with the characters, feeling their emotions and getting to know them personally. Each character was so unique and interesting that I couldn't forget them. I easily followed their lives as I went from page to page, chapter to chapter. Her characters surprised me..they weren't predictable, which made them more interesting. Ms. Haigh must have thoroughly researched life in this era because the people and their surroundings were depicted perfectly. I enjoyed reading this book as much as Ms. Haigh's first book,'Mrs. Kimble'. The pleasure I derived from reading 'Baker Towers' and 'Mrs.Kimble' was so immeasureable that I would anxiously look forward to coming home from work and relaxing with one of her books. Her novels have many surprises throughout them that kept my interest alive. I'm so thrilled to have found an author whose books are so well written and entertaining.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2005

    A MOVING PORTRAIT OF LIFE

    Named a Voice of the Century by AudioFile Magazine, gifted performer Anna Fields delivers a measured, almost stately reading of this story of women's struggles. Her voice is full, well developed, and a pleasure to hear. 'Mrs. Kimble' won author Jennifer Haigh the PEN/Hemingway Award for Outstanding First Fiction. 'Baker Towers' will gain her added recognition. Setting this story in a western Pennsylvania mining town, Bakerton, Ms. Haigh focuses on one family, the Novaks. Mr. Novak is met briefly as he dies in the first chapter, leaving his wife, Rose, to raise their five children. She's of Italian descent and married out of her culture, thus the children are being raised on Polish Hill. It's a poor section of town without many redeeming qualities. All of the offspring seem determined to escape Bakerton, each in his or her own way. It's World War II and George, the eldest son, is in the South Pacific, far from Bakerton. He returns after the war to marry a wealthy rather snobbish young woman. Dorothy finds a job in Washington, D.C. where she soon discovers the Capital City isn't what she dreamed it might be. Third in line, Joyce, is found at home where she cares for her mother, and good looking brother Sandy does find a way out of Bakerton. The baby, Lucy is happy wherever she is. Ms. Haigh paints a moving portrait of life among the poor and the catastrophes which can engulf a mining town. She evokes a time gone by with artful grace. - Gail Cooke

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2004

    Baker Towers

    It was with great pleasure that I previewed Jennifer Haigh¿s second novel. Baker Towers resonates with the voices of a small coal-mining town. Ms. Haigh¿s pitch perfect prose carries the reader along at a swift pace. We follow the lives of the Novak family. The characters are unique and well described; the reader wants to cheer them on through the pages. The town itself and surrounding countryside are well drawn. We can see and hear this immigrant family as it loves, laughs and grieves but is always forward looking. I think that this will be a great book club book with lots of great characters to talk about, a family saga and a love story. 5*

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