The Telling

The Telling


When Rachel sets off alone for her mother's isolated country house, she promises herself that the business of packing up and selling will only take a couple of weeks, and then she'll be home again, and back to normal. But from the moment she steps through the front door, Rachel feels that the house contains more than she had expected: along with the memories of her mother, there is something else, a presence - not quite tangible - trying to make itself felt. As Rachel struggles to put her mother's affairs in order, she grows ever more convinced that the house holds a message for her. Can the ghosts of the past be forcing their way into the present, or is Rachel really beginning to lose her mind?

Our Review

The Telling by Jo Baker is essentially a study of grief as much as  it is a ghost story. 

Rachel has driven out to her mother's isolated country cottage so that she can pack up her mother's belonging's and put the house up for sale, It has been a year since her mother's death but Rachel is still struggling to come to terms with it. Her husband Mark thinks she should have left it to someone else to sort out and feels that medication might be needed to 'sort her out' and bring her back to their beautiful baby girl. 

From the moment she enters the house Rachel can feel a prescence always there waiting to be acknowledged. Not only are the memories of her mother assualting her at every turn but Rachel also thinks their may be a ghost. Is the cottage haunted or is she simply losing her mind? 

The Telliing alternates between Rachel's story and the story of a young god-fearing girl named Elizabeth who falls for a dangerous political activist. 

Jo Baker has written a compelling, character driven novel,and although it took me a while to warm to it I soon got to the point where I didn't want to put it down.

I found Elizabeth's story particularly engaging as prior to reading I had no knowledge of the Chartarist movement. 

If you are looking for a traditional ghost story you may be disappointed but for me the suggestion of a haunting felt more in keeping with the book anyway.

"She looked up, and looked straight at the window where I sat. She raised a hand and waved. 

Not at me. 

I knew it. I knew she wasn't waving to me. There was someone else in the room, standing just out of my line of sight. I could feel it in my flesh. A young woman, younger than me, needing to be noticed. If I just turned my head a fraction, she'd be there."


Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 4/5

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