Book Reviews of Baker Towers

Baker Towers
Baker Towers
Author: Jennifer Haigh
ISBN-13: 9780060509422
ISBN-10: 0060509422
Publication Date: 2/2006
Pages: 368
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 74 ratings
Publisher: Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

29 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Baker Towers on + 47 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Excellent book - it made me kind of sad. You hear about these little coal towns's the end of a way of life. Nostalgic and full of great characters.
reviewed Baker Towers on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
wow, I loved this book , a book about a family,the choices they make a family the regrets they had a birth and a death of an era and a town.I could not put this book down I read it in less than a day.It was not a mystery but you definitely wanted to turn the page to find out what happened next. It was not a happy ending per say however it was satisfying in a way that and you find out that in the end the land lives on. I would so
recommend this book to anyone the story was so real.
reviewed Baker Towers on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Another great book from Jennifer Haigh. Fast reads and shows you how life in a mining town really is.
reviewed Baker Towers on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Having loved Mrs. Kimble, I was excited to read this book by the same author. Not the most engaging book, but a good, quick read. I enjoyed it.
reviewed Baker Towers on
Helpful Score: 2
The well-written and very realistic characters in this book tell a story that is all too common -- how the decisions we make when we are young can unknowlingly shape the rest of our lives. From Georgie, the oldest of the five Novak children, who was seemingly destined to leave the confines of the little Pennsylvania mining town; fragile Dorothy; responsible Joyce who leaves the military and a life otherwise filled with promise to care for her ailing mother and younger siblings; younger brother Sandy, who leads a shiftless life; to little Lucy (the family's bonus baby) who, although seemingly groomed for a promising life outside of Bakerton, but feels compelled to return.

The author truly captures the essence of a small mining community in post-WW II America, where, for the men, a lifetime of working in the mines is almost an expectation. For the women, few opportunities exist beyond keeping house and raising children in the company houses that fill Bakerton's ethnic neighborhoods. Life moves by slowly, predictably, with little desire for change. When the times and economy changes, the town of Bakerton gradually fades away, but with hope for the future.

Jennifer Haigh tells the story of the Novacs beautifully. I'm not normally one to be driven to read the book cover to cover without putting it down, but this time I couldn't help myself. I didn't want to stop reading.
reviewed Baker Towers on + 192 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Great story that follows a Western PA coal town family from post war era through the 60's. Brought back some of my own baby-boomer childhood memories, growing-up in this part of the country.
reviewed Baker Towers on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Loved this book, rich characters - resonated with things I've experienced. I'm going to pass it along to my mom, who I think will enjoy it also. I'm now reading her other book, Mrs. Kimble. LOVING that one too.
reviewed Baker Towers on + 21 more book reviews
Jennifer Haigh sweeps you along effortlessly through time and connects characters, some of which only have being blood relatives, in common. She tells of each separate family members story which go off in all different directions , yet are rooted in one small community. It is thought provoking and you easily care deeply for these people.
Highly recommend.
reviewed Baker Towers on
Rich with detail and compassion. Love the characters and Haigh's gift of bringing them to life with words.
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This author is an excellant writer. She could probably write about the weather and it would be difficult to put the book down. In this book, she is following the demise of a coal town and how it affects the various families. Her characters are likeable and believable. Not my favorite by her, but still better than most books that I have read. I would compare her writing to a cross between Anne Tyler and Jodie Picoult, which is high praise indeed.
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I could not put this book down !!!! Great book
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Saga of the Novak family in the '40s. Great love story.
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Good book about the 1940s during WW2.
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Wonderful characters that draw you in. Great Writing. Loved it!
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I was surprised at how interesting this book is. The characters are interesting and the way the book flows from each of their perspectives makes it fairly engrossing.
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I have to say that I don't think this novel came close to "Mrs. Kimble". It certainly wasn't bad, but I expected more from her...
reviewed Baker Towers on + 47 more book reviews
Beautifully written. Couldn't put it down.
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Sad in a good way
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Wonderful, warm small town experience. The characters came alive on the page and I felt like I was walking through this town. I truly enjoyed this book
reviewed Baker Towers on
This is a beautifully written book about a family and how the course of their lives is determined, in part, by their place of birth.
Jennifer Haigh makes the ordinary extraordinary.
reviewed Baker Towers on + 5 more book reviews
incredible yet sad story...especially coming from a family of coal miners. A definite must read about coming of age, family hardships, and small town America...for me, it's always nice to get a glimpse. highly recommended!
reviewed Baker Towers on + 18 more book reviews
Loved it. The characters are so interesting and I couldn't put it down. Great writing.
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Good book, but a depressing
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A novel of a mining town and growing up in the town. Very well written.
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Story of love and loss in a mining town after World War II.
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I'm sorry I can't review this book because it was a gift for a friend. She DID like it.
reviewed Baker Towers on + 132 more book reviews
Very moving story of mining family, kids growing up after WWII, leading up to Vietnam War. As this was timeframe of my childhood, I could relate to the simpler lifestyle these kids encountered.

This story follows the growth of each child into adulthood, with society changing around them, at different levels for each child. A rather dark story - not a lot of laughs. Very well written, makes me wants to read more from author.

Memorable line: "Her hair was wound into a bun at the nape of her neck. In the past year, gray had choked out the brown."
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Kind of a sad story. The characters were good though.
reviewed Baker Towers on + 95 more book reviews
The second novel by the author of the award-winning Mrs. Kimble depicts life in a postwar Pennsylvania mining town and continues Haigh's exploration of the hardships of women's lives. In the town of Bakerton, dominated by the towers of the title (made of slowly combusting piles of scrap coal), poor families live in ethnic enclaves of company houses. Italian Rose Novak broke with tradition by marrying a Polish man, but he dies in the book's first chapter, and Rose and her five children struggle through the years that follow. The oldest son, Georgie, returns from WWII and avoids the mining life by marrying the posh, cynical daughter of a wealthy Philadelphia store owner. Rose's daughter Dorothy gets a wartime job in glamorous Washington but breaks down and returns to Bakerton, while capable daughter Joyce, who joins the military just as the war ends, comes home to take care of her ailing mother, resenting Georgie and Sandy, the handsome youngest brother, who escape town. Only Rose and Lucy, the awkward youngest daughter, are content with things as they are. A National Bestseller