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3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  745 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
A new novel - set in England and Australia - from Emily Barr, the author of Backpack.
Paperback, 346 pages
Published December 31st 2002 by Headline Review (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 12, 2007 Amanda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
One of my American friends here lent me this book because she thought it was good, but after attempting to get through it bit by bit for about 4 months now, I can honestly say it's trash. It's chick-lit at it's worst, with a cross-continental scandal of friends with a secret past and a journalist boyfriend who will do anything to uncover the secrets of the two in hopes of getting his big break. Yawn.
Lina Pritchett's life is centered around hiding her new pregnancy from her husband's family until they are ready to tell, her son Red, and her mother-in-law Margot, as well as her career as a teacher in a tiny town on the Australian Outback. One of her former students has run off with her best friend's husband, the big scandal in town. At a wedding for the two, Lina is started to run into Sophie, a backpacker from England who is sure she knows Lina as her old pal Daisy from ballet school back in ...more
Dec 05, 2008 Jeana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: escapism
Hmph. . . This book was merely tolerable. I started so I figured I might as well finish it. I can honestly say that I didn't care one bit for any of the characters. They annoyed me actually. I would say only read this book if you have absolutely nothing else to read (and that includes user manuals and phone books).
Jul 13, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it. It was a fun read, not too taxing, with a little bit of mystery and scandal thrown in. I liked how all the characters related to one another, and I enjoyed how Lina/Daisy and Sophie regained their friendship. The only part I didn't really like was the ending. I thought the device of using a letter to explain all the loose ends was sort of a cop-out, and tied things up too tidily. Not perfect, but enjoyable.
Feb 26, 2009 Mandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Barr is able to weave human behaviour and the psyche into a suspense story. Although she has churned out eight books in not as many years, her books don't follow the usual formula of quickly turned out books. Each one is a surprise - a page turner - and the end is always a surprise.
Mar 23, 2009 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diane Eldridge
I found this book inside my cottage room when I had a 'backpacking' holiday trip to Samui island, Thailand on December 2005. Some part (pages) of this book was interesting, and you could not wait to figure out what is going to happen and is this girl really Daisy or she just happened to look like Daisy? But there were some pages I just skipped since it was boring.

Reading this makes me wanna read her previous novel, Backpack.
May 09, 2009 Janet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I loathe teasing books. Barr dangles a carrot of information in front of her readers and snatches it away. It took the woman 70 pages of innuendo before she allowed us even a glimpse of what Daisy’s life had been like before. It was at least another 70 pages before we learned the details surrounding the deaths and Daisy’s flight. The story itself was engaging, although I think Daisy/Noeline got off shamelessly easy in the end. I enjoy “travel” fiction and Barr does a wonderful job of describing ...more
It was very interesting, but at the end, it seemed like the author had to finish it by a certain date and just threw it all together...
Feb 14, 2010 Lindi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, indy-girl
I can't think of another book I've read where the two voices are as interesting. Lina has been lying to everyone in her life for 10 years in the wake of having escaped her past; meanwhile Larry does occasionally lie to others, but mostly he lies to himself. It's a fascinating mystery, beautifully timed. I was disappointed by the ending, however; seemed a bit of a let down.
Aug 30, 2010 Cindy rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed Emily Barr's previous best selling novel Backpack. Therefore, I looked forward to reading Baggage. Baggage did start out very promising, but started floundering miserably toward the middle.

The story is about Daisy or Lina (as she is now known) who has been a fugitive for 10 years from England, but now living in Australia with her husband (of three years) and her 10 year old son. Lina is pregnant and living a fairly good life in Ozzyland up until the day she runs into her former
Oct 10, 2015 chucklesthescot rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: chick-lit travel book fans
Lina is living in a small Australian town,pregnant to husband Tony and enjoying life in the outback despite dreading going to the wedding of her best friend's ex-husband to her 17 year old student.It is at the wedding she comes face to face with a backpacker called Sophie who recognises her as her old friend Daisy,who everyone thought was dead.Daisy fled England before her trial for her part in the drugs deaths of 4 people.When Sophie tells her boyfriend back home,his reporter side kicks in and ...more
Beata Bowen
Nov 06, 2010 Beata Bowen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, 2010
This is still Emily Barr and she still has this ability to take you to a place, such as Australia, and make you feel as if you're actually there. But setting aside, the story just didn't grip me. I didn't care much for any of the characters and it lacked any real structure or a resolution. Kind of disappointing, actually. Maybe I should have given it two stars.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lyn Battersby
Shoulda coulda woulda.

I love Emily Barr's writing. I sort of loved this book. Sort of.

It should have been the gripping story of a woman who has escaped one life in England and made a new one for herself in Australia.

It could have achieved its purpose if the author had remembered her readers and allowed them a proper journey into the mind and actions of the main protagonist.

It would have achieved them if the author had remembered that she's writing for a reader and not a reading group.

For that w
Sep 18, 2011 Vicky rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
I read this book a few years ago. I absolutely hated it and actually left my copy on a train as I knew I'd never read it again.
I found the characters dull and the plot seemed both far-fetched and boring at the same time, quite an achievement!

I've read Backpack by the same author which was OK, nothing special but easy reading with some funny bits, but I really didn't like this book.
Feb 12, 2012 Clo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not impressed with this book.
The book started off great, it was a mystery as to what had happened to daisy all those years ago but the ending just didnt do it justice, I'm so surprised as Emily Barr is my favourite author of all times.
Nicole Lemke
Apr 06, 2012 Nicole Lemke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
one of those books you're kinda embarrassed to have read & liked in a just ok way. I imagine it to be a good beach or travel read to kill time and not be crying on an airplane or overly involved in...
Jenna Allan
This book was fantastic from beginning to end. It takes you through the characters life, although it appears she has a normal life, after digging deeper into her past, you find out the truth and realize she is not so normal life after all. I would recommend reading it to anyone!
Emily Hemmer
Mar 29, 2013 Emily Hemmer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emily Barr is a fantastic writer and Backpack is one of my favorite chick-lits of all time. I loved the suspense element of Baggage, and her secondary characters are as vivid and engaging as ever, but it felt like the end of the book was rushed and as a reader, I was hoping for a different outcome. That being said, the writing is beautiful, the setting is rich in detail, and all in all, this is a great read.
Oct 15, 2013 Cherie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was something about how the book was written and how the events unfold that made me not want to stop reading. I could go on reading for hours and still want to flip the pages. Aside from a touching life revelation by Lina, I think this is also one book that journalists should consider reading. How our jobs affect other people's lives. Minus 1 star, though, because it was too hanging. Not that kind of hanging ending that you'll still be satisfied despite the lack of a proper closure. This o ...more
Sian Powell
Dec 10, 2013 Sian Powell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this story about a girl who had "disappeared" from her life in London and was found by a friend 10 years later in the Australian outback. I learned about the Australian outback as I knew very little about it before. It was also an interesting the way the book explored tabloid journalism and journalists. The author has worked in journalism, so I suspect she has drawn from her own experience. I do wonder whether Lawrence is based on anyone she knows. He was quite believable character who ...more
Jan 26, 2014 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the fact that both Lawrence and Lina filled in the blanks from the others' stories. I read that many people thought the story dragged out and that Barr "dangled" something in your face for so long, but to me, it made is pleasantly suspenseful. I like books that have happy endings and this one ended happily.
Apr 13, 2014 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got bored reading this. At first there's a promise of a scandal in the past, and I found the build up to the big reveal lacking in any drama, then the story is told and what happens next again just lacks any dramatic edge. I didn't really care about any of the main characters, and found myself just wanting the book to end.
I am giving this book 3 stars because it did gave the potential to have good. In all honesty, I did not finish it, because I pretty much had it figured that SPOILER ALERT Daisy and Lina were one and the same. Since I did not finish this book, I am going benefit out doubt because it did start out very good. ...more
Mary Lou
This one was a bit lighter than I expected. Well written though with a decent story. The male lead was too loathsome to be true and became a bit too plastic as a character. It did go on a bit in the last 150 pages or so, but I do like Emily Barr's sense of humour, thus the three stars
Jun 27, 2016 Sharon rated it liked it
This was her second novel after the brilliant Backpack. It has many of the same similarities as the other two novels I have read of Barr’s – Backpack and Cuban Heels. In none of her novels do I particularly warm to the main character. Yes they have their issues and problems but they come across as quite harsh, albeit strong, characters. But on saying this, it doesn’t matter at all to the enjoyment of the books, in general the thrilling storylines and the blend of supporting characters more than ...more
Jul 01, 2016 Mandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gripping read.
I only read this because I had a copy in the house and I am on a mission this year to read as many of my to-be-read books as I can. But it's my third Barr book and I just don't like her anymore. The first book I read was also her first, Backpack, which I actually rather enjoyed. Then I read the Cuban Heels one, which suffered from the same problem I had with this one. I get the impression Barr's gone through a few years of pumping out children, whilst she's been writing these books, and has deci ...more
Aug 02, 2016 Evelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was thoroughly engrossing. I was captivated by the premise of the story and could not put it down.
The story was mainly character-driven, but the Australian settings were vividly, albeit briefly described. I have not read many books set in Australia, something I should rectify.
The characters were very diverse. I got a good chuckle at Lawrence's lists at the beginning of his chapters, for example, How to upset your girlfriend, listing several possible ways, one being - introduce an element o
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Emily Barr worked as a journalist in London, but always hankered after a quiet room and a book to write. She went travelling for a year, writing a column in the Guardian about it as she went, and it was there that she had an idea for a novel set in the world of backpackers in Asia. This became Backpack, which won the WH Smith New Talent Award. She has since written eleven more adult novels publish ...more
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