Lori & Joe

Amy Arnold

TJ Books (Printer)




ISBN: 9781913513399


Publication date: 4 April 2023



Lori and Joe have lived in the Lake District for many years, in a quiet valley where one day is much like another. Bringing Joe his regular cup of coffee one morning, Lori finds him dead. She could call an ambulance, but what difference would it make? Instead, she heads out for a walk over the fells. As she makes her way through the November fog, Lori’s thoughts slip between past and present, revealing a marriage marked by isolation, childlessness and a terrible secret she’s never disclosed.

Taking place over the course of a single day, yet recounting a discordant relationship of many decades, Lori & Joe is an intimate and compelling story of entrapment and loneliness, and of a life in which desire is continually overcome by inertia: nothing changes and nothing is ever (re)solved.

Lori & Joe is like a piece of music, or the memory of music inside someone’s mind: we are drawn into the immersive world of the troubled protagonist as she looks back over her life and its secrets. It’s impossible to put this book down once you’ve started it – you’ll want to read it all in one go. Then you’ll want to read it again.’ – Helen Mort

‘Amy Arnold’s subject is the vast and quietly dangerous interior landscape of an individual life. As we move through this novel, traversing and circling back across the Cumbrian moorland and hills where it is set, we come to see the house where Lori lives as a sort of theatre, a seemingly safe outline of walls and rooms that is not a safe space at all. Lori & Joe shows a writer, in this, her second novel, caught up wondrously once again in the creative project of reflecting consciousness in the very rhythm and language of her prose.’ – Kirsty Gunn

‘A unique and mesmerising book which manages to be both equivocal and amazingly solid; it feels like a walk in the lakes in the mist, all mud and stone and weather that slips and changes around you. It is ghostly and resonant and brutally physical all at the same time, with a propulsive quality to the way language loops and repeats, letting it reveal its secrets slowly. I am haunted by it.’ – Sammy Wright

Amy Arnold lives in Cumbria. She has degrees in Music and Psychology, and studied postgraduate Neuropsychology at Birmingham University. She’s worked as a university lecturer, teacher and swede packer. Her debut novel, Slip of a Fish, won the 2018 Northern Book Prize and was shortlisted for the 2019 Goldsmiths Prize.