BIRD IN HAND by Christina Baker Kline

Ok, this book doesn't take me anywhere outside my domestic fiction comfort zone, but I read about Bird in Hand, by Christina Baker Kline, in More magazine and thought it was worth a look. From Amazon:

Kline In her fourth novel Kline traces the construction and collapse of two long-term relationships. On her way home to New Jersey after an awkward party for her lifelong friend Claire's highly autobiographical first novel, Alison gets into a car accident that kills a boy in the other car. Even though the accident wasn't her fault, Allison, a mother of two young children, is wracked with grief and guilt. Her husband, Charlie, also struggles with the impulse to blame his wife, especially as he longs for any excuse to escalate his nascent affair with Claire and end his marriage. Episodes detailing the inevitable collapse of Alison and Charlie's marriage, as well as Claire's marriage to her well-meaning husband, Ben, are interspersed with vignettes revealing the four friends' 10-plus–year history together. Shifting perspectives and thoughtful interior monologues reveal just how isolated, and in some cases misguided, the characters are. Kline's unflinching gaze and lovely prose sets Kline's novel apart from the herd of infidelity/marital ennui novels. It's well-done, thoughtful and thought provoking.

I've read a couple of blog reviews of Bird in Hand and they are uniformly positive (Joseph's Reviews, Bibliophile by the Sea).

Book Club Girl has a guest post from Christina Baker Kline this week about her two book clubs. She lives in Montclair, NJ (where I am actually headed this weekend – my brother and his family live there too), which allegedly has the highest concentration of novelists of any city in the U.S. Here is a New York Times article about Montclair and why so many novelists live there.

Would love to hear from EDIWTB readers who have read Bird in Hand.

3 Comments

  • October 25, 2009 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    I can’t remember where I saw it now, but I read an interesting guest post where this author talks about the evolution of her books covers and what she thought about them.

  • October 27, 2009 - 3:53 am | Permalink

    Somehow, I don’t find the theme of this novel very interesting.

  • TLB
    December 1, 2009 - 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I thought I would not be interested in this book because of the seemingly mundane topic and the death of a child – but I just finished it and loved it. Her writing seems effortless and it is a pleasure to read. Her themes are substantive, her characters are meatier than you would expect – the cover and the synopsis make you think this will be a lightweight book, when in fact it is well-written and smooth. Thanks for the recommendation!

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