Monday, November 3, 2014

Bird In Hand: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train comes a novel about the choices we make, how they shape our lives, and how they can change them forever.
Four people, two marriages, one lifelong friendship: Everything is about to change.
It was dark. It was raining.  It was just an accident.  On the drive home from a rare evening out, Alison collides with another car running a stop sign, and—just like that—her life turns upside down.
When she calls her husband from the police station, his accusatory tone reveals cracks in their relationship she’d never noticed were there. Now she notices everything.  And she begins to realize that the life she carefully constructed for herself is as tenuous as a house of cards. Exquisitely written, powerful, and thrilling, Bird in Hand is a novel about love and friendship and betrayal, and about the secrets we tell ourselves and each other.

my thoughts:

Christina Baker Kline books are my vice.  They are dramatic, emotional, thought-provoking and unputdownable.  The writing is always superb - its rich, detailed, thematic, and chock full of relatable, flawed and realistic characters that you can't help but fall in deep with.  These books are women's fiction at its very best.  They draw you in and keep you glued to your seat with their deep exploration about relationships (family, friends, marital, etc.).  I absolutely love getting lost in her words.  And, I've been lucky enough to read all of her books - Bird In Hand is the last one on my Kline TBR list.  Its also turned out to be my favorite of hers.

This is the story of two couples whose marriages completely unravel after a horrible accident - or at least it seems that way at first.  Alison finds herself driving home alone at night after attending her best friend's book launch party.  Its dark, she's doesn't like driving and suddenly she's involved in a car accident that results in the death of a child.  Shocked, upset, and horrified by what has happened, she withdraws into herself.  Her husband Charlie seems to find the whole event to be an annoyance and doesn't provide his wife with any sort of emotional support.  Turns out he'd been planning on leaving her for another woman - Claire, who happens to be Alison's best friend.  Yep, this is a story about infidelity at its most cliched, but Kline manages to write about it in such a way that leaves you feeling discomfited by all the lies and cheating.  Its terrific!

Through flashbacks we learn about Alison and Claire's best friendship and how they met their respective husbands.  Ben and Claire are THE couple to love and everyone wants to be their friends. Charlie meets them and quickly falls in love with Claire, but decides to settle for marrying her best friend Alison.  Pretty awful, eh?  I must admit that I couldn't stand Charlie or Claire when I realized this, especially since they could have dated before they got married and ruined so many lives.  Anyhow, the couples remain friends and eventually veer away from one another as they settle into their adult lives - work, family, home, etc.  Except, Charlie never stopped loving Claire and she's always been curious about him.  So, the two embark on an affair and wind up falling in love. Anyhow, following Alison's accident everything crumbles - friendships end, marriages fall apart, homes are torn apart, families are broken, lies and deceit are revealed.  Its pretty hellish for everyone as one would expect.  Kline captures the hurt, bitterness, anger, humiliation, regret, betrayal in such candid terms that you can feel the emotions reeling through Alison and Ben as they learn about their spouses infidelities.  I could go on and on about what all happens, but truthfully this is a book you must read and experience for yourself.  You need to get caught up in these couple's lives and lies to understand their history and their present state of mind - its captivating.  I would definitely recommend Bird In Hand by Christina Baker Kline - you will fall in love her writing and become addicted to her books ( I promise!). 

Here's the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Bird In Hand
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


Audra said...

Love your enthusiasm for this book as it sounds kind of gruesome (to me) -- I can't cope with infidelity in novels but you've got me a little intrigued...!

Ti said...

I read Orphan Train and liked the writing there... haven't picked this one up though. Not yet!

Nadia said...

Audra, thanks! I really did enjoy this one so much - its my new favorite by Kline. You should definitely check it out :)

Ti, check it out. Its so good!

Bellezza said...

Whoa, it sends chills down my spine to realize (again) how quickly our lives can turn around into something totally unfamiliar to us. Sometimes, we are so fragile. Thanks for highlighting this author for us!

Nadia said...

Meredith, that is so true! Its scary to think about - yikes!

Bellezza said...

I saw her book The Orphan Train at our school's book fair this morning...sorely tempted, thank you very much. xo

Mystica said...

How life can change in a minute. Scary. Thank you for this review

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm so pleased that this book turned out to be your favorite by Kline! I love it when an author continues to surprise me with books that suck me in and keep me turning the pages again and again.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!