Tuesday, August 19, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Desire Lines by Christina Baker Kline

Title: Desire Lines
Author: Christina Baker Kline
Genre: Women's Lit/Mystery Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: August 12/2014
Adquired: Print copy provided by Publisher
Goodreads: ADD

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train comes a novel about friendship and the memories that haunt us.

On the night of her high school graduation, Kathryn Campbell sits around a bonfire with her four closest friends, including the beautiful but erratic Jennifer. "I'll be fine," Jennifer says, as she walks away from the dying embers and towards the darkness of the woods. She never comes back.

Ten years later, Kathryn has tried to build a life for herself, with a marriage and a career as a journalist, but she still feels the conspicuous void of Jennifer's disappearance. When her divorce sends her reeling back to the Maine town where she grew up, she finds herself plunged into a sea of memories. With nothing left to lose, she is determined to answer one simple question: What happened to Jennifer Pelletier?


This is my third Christina Baker Kline book to date, and I'm finding it hard to believe that this is the same author who produced the gem that was The Orphan Train. I've obviously enjoyed a lot of women's fiction/"chick-lit" in the past, even quite recently, though Desire Lines left much to be..well..desired. A sad return to a hometown fraught with bad memories. A main character steadily working through the pains of what she's run away from. It just all felt very been there, done that.

Kathryn Campbell has become yet another casualty of a damaged marriage, a failed love. With the ink still fresh on her divorce papers, she packs up her few belongings, and sulks back to her hometown in Bangor, Maine. Wounded pride, and a lowered self-esteem makes instant friends with an older pain, one that never really went away after Kathryn's best friend, Jennifer, disappeared 10 years earlier. Desire Lines is a concoction of finding-yourself-while-trying-to-solve-a-mystery. And it was entertaining enough, but definitely not anything to rave about.

A slower paced narrative made for some teeth grinding reading moments, though Kline's build-up was chock full of all of the right details, and back stories. Almost every character was given a history, which was more than appreciated-it really lent to my ability to connect with a particular person, or situation. With my current state of mind, I was a lot more drawn to Kathryn's dry wit, and constant moodiness in the initial chapters. The sections of dialogue with her mother were definitely my favourites. Kline also writes fantastic scenery, which is evident in her works across the board-it's a skill that not many authors have mastered, at least not without completely drowning readers in description in their first works. I almost wish I had read Sweet Water, and Desire Lines, first, and worked my way up from there, just so I could have appreciated how far Kline had come as an author. Although, had I not read Orphan Train first, I may not have even given her work a second glance.

With no jaw-dropping twists to be found, Desire Lines is more of an in-between book, one that you may pick up on a whim, and read through on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The characters are likable, or despising, enough to keep you engaged, and the mystery aspect, though slightly obvious, will keep you holding on until the end.

Recommended for Fans of: Women's Fiction, Mystery, small-town fiction, Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline, The Home Place by Carrie La Seur.

Christina Baker Kline, the author of five novels, grew up in Maine, England, and the American South. She is married to a Midwesterner whose family history inspired her new novel, Orphan Train (April). Set in present-day Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train highlights the real-life story of the trains that between 1854 and 1929 carried more than 200,000 abandoned children from the East Coast to the Midwest.

Kline imagines the journey of one such child, Vivian Daly, an Irish immigrant whose fate is determined by luck and chance. Orphan Train is the story of an unlikely friendship between 91-year-old Vivian Daly, whose experiences are far behind her, and Molly Ayer, a 17-year-old Penobscot Indian girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers to questions no one has ever asked.

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Thank-you to Trish from TLC Book Tours for hosting this tour, and to William Morrow for sending me a print ARC to review!

CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as part of the tour.


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