Tuesday, November 4, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Bird in Hand by Christina Baker Kline

Title: Bird in Hand
Author: Christina Baker Kline
Genre: Women's Fiction/Contemporary
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: Oct 14/2014
Acquired: Print copy provided by Publisher
Goodreads: ADD

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.


I have officially read all of Christina Baker Kline's fictional works. If asked, I would tell you that Bird in Hand is not in the top 3. However, the writing in this narrative was consistent with the author's style: at once slightly anguished and subtly uplifting. Bird in Hand approached a topic that has graced many pages before it, and that was one of troubled relationships and recapturing your true self. Every single character in this novel was searching for a resolution, but I wasn't always fond of their coping methods.

The story begins with Alison, during and after the moment she becomes a part of a tragic car accident. She walks away unscathed, but the other party involved wasn't as lucky. We then segue into Charlie, her husband, who doesn't respond to his wife's call for help with the comfort she expected. Flashback to Alison, right before the accident, where she's at a book launch party for her former best friend. We then meet Claire, the ex-best friend, and budding socialite. Claire then turns us onto Ben, HER husband, an endless beacon of support. Bird in Hand is told through the perspectives of these four individuals, in both the present time and in backward chronological order from the past. It is a story of their lives, with and without the other, and exactly how it's forever changed them.

The big reveal comes out fairly early on in this book, but even before that, the introduction of Alison completely set the mood for me in regards to tone. I couldn't bring myself to sympathize with her, there was absolutely no room for empathy. Her character was bland, and cold, and almost without emotion. I'm not sure if that was intentional, but that was exactly what was portrayed. I felt the most for Ben-whose pain was the most relatable, and realistic. However, the book, as a whole, felt like a poorly written soap opera episode, where people were pawns, and feelings were second thoughts. Bird in Hand could have been about 80 pages shorter and saved readers a lot of time getting to its predictable conclusion.

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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 copy to review! CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour.


  1. I loved Orphan Train by this author. Then I read Sweet Water, which I liked, but not anywhere near as much. I'm not sure if I'll pick this one up. When I don't connect with the characters in a book, it usually falls flat for me.

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


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