The Way Life Should Be ), Kline traces the construction and collapse of two long-term relationships. On her way home to New Jersey afte"/>

Bird in Hand

Christina Baker Kline, Author . Morrow $24.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-688-17724-9

In her fourth novel (after The Way Life Should Be ), 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. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/01/2009
Release date: 08/01/2009
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FORMATS
Paperback - 274 pages - 978-0-06-236399-2
Paperback - 274 pages - 978-0-06-079890-1
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-198980-3
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