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Bird in Hand | [Christina Baker Kline]

Bird in Hand

It was an accident. It was dark, it was raining, Alison had only had two drinks. And the other car ran the stop sign. But Alison finds herself trapped under the crushing weight of grief and guilt, feeling increasingly estranged from her husband, Charlie, who has his own burdens. He's in a job he doesn't love so that Alison can stay at home with the kids (and why isn't she more grateful for that?); he has a house in the suburbs and a long commute to and from the city.
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Publisher's Summary

It was an accident. It was dark, it was raining, Alison had only had two drinks. And the other car ran the stop sign. But Alison finds herself trapped under the crushing weight of grief and guilt, feeling increasingly estranged from her husband, Charlie, who has his own burdens.

He's in a job he doesn't love so that Alison can stay at home with the kids (and why isn't she more grateful for that?); he has a house in the suburbs and a long commute to and from the city. And the only thing he can focus on these days is his secret, sudden affair with Claire, Alison's best friend.

Bold where Alison is reserved, vibrant where Alison is cautious, Claire has just had her first novel published, a thinly veiled retelling of her childhood in North Carolina. But even in the whirlwind of publication, Claire can't stop wondering if she should leave her husband Ben, an ambitious architect who is brilliant, kind, and meticulous. And who wants nothing more than a baby, or two - exactly the kind of life that Charlie and Alison seem to have.

In each of her novels, Christina Baker Kline has explored how people tell the stories of their lives and what those stories reveal about who they are. As they set out on their individual journeys, Alison, Charlie, Claire, and Ben explore the idea - each in his or her own way - that every moment of loss contains within it the possibility of a new life. Alternating through these four intertwined perspectives, Bird in Hand is a searing novel about friendship, love, marriage, loss, and the choices we make that irrevocably alter everything we believe to be true.

©2009 Christina Baker Kline; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Kline's unflinching gaze and lovely prose set [Bird in Hand] apart from the herd of infidelity/marital ennui novels. It's well-done, thoughtful and thought-provoking." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.2 (44 )
5 star
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4 star
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3.1 (26 )
5 star
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3.5 (24 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 02-26-15
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 02-26-15 Member Since 2013

    Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Wordy, Contemplative, Sad"

    Hard to believe this is from the same author as Orphan Train . . . Although I listened to the entire audio book, I kept waiting for the "Aha" moment, which never came . . . the narration was excellent, which helped . . . the entire story unfolds like sessions in a marriage therapists office with each of the four individuals working through . . . or not . . . their childhoods, their marriages and their own feelings . . . what I really HATE is that no one ever takes any responsibility for their own choices and what those choices do to children. It is, it seems, all about "being okay with yourself". Having said that, this author IS a good writer, the issues that both these couples encounter are everything that happens to modern marriages. All the feelings, behaviors, sadness, betrayal are spot on. However, the lack of any resolution, any COMMITMENT to go beyond all the psycho babble is just a waste of a book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather The Woodlands, TX, USA 01-02-10
    Heather The Woodlands, TX, USA 01-02-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too slow and frustrating"

    Pace of book was too slow and I lost interest with a thin plot. Wound up turning off audiobook about 3/4 through. Seemed like author was trying to extensively use big words to make up for no plot.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael BRONXVILLE, NEW YORK, United States 10-15-10
    Michael BRONXVILLE, NEW YORK, United States 10-15-10
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    "Excellent narration helps difficult text"

    I love Alison Larkin as a narrator - The English American and Swallows and Amazons are among my all time favorites audio books - which was the reason I ordered Bird in Hand. This is a disturbing, densely written literary novel about modern marriage and its failures that is made accessible because of Larkin’s first class narration. But sometimes even the best narrator can’t make a book something you want to listen to all the way through. Although it will appeal to some, the subject matter of this book didn't appeal to me nearly as much as other books Larkin has narrated.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Weaver NJ United States 05-09-10
    S. Weaver NJ United States 05-09-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "how a narrator can ruin a book"

    The book had its moments, good and bad. But I never could decide if it was the book that was frustrating me, or merely the narrator, who was simply ghastly. Her voice was grating, especially when she tried to read children's voices. Worse still, when she read grown women's voices, they talked like children too, which was beyond annoying. The southern accents blew in and out, not at all consistent. I kept trying to hear through the narrator to get the author's voice, an exhausting and completely unrewarding task when you're just trying to get a small slice of entertainment and/or insight in your day.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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