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Bird in Hand

3.21 of 5 stars 3.21  ·  rating details  ·  1,636 ratings  ·  225 reviews
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.

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 call
ebook, 288 pages
Published November 24th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published August 1st 2009)
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Not even sure why I finished this book other than it was easy to finish. A depressing book. None of the characters were likeable. If they had been, perhaps I could have empathized, but it just didn't happen.
I always like to celebrate Valentine's Day by reading a novel about marriages falling apart.
The book starts out with a dramatic event. Alison is on her way home from a cocktail party when she is involved in a car accident that takes a child's life. She wasn't entirely at fault, but she was just over the legal limit of alcohol. Instead of support from her husband, she gets the cold shoulder and distant treatment. She begins to doubt the strength of her marriage and with good reason, but it shouldn't have taken the accident to make her see that her marriage is in trouble.
From there, the
I just read this book for two reasons. Firstly, I had recently finished reading Christina Baker Kline's wonderful novel Orphan Train. Secondly, this book was free on kindle books.

I quickly got drawn into it as I kept on reading, turning pages to know what happens next. It's a story about making choices in life and living up to the consequences. It's also about finding beauty in the daily chaos of our lives.

It was an okay book, a quick read but Christina does carve her characters very well . I
Laura Bryant
Another fabulous read by Christina Baker Kline. Possibly one of my favorite writers. Her writing is honest and real. This book deals with the choices one makes in life and the reasons behind those choices. Sometimes we make bad or even hasty choices but it doesn't make one a monster. Those choices may even hurt others but good or bad all choices lead to other phases in your life. It's that notion that everything happens for a reason and we have to have faith in ourself and others that it will al ...more
I'm going to be blunt: I really, really hope Claire has a miserable life - one all alone, in her little fantasy world. What a sick, sick woman. I don't think she is capable of loving anyone, honestly. And Charlie? He's a brainless tool and I hope he regrets ever meeting Claire, let alone leaving his wife and kids. I can only hope Alison moves on to someone 1000x better and never allows Claire around her children, especially as long as she is stringing Charlie along by his leash. Yes - I, obvious ...more
Sara Strand
I love her characters. One thing about Christina is she can craft a really great set of characters, all flawed and some that drive you mad, but what they all have in common is that they feel real. They feel like people you may know in your own life as it is and the drama we read about in any of her books are things that could play out in real life. So I appreciate these stories so much because they almost feel like you are reading some kind of sordid gossip about the neighbors, but it could also ...more
Reeka (BoundbyWords)
As seen on my blog:

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. The writing in this narrative wasn't a deviation from the author's regular style, to be honest, Baker Kline's writing was pretty consistent across the board: at once slightly anguished, and subtly uplifting. Bird in Hand approached a topic that has graced many a pages before it, and that was one of troubled relationships, and recapturing
3.5 stars

I didn't care for any of the main characters. Married cheaters never get any sympathy from me. Also, the non-cheaters had "gut-feelings" that should have been explored in more detail before they married and had children. Just too unbelieveable for me.

So what did I like? Well, I always like a quick read that I know is going to involve a train wreck and a couple of "hot" messes.

I also liked that the author tied up all storylines and the reader knew the status of Claire, Charlie, Ben, and
Wow! This book gripped me from the start and wouldn't let me go. It's heart-wrenching yet not overly emotional. The multiple viewpoints worked well, and the disintegrating marriages were portrayed realistically. The background information, fed to the reader through independent flashbacks in a different size and style of font, provided the clarity necessary to understand the protagonists' motivations. I felt for these characters and identified with them. A must read for lovers of contemporary fic ...more
This is a well written thought provoking story that had me on highs and lows from the beginning.

I love stories about family relationships and friends, so this book was a perfect choice for me. The characters were both interesting and “real”, they weren’t perfect and that made them and the story very interesting.

Although I loved the characters. I can’t even name a favorite, because they all had their good and bad points. I was rooting for them one minute and the next I was yelling at them.

Their r
The choices we make have a rippling effect upon ourselves and others. "If there was one thing she'd learned . . . it was that life hinges on small moments and seemingly trivial decisions." And if we desire to get to the heart of a matter, how it is we came to be at a specific crisis or juncture in life, we must, with all honesty, peel back and examine the who-what-when-where-why of our choices in relation to our core beliefs. Christina Baker Kline does exactly that within her novel, Bird in Hand ...more
3.5/5 stars

Bird in Hand, by Christina Baker Kline tells the story of four New Yorker's who have been friends for over ten years. On the surface they seem like the perfect foursome, but all that soon will change.

Alison is a soft-spoken, devoted wife and mother of two. One dark, rainy night she is involved in a car accident, after she attended a party for her friend Claire. The accident was not Alison's fault, the other car ran a stop sign, but Claire had a few drinks, and a young child in the oth
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Following your heart sounds like a good way to live your life - but it's rarely that easy to live it day to day, and at some point, it might not be so good for someone else's heart.

Christina Baker Kline's Bird in Hand is a novel where not much happens, but what happens could happen to almost any of us, even though we'd rather not think about it. What it's ultimately about are the things we'd rather not think about, and the questions we really aren't sure we want to ask ourselves, because then we
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Two couples, friends, an accident, a change in lives.

Bird in Hand seemed to be more about the relationship between Ben and Claire and Charlie and Alison than about the accident that happened at the beginning of the book.

The book was well written, but I thought it would be more about how Claire was dealing with and healing from what happened in the accident she was in.

I enjoyed the book, though. I was also amazed how Alison's mother could read Charlie, Alison's husband, better than Alison hersel
Denise Westlake
"It takes so little time to strip the gears-to find yourself pedaling in place when you thought you were moving forward"...

it's not enough to hope happiness will find you, you have to seek it. Don't waste decades because you're too afraid to act." .....

I 100% enjoyed this book.. 4 main characters so finely developed. Thought provoking... heart wrenching, cautionary.
I liked this book a lot. The story of two couples - Alison and Charlie, Claire and Ben - life, love, betrayal, coming to terms with an accident and how one small moment can change your entire life.

CBK is a really good writer - even when she is being a little cliche, she writes expressively, with wonderful descriptions. She "gets" what people are thinking and feeling, writes about situations in a realistic way. She doesn't "over-write" but gives us enough information and then assumes we will get
I wouldn't normally choose a book like this to read, but I'm glad I did. The tone and storyline were less about action and more about psychology. The break down of two marriages and accidental death of a young boy are difficult stories to tackle and intertwine. The mundane details of everyday life take on an importance that I wouldn't have imagined before. Every other chapter descends further in time, which bothered me a bit (I wasn't much of a fan of Memento either), and the mundane details cou ...more
Meh. It was okay. The characters are very well written (but completely unlikeable) but there really isn't much of a plot. It's all about the characters, which I normally like, but since they were all such horrible people I couldn't really care as much about the unraveling of marriages and the mundaneness of everyday life.

Also, the main crisis in the book is put into motion by an accident one of the characters has, and I was so confused by how the details played out. It just seemed so unreal.

Disappointing. I wanted to like these people, but I just couldn't; I wanted them to teach us something profound or enduring about relationships, but they just didn't; I wanted to be moved by exploring how someone overcomes the trauma of having an accident that kills a child, but that dramatic event was just a convenient way to create tension, and was then abandoned when adultery and the supreme betrayal of your husband sleeping with your best friend takes center stage. And then in the end there ...more
I read Christina Baker Kline’s book, Orphan Train, and enjoyed it very much! It was a historical fiction book, so I was truly intrigued about this book. It’s not a historical fiction book, which is quite hard for authors to do (jumping from genre to another) and succeed. However, Christina Baker Kline is certainly the exception and her writing skills are spot on with this great book!

I read this book in about 1.5 days. Christina’s writing draws you in immediately. It’s not a book you have to wait
This well-written book is a difficult and honest look at two very troubled marriages. Although I found it somewhat hard to warm to any of the four main characters, I looked forward to picking up the book and couldn't wait to find out how it ended. I liked that the characters were not judged by their actions. How we feel about them is left up to us. Countless conversations could start with the themes in this book: marriage, parenting, life choices, loyalty, friendship (to name a few).
Rachel Elliott
In the beginning of the book, I was impressed with Kline's writing, but toward the middle I was getting a little impatient. There was a little filler that she could have skipped (which is a big pet peeve of mine - get to the good stuff!). Also, the dialogue was a little long at points, but otherwise she is a better writer than many others I've read.

The point I want to stress the most - all of the characters get happy endings in their own way, but they are not the endings the reader wants to see.
I really enjoyed this novel. Although it had a depressing take on suburban marriage- actually marriage in general- it was quite hopeful in the end. Or maybe I was just hopeful!

Although I've seen some characterize this as "chick lit", or technically "hen lit"; it is so much better written than the other chick lit novels I've read this summer. I found it to be smartly written with the back story told in an interesting way.
Marilyn Heyman
BIRD IN HAND by Christina Baker Kline
Claire and Alison had been best friends for years. Charlie loved Claire but when she married Ben, Charlie began to date Alison. Although she was his second choice, they marry and have two children. Claire and Charlie have a hot affair and the friendship cools between Alison and Claire. Alison was working for a magazine, but Charlie talks her into quitting to care for their children. Now, he struggles monetarily and resents that he is the only wage earner. He
While I gave this book three stars, I have to say I really liked this book. This is one situation where I fell I need the ability to give more than whole numbers to rate the book -- it is more like a 3.5 for me. Alison has a life altering car accident in which a small child is killed (I'm not giving anything away, that happens in the first chapter). The book opens with this line: for Alison, these things will always be connected: the moment that cleaved her life into two sections and the dawning ...more
3.5 Stars

Review Excerpt:

The decisions we make, even the ones that seem small, can change our lives in an instant. The decision to attend a party for her semi-estranged friend's book launch, going alone while her husband watches the children, accepting more than one 'blue' martini, driving on a rainy night, and not stopping or turning around when she finds herself lost, contribute to a tragic accident that changes Alison's life forever. As Alison reevaluates her marriage and the life she leads, t
Maddy Woodward
I stumbled upon this book on Oyster in the middle of the night. Insomnia sure has a way of introducing me to books I probably wouldn't ever bother to read otherwise. The description of Bird in Hand seemed vaguely interesting enough and like an easy read. This turned out to be an accurate interpretation, as I completed the book in several hours.

It's nothing special or revolutionary, but it flows well and is quite easy to follow, despite jumping around to different points in time. Naturally, I to
Lorraine Schuchart
I reviewed this and another book on my blog here:

Alison Gray is the central character of this novel, but her husband Charlie, best friend Claire and Claire’s husband, Ben, play major roles. Driving home from a book release party for Claire, Alison collides with another car when the driver runs a stop sign. A little boy riding in the front seat of that car is killed.

Alison's decision to have a second martini before driving, the reaction of her husband Char
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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 ...more
More about Christina Baker Kline...
Orphan Train Sweet Water The Way Life Should Be Desire Lines Child of Mine: Original Essays on Becoming a Mother

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“It's human nature to want to think the best of others, but if you listen carefully, people will always tell you who they are. ” 16 likes
“ hinges on small moments and seemingly trivial decisions. ” 5 likes
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