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Bird in Hand

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  4,365 ratings  ·  470 reviews
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train, and the critically acclaimed author of The Way Life Should Be, comes a novel about the choices we make, how they shape our lives, and how they can change them forever—includes a special PS section featuring insights, interviews, and more.

Four people, two marriages, one lifelong friendship: Everything is aboBe,
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published August 1st 2009)
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Average rating 3.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,365 ratings  ·  470 reviews

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Melody Warnick
I always like to celebrate Valentine's Day by reading a novel about marriages falling apart.
Erin Clemence
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Alison attends a party one evening and on her way home, her car collides with another and a little boy is killed. While she deals with the guilt and her own trauma, Alison expects to be able to turn to her best friend and her husband for help. But her relationship with her best friend has been estranged for months, and when she leans on her husband, she begins to see cracks in the relationship that she did not see before. As the months go on, Alison begins to question everything she once knew an ...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
Jul 07, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 15, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Booksdigger S
Feb 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it
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
Sara Strand
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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 C
Sharon Huether
A story of relationships, their pain and sorrow.
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of those rare can’t put it downs ...
Great portrayal of ennui in middle class American life. how vividly she writes about how the days can rush by without connecting with those closest to us ... and how that slowly destroys those connections. I was cringing and felt for all the characters ... except for one.
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.25. I liked the way this book took me both progressively forward and progressively backwards in the story of the main characters.
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
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
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, bec
Oct 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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 could get ...more
Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ginger Johnson
Spoiler! It's hard to read a book when you don't like any of the characters!

You start our thinking this is a story about the accident and the reprocusions. Then it turns into an infedelity and with the best friend no less. Been there/thru that. And all I can say is if you are not happy in the marriage, get out, then find that other person. But it seems Charlie only married Allison to be close to Claire in the first place. Screwed up beyond belief! Love her other book, The Orphan Train..... Was not
Aug 11, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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).
Stephanie Karp
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t love the choices made by the characters in the book but I don’t just a book by plot. I find Christina Kline Baker’s writing to be mesmerizing and writing I keep turning to until I’m finished. She gets people and their fine idiosyncrasies and nuances. She writes about humanity. For that, to me she’s an exceptional writer and I’ll read anything she publishes.
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book more than I had anticipated. The author kept the characters and the story interesting enough to stay invested. Two couples have been friends for quite a while, stemming from the close childhood friendship of the two girls. Of late though, Alison and Claire have had a minor falling out, putting a strain on their relationship. As events occur and situations unfold, it becomes clear that things between and among the two couples are not as smooth as it once seemed.
This is the same
Mindy Corr
Took me a loooong time to read. I had a hard time ever connecting to the characters. I'm not sure why except Christina Baker Kline seemed to develop them throughout the novel. In fact, you don't learn much about the main character until the last five pages. The idea of this book was promising but ended up disappointing.
Thelma Fountain
This book was ok. I enjoyed the other novels by this author more than this one. This story was sad all the broken relationship struggles. People willing to stab their friends in the back for selfish reasons. I found it a little depressing.
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had planned on giving this book no more than a 4 star rating. However, what I had first considered more of a "mediocre" reading, I come to realize that through the process I had actually answered some valuable questions of my own life. I think a work that can evoke "change" is very worthwhile.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read “Orphan Train” before reading any other Christina Baker Cline books, and it was so good that I have high expectations for her others. This story didn’t captivate me like Orphan Train.
Diane Klajbor
This book wasn't Kline's best effort. Even though it was short, it could have used editing. It just went on and on too long, especially at the end. I didn't care for any of the characters, so it was hard to emphasize with them when tragedy happened. To be fair, the author has honed her skills over the years and went on to write better books. My advice is to skip this book and pick up one of her later ones.
Sep 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
This is the first book I have read by Ms Kline but it will not be my last. Bird in Hand is an interesting look at four people...two married couples who are friends. Two women who have been best friends since childhood. The accident that claims the life of the young boy is merely a footnote in the story. And in my opinion, Alison, was not responsible for the death of the child, his father was the one who set in motions the events that caused his death. Marco's death does cause a shift in the dyna ...more
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, b
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Around the Year i...: Bird in Hand, by Christina Baker Kline 1 12 Feb 09, 2017 07:46PM  

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Christina Baker Kline is the author of New York Times instant bestseller A Piece of the World (2017), about the relationship between the artist Andrew Wyeth and the subject of his best-known painting, Christina’s World. Kline has written six other novels -- Orphan Train, Orphan Train Girl, The Way Life Should Be, Sweet Water, Bird in Hand, and Desire Lines-- and written or edited five works of non ...more
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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. ” 18 likes
“ hinges on small moments and seemingly trivial decisions. ” 8 likes
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