Title: Bird In Hand
Author: Christina Baker Kline
Release Date: August 11, 2009
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Alison, Charlie, Ben and Claire used to be the best of friends. In fact, Claire and Alison were childhood friends and were completely inseparable – Claire introduced Alison and Charlie, now married with children.
However, over the last few months, the two couples have drifted apart. Part of it is because Claire has written a fictionalized account of her childhood, into which Alison features prominently. But part of it is inexplicable to Alison.
On the way back from Claire’s book launch party, Alison gets into an accident which results in tragedy. As Alison begins to fall apart, she realizes that everything is not as perfect as it seems and there are serious cracks underneath the surface of her life.
Bird in Hand is the story of four different people, told from each of their points of view. However, the main character is Alison in a lot of ways. The book is about the ramifications of her accident. Even when someone else is narrating the story, the entire thing seems to belong to Alison.
Claire was definitely the least likeable character. She was ridiculously selfish and wanted everything that Alison had – she couldn’t be content with her own life. Kline did an admirable job making Claire a self-centered character without making her too shallow or hated.
Indeed, all the characters in Bird in Hand have an extraordinary amount of depth. Kline is a master at developing extremely layered characters. They aren’t people you can judge at first glance; the reader needs time to pull them apart and explore each of them.
Above all, Bird in Hand is a character-driven book that is about relationships. Kline proves she’s a great and talented writer through this book and I look forward to seeing what she does next.