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Bird in Hand

by Christina Baker Kline

The accident was just that -- an accident. It was dark, it was raining, ALISON had two drinks in her, and the other car ran the stop sign. She just didn't get out of the way fast enough. But now a little boy -- not her own -- is dead, and Alison finds herself trapped under the twin burdens of grief and guilt, and 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 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 each day. And the only thing 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 demure, Claire has just had her first novel published, a thinly-veiled retelling of her childhood in South Carolina (which is also Alison's, in a sense). But even in the whirlwind of publication, Claire can't stop wondering if she should leave her husband . . . BEN, an architect who is thoughtful, kind, and patient. And who wants nothing more than a baby, or two -- in fact, exactly the kind of life that Charlie and Alison have . . . Four people, two marriages, one lifelong friendship: everything is about to change.

Desire Lines

by Christina Baker Kline

Desire Lines is a taut, penetrating new novel filled with psychological suspense, sensitivity, and emotional complexity by the critically acclaimed author of Sweet Water. On the night of her high school graduation in 1986, Kathryn Campbell's best friend, Jennifer, vanished without a trace. It's been ten years since then, but Kathryn still feels the conspicuous void in her life-and the nagging, guilty sense that she has failed her friend. When a divorce sends Kathryn reeling back to the Maine town where she grew up, the young journalist finds herself face-to-face with her past. At twenty-eight, she's been living for far too long on memories and questions; now she needs to take a hard look at her own life at the same time that she is delving into the mystery of what happened to her friend. As she explores the seemingly random series of events that led up to Jennifer's disappearance, a pattern slowly begins to take shape. All the puzzle pieces are at her fingertips-it's a matter of whether Kathryn can put them together in a way that makes sense. As she faces her own fear and grief, she is finally able to come to terms with the ways in which the loss of her friend has shaped her life and the lives of those who knew her. In the process, Kathryn realizes that if she is ever going to understand the circumstances of Jennifer's disappearance, she is going to have to expose herself to the same risks and dangers. Ultimately, Kathryn's quest to find out the truth becomes a quest to save her own life as she races against time to keep Jennifer's fate from becoming hers. Desire Lines is a remarkable novel about friendship, memory, loss, and resurrection. Desire Lines is a taut, penetrating new novel filled with psychological suspense, sensitivity, and emotional complexity by the critically acclaimed author of Sweet Water. On the night of her high school graduation in 1986, Kathryn Campbell's best friend, Jennifer, vanished without a trace. It's been ten years since then, but Kathryn still feels the conspicuous void in her life-- and the nagging, guilty sense that she has failed her friend. When a divorce sends Kathryn reeling back to the Maine town where she grew up, the young journalist finds herself face-to-face with her past. At twenty-eight, she's been living for far too long on memories and questions; now she needs to take a hard look at her own life at the same time that she is delving into the mystery of what happened to her friend. As she explores the seemingly random series of events that led up to Jennifer's disappearance, a pattern slowly begins to take shape. All the puzzle pieces are at her fingertips-it's a matter of whether Kathryn can put them together in a way that makes sense. As she faces her own fear and grief, she is finally able to come to terms with the ways in which the loss of her friend has shaped her life and the lives of those who knew her. In the process, Kathryn realizes that if she is ever going to understand the circumstances of Jennifer's disappearance, she is going to have to expose herself to the same risks and dangers. Ultimately, Kathryn's quest to find out the truth becomes a quest to save her own life as she races against time to keep Jennifer's fate from becoming hers. Desire Lines is a remarkable novel about friendship, memory, loss, and resurrection.

Orphan Train

by Christina Baker Kline

Between 1854 and 1929, orphaned or abandoned children from the East Coast were often placed on so-called orphan trains and sent west, possibly for adoption and possibly for a hellish life of virtual servitude. Irish immigrant Vivian Daly was one such child. Now 91, she bonds with welfare teen Molly, whos helping clean out her house. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Sweet Water

by Christina Baker Kline

Both a Southern literary saga and a psychological thriller, this beautifully wrought novel recounts a daughter's search for the truth about her mother's death.

The Way Life Should Be

by Christina Baker Kline

Angela Russo is thirty-three years old and single, stuck in a job she doesn't love and a life that seems, somehow, to have just happened. Though she inherited a flair for Italian cooking from her grandmother, she never has the time; for the past six months, her oven has held only sweaters. Tacked to her office bulletin board is a picture torn from a magazine of a cottage on the coast of Maine, a reminder to Angela that there are other ways to live, even if she can't seem to figure them out. One day at work, Angela clicks on a tiny advertisement in the corner of her computer screen-"Do Soulmates Exist?"-and finds herself at a dating website, where she stumbles upon "MaineCatch," a thirty-five-year-old sailing instructor with ice-blue eyes. To her great surprise, she strikes up a dizzying correspondence with MaineCatch-yet as her online relationship progresses, life in the real world takes a nosedive. Interpreting this confluence of events as a sign, Angela impulsively decides to risk it all and move to Maine. But things don't work out quite as she expected. Far from everything familiar, and with little to return to, Angela begins to rebuild her life from the ground up, moving into a tiny cottage and finding work at a local coffee shop. To make friends and make ends meet, she leads a cooking class, slowly discovering the pleasures and secrets of her new small community, and-perhaps-a way to connect her heritage to a future she is only beginning to envision. The Way Life Should Be is about the search for the right relationship and the right life, the difficulty of finding true love, and the yearning for the home that food represents. Laced with recipes and humor, wisdom and wit, it is at once a clear-eyed portrait of Maine, a compassionate look at modern life and love, and a compelling work of literary fiction that explores the gulf between the way life is and the way we want it to be.

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