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 other car was killed. Alison is filled with guilt and depressed as well.
Charlie, Alison's husband is a cheater; he is having an affair with Claire, Alison's friend, and tends to blame his wife for issues instead of accepting any responsibility.
Claire is a writer; she is selfish and seeks attention. She and her husband Ben has issues too. Ben is a brillant architect, a very sweet man who wants to be a father.
The story is told in alternating chapters from each character's perspective. The characters are very well-developed, and engages the reader as a result. While the ending is somewhat predictable, the way the story was plotted made it work. I felt it was a story that most thirty-something couples could relate to: the compromises young couples face in life, that restless feeling of "is this all there is", regrets of past choices, to have children or not, etc. etc. Honestly, as a baby boomer, I did not expect to enjoy this story, yet I did. Give it a try...Recommended.
(Thanks William Morrow for sending this my way).