Claire and Alison grew up as best friends, and it was through Claire that Alison met Charlie. Charlie had always been infatuated with Claire, but by the time they met, she was already engaged to Ben. Now Alison and Charlie have two children and he and Claire are having an affair. When Alison is involved in a car accident on the way home from a party for Claire's new book, and the boy in the accident dies, things start to go downhill quickly. Even though the accident is not her fault, she finds it difficult to go on as before. And Charlie, because of his entanglement with Claire, is distant and emotionally cold toward her.
To tell more, would give too much away, but I will tell you that the ending was not surprising to me. I enjoyed Kline's portrait of these marriages, and even though Charlie and Claire were not very likeable because of the damage they did to their spouses, I could still see where they were coming from. The part of the novel that confused me the most and seemed to be extraneous was the car accident that Alison was involved in. While it created some initial drama in the book and a starting point for the marriage to unravel, little was ever really made of it.
This was a fast read, a book I sat down with and quickly became engaged in. I enjoyed that Kline also told the stories of all four adults in this book. While I viewed this as mostly Alison and Charlie's story, there were chapters about Ben and Claire as well, providing background information about their childhoods and allowing readers to develop an understanding of why they became the adults they are.
Bird in Hand would be a great book club book - full of discussion topics. Women's fiction lovers will also enjoy this one.