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Christina Baker Kline

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Christina Baker Kline is a novelist, nonfiction writer, and editor. Her novels include The Way Life Should Be, Desire Lines, and Sweet Water. She is co-author, with Christina L. Baker, of The Conversation Begins: Mothers and Daughters Talk about Living Feminism and editor of Child of Mine: Original Essays on Becoming a Mother; Room to Grow: 22 Writers Encounter the Pleasures and Paradoxes of Raising Young Children; and Always Too Soon: Becoming an Orphan at Any Age, also published by Seal Press. She is currently Writer in Residence at Fordham University.

Genres: Literary Fiction, Historical
   Sweet Water (1993)
   Desire Lines (1998)
   The Way Life Should Be (2007)
   Bird in Hand (2009)
   Orphan Train (2013) (with Christine Baker Kline)
     aka Orphan Train Girl
   A Piece of the World (2017)
   The Exiles (2020)
Non fiction
   Conversation Begins (1996) (with Christina Looper Baker)
   Child of Mine (1997)
   Room to Grow (1999)
   About Face (2008)
Christina Baker Kline recommends
So Happy Together (2009)
Maryann McFadden
"In So Happy Together, Maryann McFadden deftly weaves a story of three generations of women and the men who orbit around them. With a sure touch, she writes about the mother-daughter bond, the simple pleasures to be found in cooking, the pervasive nature of guilt, and the power of forgiveness. Ultimately she explores the ways that growth is possible at every stage in life, if only we remain open--and how unexpected changes can lead us to places we never imagined."
The Weight of Blood (2014)
Laura McHugh
"In this riveting debut, Laura McHugh weaves together the stories of two women, separated by a generation, who each reveal pieces of a story that gains momentum and power as its shape becomes clear. This novel will keep you up all night."
Her Name Is Rose (2015)
Christine Breen
"A lyrical debut with characters who live and breathe and teach each other how to love."
Whiskey & Charlie (2015)
Annabel Smith
"A sharp, perceptive novel about family and forgiveness. Whiskey & Charlie will stay with me for a very long time."
The Tumbling Turner Sisters (2016)
Juliette Fay
"Filled with energetic prose and colorful characters-you won't soon forget the Turner girls!."
Sisters One, Two, Three (2017)
Nancy Star
"An extraordinary moving, beautifully written novel... I was riveted from the first page."
Stolen Beauty (2017)
Laurie Lico Albanese
"For fans of Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale and Paula McLain's Circling the Sun, Stolen Beauty is a must-read. I tore through the pages."
The Hearts of Men (2017)
Nickolas Butler
"A wry, tender-hearted novel about men: their families and friendships, their vulnerabilities and foibles, their secrets and lies. Part coming-of-age narrative, part meditation on masculinity, part war story, this novel had me spellbound all the way to its riveting conclusion."
Grit (2017)
Gillian French
"Touching, funny, and wise, Grit takes you on a journey you’ll remember long after turning the last page."
What to Say Next (2017)
Julie Buxbaum
"This novel is so compulsively readable that you’ll be surprised how deeply your emotions are stirred."
Halsey Street (2018)
Naima Coster
"An exceptional debut that explores how to find meaning within the shifting emotions and tangled webs of connection."
Ecstasy (2018)
Mary Sharratt
"Terrific…An intimate, absorbing portrait of a complicated woman whose talents and passions propelled her to the center of fin de siècle Vienna."
The Last Cruise (2018)
Kate Christensen
"From the first page of The Last Cruise, it’s clear that you’re in the hands of a masterful storyteller. With wit and precision, Kate Christensen wrangles a large cast of characters on a cruise in Hawaii that undergoes a disastrous series of calamites, deftly turning what appears to be a comedy of manners into an intimate and moving story about how human beings relate to each other in times of stress and upheaval – with plenty of sensuous details about food, sex, and drink along the way. This novel is a delight."
Tiffany Blues (2018)
M J Rose
"Fascinating…an enchanting glimpse of Jazz Age New York."
Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen (2018)
Sarah Bird
"An epic page-turner, Daughter of a Daughter of aQueen is the real-life story of the feisty and fearless Cathy Williams,the first woman to serve in the U.S. military. Weaving fact and fiction, Sarah Bird dances between humor and heartbreak as she takes this American heroinefrom forgotten to unforgettable."
A Well Behaved Woman (2018)
Therese Anne Fowler
"History comes alive in this immensely readable novel. Therese Anne Fowler takes us behind the velvet drapes of the Vanderbilt mansions in the late 19th century, exposing a world of passions and betrayal in which all is not as it seems. A Well-Behaved Woman is an extraordinary portrait of a strong, fascinating woman who rose above societal convention and even her own expectations to become so much more than anyone might have predicted."
The Weight of a Piano (2019)
Chris Cander
"At the heart of this novel is an old German upright piano whose music reverberates through the stories of two seemingly unconnected people: a man on an inexplicable quest to photograph it, and a woman who, despite being unable to play it, can't let it go. Elegantly twisting the strands together, Cander explores how art and music change and enrich our lives, often in wondrous and remarkable ways, and also touches on love and loss, memory and forgetting, perseverance and self-discovery. Like a powerful melody, The Weight of a Piano is haunting, evocative, and impossible to forget."
The Jetsetters (2020)
Amanda Eyre Ward
"Witty, insightful, and full of heart . . . Defined by a long-ago tragedy and long-held grudges, grievances, and resentments, the Perkins clan has plenty of reasons to keep secrets from one another—secrets that inevitably, over the course of their forced family fun vacay, spill out. . . . The perfect novel to read in a pool lounger as you sip a colorful cocktail. Mediterranean sunset optional."
Writers & Lovers (2020)
Lily King
"Writers & Lovers is a portrait of the artist as a young woman. Lily King writes masterfully about desire and loss, creativity and inspiration, and how each overlaps and influences the other. I found myself reading slowly, underlining phrases, wanting to linger in the world of this novel. Her insights about love ? how it is elusive and ineffable ? and about grief ? how it is something that you live inside ? took my breath away."
Queen of the Owls (2020)
Barbara Linn Probst
"A nuanced, insightful, culturally relevant investigation of one woman’s personal and artistic awakening, Queen of the Owls limns the distance between artist and muse, creator and critic, concealment and exposure."
The Paris Hours (2020)
Alex George
"Like All the Light We Cannot See, The Paris Hours explores the brutality of war and its lingering effects with cinematic intensity. The ending will leave you breathless."
Shiner (2020)
Amy Jo Burns
"In spare yet lyrical prose, Amy Jo Burns brings to life a brutal landscape and its dangerous, alluring inhabitants. A haunting glimpse into a strange, mystical world with its own laws and customs, filled with fiercely independent people, this novel combines a memoir-like intimacy with the mythic power of a fable. Burns is a writer to be watched."
Daughter of Black Lake (2020)
Cathy Marie Buchanan
"In this evocative, meticulously researched novel, Cathy Marie Buchanan creates a world of dark magic and haunting mystery, brutality and beauty. History comes to life on every page."
Send for Me (2021)
Lauren Fox
"Send For Me is a rare and beautiful novel. In luminous prose, with great economy and precision, Lauren Fox twines together two stories: one that explores both the menace and the day-to-day ordinariness of life in Germany under Hitler, and its aftermath, and one that captures the yearning and intensity of youth in the present day. While sorrow may be inevitable, Fox seems to say, life is also threaded with hope and joy and human connection. I loved this book."
Eternal (2021)
Lisa Scottoline
"With characters who change and grow and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, Eternal is blockbuster with cinematic intensity."
When the Stars Go Dark (2021)
Paula McLain
"With this breathtaking novel, Paula McLain proves she can do anything. Exquisitely written, immersive, and atmospheric, When the Stars Go Dark is a tour de force of literary suspense."
Songs in Ursa Major (2021)
Emma Brodie
"Songs in Ursa Major takes us on a propulsive journey: the rocky rise to stardom of a young singer songwriter who is as talented as she is beautiful, as vulnerable as she is ambitious, and as complicated as she is charismatic. Sexy, atmospheric, and entertaining — this novel is pure joy on the page."
Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket (2021)
Hilma Wolitzer
"With her trademark dry wit and abiding compassion, Wolitzer explores the telling details of everyday life in ways that are unsettling, insightful and wholly original. These stories will linger in your mind and get under your skin. They shimmer with life."
Fight Night (2021)
Miriam Toews
"FIGHT NIGHT is a headlong rush of a novel narrated by a precocious nine-year-old girl who is doing everything she can to keep her troubled mother from falling apart and her irrepressible grandmother alive. Tender, heart-wrenching, darkly funny, and ultimately joyful, this novel pulses with life."
The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven (2021)
Nathaniel Ian Miller
"The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven is pure delight. From the first page, I was transported to a world unlike any I've experienced or even read about--a bleak and unforgiving landscape where ice bears, subzero temperatures, and Sven's own worst impulses conspire against him, where loneliness and terror coexist with his growing appreciation for the flinty beauty of life. Only in such a place, I came to understand, could such a solitary man--emotionally stunted, misanthropic, self-pitying, disfigured--discover the bonds of friendship, and find family in a ragtag band of misfits. This novel's hard-won wisdom, droll humor, and offhanded insights about human nature will pierce you to the core."
The Postmistress of Paris (2021)
Meg Waite Clayton
"A sweeping tale of perseverance and courage set against the backdrop of Nazi-era Europe, The Postmistress of Paris is the very best kind of historical fiction: a complex and intriguing story that both highlights a little-known moment in the past and resonates powerfully in the present, reminding us that bigotry can only be vanquished when people are willing to take a stand."
The Christie Affair (2022)
Nina de Gramont
"A delight: intriguing, fast-paced, and elegantly written. Nina de Gramont takes you on an adventure through the English countryside with as many twists and turns as, well, an Agatha Christie novel. The unlikely alliances, complex motivations and jaw-dropping surprises will keep you riveted until the very last page."
The Magnolia Palace (2022)
Fiona Davis
"Fiona Davis is at the top of her game in this intriguing, high-stakes novel about an iconic New York City landmark, the Frick mansion, and two women, fifty years apart, whose stories intersect within it. A family saga and historical thriller in one, The Magnolia Palace is a fast-paced, immersive delight."
Her Last Affair (2022)
John Searles
"In this inventive, deftly woven novel, John Searles conjures a world populated by eccentrics and dreamers who are desperate for a second chance and willing to do almost anything to get it. Genre-bending, cinematic, and darkly funny, Her Last Affair ends with a series of shocking twists that will leave you breathless."
Take My Hand (2022)
Dolen Perkins-Valdez
"Moving, important, and timely, Take My Hand is both a poignant personal story and a riveting courtroom drama. By refusing to accept the status quo, big-hearted, idealistic Civil Townsend sets events in motion that eventually change hearts, minds, and lives, including her own. A perfect book-club pick."
Any Other Family (2022)
Eleanor Brown
"Funny, wise, heartbreaking, and heart-mending, Any Other Family explores what it means to be a family, in all its messy complication. Emotionally complex, immensely readable, and deeply affecting."
Joan (2022)
Katherine J Chen
"An epic novel with the mythic power of a fairytale."
The Many Daughters of Afong Moy (2022)
Jamie Ford
"Lyrical and profound, poignant and original, this sweeping saga explores the love that binds one family across generations. For Jamie Ford fans both old and new, The Many Daughters of Afong Moy is an unmitigated pleasure."

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