Desire Lines: A Novel

Desire Lines: A Novel

3.3 26
by Christina Baker Kline

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train, and the critically acclaimed author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be, comes a novel about friendship and the memories that haunt us—includes a special PS section featuring insights, interviews, and more.

On the night of her high school


From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train, and the critically acclaimed author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be, comes a novel about friendship and the memories that haunt us—includes a special PS section featuring insights, interviews, and more.

On the night of her high school graduation, Kathryn Campbell sits around a bonfire with her four closest friends, including the beautiful but erratic Jennifer.  “I’ll be fine,” Jennifer says, as she walks away from the dying embers and towards the darkness of the woods. She never came back.

Ten years later, Kathryn has tried to build a life for herself, with a marriage and a career as a journalist, but she still feels the conspicuous void of Jennifer’s disappearance. When her divorce sends her reeling back to the Maine town where she grew up, she finds herself plunged into a sea of memories. With nothing left to lose, she is determined to answer one simple question: What ever happened to Jennifer Pelletier?

Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
"EDITOR'S CHOICE. . . A novel involving a vanished and, of course, stunning young woman is hardly a new concept, but Christina Baker Kline artfully crafts this absorbing book, bringing equal insight to the characters of Kathryn, the protagonist, and Jennifer, the friend who disappeared 10 years before on the night of their high school graduation."
Entertainment Weekly
What makes this Gen-X-targeted novel so satisfying is how intelligently Kline dovetails Kathryn's challenge to find her way in life with her attempts to solve a psychologically resonant mystery."
Publishers Weekly
The author of Sweet Water offers a taut, absorbing novel about a woman who must solve a haunting mystery in order to move on with her life. Kathryn Campbell has been in emotional limbo since the mysterious disappearance of her best friend, Jennifer, on the night of their 1986 high-school graduation. A decade later, she finds herself returning to their hometown of Bangor, Maine -- even though, with a failed marriage under her belt and a journalism career idling in neutral, moving back in with her (also divorced) mother is probably not the best way to boost her self-esteem. So when a friend asks Kathryn to write a newspaper story about Jennifer, Kathryn reluctantly agrees. Since Kathryn's return coincides with her class's reunion, she has ample opportunity to interview the four former companions who were with Jennifer on that fateful night, as well as others who might have played a hand in Jennifer's baffling disappearance. As Kathryn delves into her best friend's background, unnerving facts about the seemingly golden girl start to emerge, and soon it is obvious that someone is trying to thwart her investigation. The mystery of why Jennifer vanished becomes even more puzzling as new facts come to light, and Kathryn's eventual insight that some ambiguities are part of life brings depth to the narrative. Kline's edge-of-the-seat denouement ties up the plot threads with dexterity and also allows for a plausible future for Kathryn herself.
Boston Globe
Desire Lines has the staying power of art....Kline dramatizes private life, from the charged crosscurrents of broken families to the robust intimacies of sex, with a generous, knowing appreciation of human nature. But what impresses most about the author is the pulsing depth and ambiguity she brings to her sometimes maddening but lovable main character, Kathryn, who blooms into adulthood as she turns over the soil of her past and exposes the hidden turnings of the human heart."
New York Times Book Review
...Kline vividly describes how the sensory memories of adolescence remain acutely intact, no matter how far removed adults may seem from their teen-age years....Kline's handling of the large cast of characters...[is] so well done that the reader will keep turning the pages.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author

Christina Baker Kline is the author of five novels. She lives out-side of New York City and on the coast of Maine.

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Desire Lines 3.3 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 26 reviews.
eagle3tx More than 1 year ago
By the author of Orphan Train, but not nearly as compelling. Story of journalist Kathryn’s return to her home town in Maine after a failed marriage, and just in time for her 10-year high school reunion, interwoven with her investigation into the graduation-night disappearance of her best friend. She interviews all her high school friends, some of which obviously know more than they are telling. By the end I was no longer interested in the characters and was just skimming just to learn what really happened.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't care much for this book.. the authors other books are better...this book was too long for the story it told.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book after reading the Orphan Train which was a page turner. I was a little disappointed but it was still a good read. Just not as good.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings An interesting take on a mystery/thriller with a disappearance of a high schooler right near graduation and ten years as they gather for a reunion, there is still no body and no clues as to where she could possibly be.  With a tight knit group of friends, they all didn't know the secrets that were between them and as Kathryn tries to find more clues about Jennifer's disappearance some of their secrets will come out into the light and may cause some drama. I loved that the author used Kathryn's journalistic profession to get her to go looking into the clues from the past and to try to find new ones.  It was a perfect avenue to get her into interviewing the players from the past and trying to put the old pieces together with new puzzle pieces.  I thought I had a clue as to the truth behind Jennifer's disappearance and I was pleasantly surprised by the real truth and even how it unfolded.  I was glad I was wrong in my guessing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book, held my attention till the end.
NannieB More than 1 year ago
Slow read, not what I expected after reading Orphan Train. So much detail was repeated over and over again. Also the ending was what you expected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good plot ruined with bad language and over vivid sex scenes. A disappointment after reading "Orphan Train"
Martha Huffman More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down. A real page turner.
vpsVS More than 1 year ago
The first 100 pages are a bit slow, but then it picks up. I am a fan of CBK's books, first reading Sweet Water while waiting for Orphan Train. I have not finished Desire Lines, but I can't wait to pick it up each day. Definitely recommend.
TheBibliophilicBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Desire Lines by Christina Baker Kline DESIRE LINES is the story of Kathryn Campbell’s journey to find out what happened to her best friend, Jennifer Pelletier, who disappeared on the night of their high school graduation. Ten years later, Kathryn is a free-lance journalist and moving back home to Bangor, Maine after her failed marriage. Coming home has unlocked a lot of feelings in Kathryn and when she’s given the opportunity to write a follow-up story on Jennifer’s disappearance, she takes her old friend up on the offer. Is Kathryn ready to discover what really happened to Jennifer Pelletier? To me, DESIRE LINES is more about Kathryn than about the mystery of Jennifer. Coming back home to Maine has opened a lot of old wounds for Kathryn and while part of her wants to know the truth, another part just wants to forget. As Kathryn starts investigating, she learns she didn’t know her best friend as well as she thought she did. I liked Kathryn and could sympathize with her to an extent. It’s obvious to everyone Kathryn never moved on from Jennifer’s disappearance and hopefully this search will help her find her own voice. DESIRE LINES has interesting characters and is very well-written. I’ve never read anything by this author previously, but I think I’ll check out some of her other works now.
KaneH 9 months ago
I was caught up in the book, loving the setting I'm familiar with. Didn't care for many of the characters, but they certainly felt real. Good writing, keeping the reader interested until the end. Maybe didn't wrap up everything, but that's life. A good story, well told.
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Be my guest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
looking for new authors - took a chance - nope - didn't even think it was very well written - terribly boring :(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothingbefore really has anything to do with it. Her dsyfunctional childhood has left her with chronic depression which miraculous seems cured with three therspy sessions and getting her hair bleached. Ten year old murder has murderer leaving clues all over place for her realky badly plotted. Two sex scenes but use protection to show publisher wabts to keep this almost within classic if not cozy
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Is this book $1.99 or $ 10.99.???????