+Blog Book Tour+ Desire Lines by Christina Baker Kline

Posted Monday, 15 September, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 6 Comments

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Desire Lines by Christina Baker Kline

Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Official Author Websites: Site@bakerkline | Facebook
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #ChristinaBakerKline

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Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Desire Lines” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher William Morrow, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

The reason I wanted to be on the tour : as revealed on my review of Sweet Water

There are moments in our lives where our paths cross with a novel that we have a near-sixth sense about how we will enjoy reading it. This is exactly what happened to me whilst I won a copy of Orphan Train from a contest from Shelf Awareness and received the novel from the author herself. The bits and pieces of my life from that moment in April 2013 to a full score year later were one of the most consuming experiences thus far along on my lifepath. I always had the intention of reading Orphan Train close to when I had received it. Yet. Life ebbed away and took my focus off the novel that I felt I was meant to read. It was one of those books I knew I would acquire even if I had not been able to receive one from the author. I never had the proper chance to follow-up with Ms. Kline; nor explain my absence but to attempt to explain why I had not yet read the story that captured my attention front line and center.

When I learnt of two novels by Kline going on tour with TLC, I knew I had found my way of redeeming myself and of a way back to Orphan Train! Part of the reason I had ended up holding off reading the novel is because I knew it was going to be an emotional read for me as I’m a Prospective Adoptive Mum. The fate of orphans is very near and dear to my maternal heart, and the plight of those children who were sent out on orphan trains always tugs at the core of my soul.

I had felt a connection to not only the story within the sleeper bestseller but I had felt one with the writer who penned the story, which is why I had written her a heartfelt personal note at the time. This entire year I’ve been a book blogger I have learnt how to yield to stress and how to read stories which are emotionally gutting yet intellectually satisfying whilst going through incredible circumstances that otherwise might only lend themselves to beach reads and uplifting romances. I found that I have the ability to write with a clarity that I had not had in previous years whilst juggling through intense personal stress and I found that the best grace in the world as a writer and reader is the direct focus of stories and the writers who create them.

Christina Baker Kline is one writer who crossed my path at a time I could not devout my heart to read her stories, nor approach them with a mindfulness they deserved. It is only one full year later, but this is my way of not only thanking her for the work she has put forward and into the hands of all of us, but a small gesture of acknowledgement from a reader who was captivated by her sincerity, creativity, and immersive research she conducts to breathe life into her characters and stories. I am the blessed one this year, as this is my second chance at discovering what is inside Kline’s body of work.

Note: There are a total of four novels by Christina Baker Kline on tour with TLC Book Tours, however, Orphan Train is not amongst them. I am going to read Orphan Train in September for my own edification and pleasure. I want to take my time to absorb into it and soak through the emotions I know I shall greet when I open the pages of a story I have not stopped thinking about since it arrived.

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+Blog Book Tour+ Desire Lines by Christina Baker KlineDesire Lines
by Christina Baker Kline
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

Genres: Literary Fiction

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: Sweet Water

Published by William Morrow

on 12th August, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 384

Book Synopsis:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train comes a novel about buried secrets and the redemptive power of forgiveness

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 comes 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 happened to Jennifer Pelletier?


Author Biography:Christina Baker Kline

Christina Baker Kline was born in England and raised in Maine. The author of five novels, including the runaway bestseller Orphan Train, Kline has taught literature and creative writing at Yale, New York University, and Fordham. She lives outside of New York City.

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Small Towne Maine:

The undertone of the novel is a unique one, as it is not necessarily underlit with a positiveness about small towne Maine life nor is it especially neutral or negative; Kline has a way of fusing her character’s (Kathryn) emotional state into the underbelly of the narrative itself, giving a unique perspective to the locale. Small townes are always notorious for having the ability to find caring neighbours and close-knitted communities where strangers are infrequent and the care of being in the know about each person’s life is simply a matter of towne pride and goodwill. There is an unsettling harbouring though of the unknown and the unresolved of what can haunt a towne like Bangor on the aftermath of a disappeared teen. The ripples of how one girl can dearly affect a towne and how the people she left behind were stumbling to find any sense of how to proceed forward after she was gone.

My Review of Desire Lines:

Kline has an innate ability to write evoking narrative which grabs you from the Prologue and shifts you directly into the heart of where the story is going to lead you. You’re never quite prepared for what is coming next, nor are you ever fully certain how far deep the emotional keel will tip you, but one thing I have learnt from reading Kline this Summer is the hours you’ve spent inside a Christina Baker Kline novel are the ones you savour! True to form, she didn’t disappoint me at the start of Desire Lines, where on the fringes of a mysterious and unresolved disappearance of a classmate, the story shifts forward by 10 years to reveal where the best friend left behind is struggling to make sense of her life and world. Newly divorced and at a loss of direction, Kathryn finds herself landing back in Bangor, Maine to sort through what’s left of the pieces and make a new start at an age where she felt she ought to know a bit more about the path she was supposedly on before the plane arrived.

The pace inside Desire Lines left me a bit curious as although I appreciate slow ambling stories, this one was moving at such a pace as to leaving me museful on how Kathryn and her mother were going to proceed after their mutual divorces. There is a slow melancholic ache permeating the threshold, giving you the sense each of the teens who last saw Jennifer might be holding back their own secrets on of that night. Kathryn is not yielding to her new position as a divorced singleton, nor is she forcibly attempting to seek out employment, housing, or any plausible sense of forward motion since she arrived at her mother’s house. Her mind cannot let go of Jennifer and Jennifer’s oblivious non-existence has become her own crutch of insanity.

I felt myself struggling to gain traction with Desire Lines, as I had soaked inside Sweet Water with such an intensity the hours clicked off the clock before I even realised I had devoured the novel! Inside this story, my mind was feeling the jutted disconnections, the untethering of focus, and a need for finding a reason to stay rooted in the text. I reached the middle of the novel and honestly could not proceed. I felt disinterested to continue as I simply never felt drawn into Kathryn’s life and world; it felt a bit ambiguous to me. I think I might have appreciated this story more if it were told from Jennifer’s point of view; to reverse the obvious course to take and alight inside the missing girl’s mind and heart. The fleeting glance we’ve given of her in the Prologue is what grabbed me into the story, but as the progression of chapters later revealed the desolation of Kathryn I felt less inclined to stay committed to the story.

Fly in the Ointment:

In this particular novel, the brass language was more unsettling to me because it felt a bit out of place for where it was included. Particularly on page 19, as it was only a flickering of a flashback memory and even therein, I always have a personal preference for other words to denote what one particular vulgar word is always chosen instead to imply. Its the very same word that wrinkles my nose, singes my ears, and makes me wish for newer ways of expressing ourselves in literature. I honestly have yet to come across a novel that includes that particular word that actually had a merit of having it used; except for perhaps Etched On Me, and even then, I cannot remember the words as I only remember the girl. It is quite literally the only novel I’ve given a pass on language due to the enormity of drama and trauma inside the story itself.

I love emotionally centered narratives and I love thought-provoking literary fiction – I simply have a disdainful appreciation for strong language and uncreative ways of expressing personality quirks of characters.

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Read an Excerpt of the Novel:

Desire Lines: A Novel by HarperCollins

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This blog tour stop was courtesy of TLC Book Tours:

click-through to follow the blogosphere tour:

TLC Book Tours | Tour HostFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Previously, I reviewed Sweet Water also on tour with TLC.

I am planning to read Orphan Train this Autumn on my own accord.

See what I am hosting next:

Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva

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I positively *love!* comments in the threads below each of my posts, and I have happily made sure that I could reacquire the WP Comments where you can leave me a comment by using: WP (WordPress), Twitter, Facebook, Google+, & Email! Kindly know that I appreciate each thought you want to share with me and all the posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary! Short or long, I appreciate the time you spent to leave behind a note of your visit! Return again soon! 

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Desire Lines”, author photograph, book synopsis and the tour badge were all provided by TLC Book Tours and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Buy links on Scribd excerpt are not affiliated with Jorie Loves A Story. Book Excerpt was able to be embedded due to codes provided by Scribd.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

The ‘live reading’ tweets I shared as I read & reviewed “Desire Lines”:

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Monday, 15 September, 2014 by jorielov in Adulterous Affair, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Bookish Discussions, Brothers and Sisters, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Disillusionment in Marriage, Divorce & Martial Strife, Drugs & Alcohol, Family Drama, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Literary Fiction, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Psychological Suspense, Scribd, Small Towne USA, TLC Book Tours, Vulgarity in Literature

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6 responses to “+Blog Book Tour+ Desire Lines by Christina Baker Kline

    • I honestly placed this novel on my Riffle List for “Stories Seeking Love from Readers” (read.rifflebooks.com/list/156124) as I felt it was a complete miss for me! I decided to create the list to reach out to readers who might read something in my reviews that resonates better with their own reading tendencies and thereby, give these stories a second chance at being loved! Perhaps you will be one of the ones who finds the story more to your liking? I hope so.

  1. Ah, Jorie, yet another clear and honest review! I do miss coming by and am hoping that once things calm down, now that both blogs are launched, I’ll get back to this :) Now that Dot Day posts are done, I can back off on the push! It’s been crazy!

    I still have lots to add to the pages and figure I should put your link on the “Book Reviews” page :D I’m looking forward to getting everything into place so then it’s just a matter of posting what comes up! I hope you’re well, my dear :)

    • Hallo Ms Donna,

      You have a built-in way of knowing EXACTLY how I feel about a book after I’ve written down my thoughts about it — I can only attribute this to the fact you’ve grown used to my writing style & you’ve now come to understand my methodology of journalling my reading life! I never fail to smile whilst reading one of your comments — you give me bang-on brilliant feedback, share your own reading ups / downs, and provide my blog with a lot of beautiful commentary! For which you will always have my steadfast gratitude! :)

      I thank you for the honour of being on your Book Reviews page! If you want you can grab my blog’s badge (if your going to use badges for bloggers?) in my lower sidebar! I am humbled you thought of me and I look forward to seeing your readers alight on my blog; hopefully they will be equally as chatty and lovely to convo as you are yourself! :)

      • lol, Jorie, I didn’t even know what a “badge” was! lol I probably won’t use them and I haven’t put links up just yet. I hope it won’t be long before I get to that page. As of yet, I haven’t had a moment to start filling in my pages. I want to soon though!

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