Best Selling Books by Christina Baker Kline

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Room to Grow

release date: May 05, 2000
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Room to Grow
Candid, reflective, and intimate essays that capture the essence of parenting. Harnessing the writing skill of a score of top contemporary writers, Christina Baker Kline has crafted an outstanding collection that touches the core of modern parenthood. The writers share their experiences as parents of children between the ages of two and ten-the period when our children are young and wholly dependent, before they have established separate identities. Each of these entertaining and evocative essays focuses on one central issue about raising young children: the complexities of being a stay-at-home dad the urge to avoid making the same mistakes our parents did birth order and sibling rivalry giving our children a sense of racial identity. Room to Grow is a kaleidoscope of the early years of childhood, revealing new patterns and yielding insights at each turn. A remarkable exploration of the parenting experience, Room to Grow eloquently discloses those priceless moments of joy and heartache, closeness and separation, wonder and exasperation, amazement and exhaustion that parents encounter every day with their young children.

Sweet Water

release date: Nov 09, 2010
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Sweet Water
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 buried secrets and the redemptive power of forgiveness—includes a special PS section featuring insights, interviews, and more. Cassie Simon is a struggling artist living in New York City. When she receives a call from a magistrate in Sweetwater, TN, telling her she has inherited sixty acres of land from her grandfather, whom she never knew, she takes it as a sign: it’s time for a change. She moves into the house where her mother, Ellen, was born—and where she died tragically when Cassie was three. From the moment she arrives in Sweetwater, Cassie is overwhelmed by the indelible mark her mother’s memory had left behind. As she delves into the thicket of mystery that surrounds her mother’s death, Cassie begins to understand the desperate measures the human heart is capable of.

The Conversation Begins

release date: Jan 01, 1997
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The Conversation Begins
Drawing on interviews with mothers and daughters who experienced the era of Women's Liberation, a cultural study describes the stresses and rewards of being and having a feminist mother

The Exiles

release date: Aug 25, 2020
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The Exiles
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER OPTIONED FOR TELEVISION BY BRUNA PAPANDREA, THE PRODUCER OF HBO'S BIG LITTLE LIES “A tour de force of original thought, imagination and promise … Kline takes full advantage of fiction — its freedom to create compelling characters who fully illuminate monumental events to make history accessible and forever etched in our minds." — Houston Chronicle The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant novel about three women whose lives are bound together in nineteenth-century Australia and the hardships they weather together as they fight for redemption and freedom in a new society. Seduced by her employer’s son, Evangeline, a naïve young governess in early nineteenth-century London, is discharged when her pregnancy is discovered and sent to the notorious Newgate Prison. After months in the fetid, overcrowded jail, she learns she is sentenced to “the land beyond the seas,” Van Diemen’s Land, a penal colony in Australia. Though uncertain of what awaits, Evangeline knows one thing: the child she carries will be born on the months-long voyage to this distant land. During the journey on a repurposed slave ship, the Medea, Evangeline strikes up a friendship with Hazel, a girl little older than her former pupils who was sentenced to seven years transport for stealing a silver spoon. Canny where Evangeline is guileless, Hazel—a skilled midwife and herbalist—is soon offering home remedies to both prisoners and sailors in return for a variety of favors. Though Australia has been home to Aboriginal people for more than 50,000 years, the British government in the 1840s considers its fledgling colony uninhabited and unsettled, and views the natives as an unpleasant nuisance. By the time the Medea arrives, many of them have been forcibly relocated, their land seized by white colonists. One of these relocated people is Mathinna, the orphaned daughter of the Chief of the Lowreenne tribe, who has been adopted by the new governor of Van Diemen’s Land. In this gorgeous novel, Christina Baker Kline brilliantly recreates the beginnings of a new society in a beautiful and challenging land, telling the story of Australia from a fresh perspective, through the experiences of Evangeline, Hazel, and Mathinna. While life in Australia is punishing and often brutally unfair, it is also, for some, an opportunity: for redemption, for a new way of life, for unimagined freedom. Told in exquisite detail and incisive prose, The Exiles is a story of grace born from hardship, the unbreakable bonds of female friendships, and the unfettering of legacy.

Orphan Train

release date: Apr 02, 2013
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Orphan Train
The #1 New York Times Bestseller Now featuring a sneak peek at Christina's forthcoming novel The Exiles, coming August 2020. “A lovely novel about the search for family that also happens to illuminate a fascinating and forgotten chapter of America’s history. Beautiful.”—Ann Packer Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude? As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, and unexpected friendship.

Orphan Train Girl

release date: May 02, 2017
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Orphan Train Girl
This young readers’ edition of Christina Baker Kline’s #1 New York Times bestselling novel Orphan Train follows a twelve-year-old foster girl who forms an unlikely bond with a ninety-one-year-old woman. Adapted and condensed for a young audience, Orphan Train Girl includes an author’s note and archival photos from the orphan train era. This book is especially perfect for mother/daughter reading groups. Molly Ayer has been in foster care since she was eight years old. Most of the time, Molly knows it’s her attitude that’s the problem, but after being shipped from one family to another, she’s had her fair share of adults treating her like an inconvenience. So when Molly’s forced to help an a wealthy elderly woman clean out her attic for community service, Molly is wary. But from the moment they meet, Molly realizes that Vivian isn’t like any of the adults she’s encountered before. Vivian asks Molly questions about her life and actually listens to the answers. Soon Molly sees they have more in common than she thought. Vivian was once an orphan, too—an Irish immigrant to New York City who was put on a so-called "orphan train" to the Midwest with hundreds of other children—and she can understand, better than anyone else, the emotional binds that have been making Molly’s life so hard. Together, they not only clear boxes of past mementos from Vivian’s attic, but forge a path of friendship, forgiveness, and new beginnings.

The Way Life Should Be with Bonus Material

release date: Mar 05, 2013
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The Way Life Should Be with Bonus Material
For a limited time, and at a special price, discover Christina Baker Kline's The Way Life Should Be with Bonus Material. Plus, receive an excerpt from Christina Baker Kline's new book Orphan Train, available April 2nd. In The Way Life Should Be, Angela Russo finds herself in Maine thanks to a sailing instructor, an impulse, and an idea that in Maine, people live "the way life should be." But reality on Mount Desert Island is not what she expected. Far from everything familiar, Angela begins to rebuild her life from the ground up. Relying on the flair for Italian cooking she inherited from her grandmother, she begins to discover the pleasures and secrets of her new small community—and to connect her heritage to a future she is only beginning to envision.

Desire Lines: A Novel

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The Way Life Should Be

release date: Oct 13, 2009
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The Way Life Should Be
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train, and the critically acclaimed author of Bird in Hand, comes a novel of love, risk, and self-discovery—includes a special PS section featuring insights, interviews, and more. Angela can feel the clock ticking. She is single in New York City, stuck in a job she doesn’t want and a life that seems to have, somehow, just happened. She inherited a flair for Italian cooking from her grandmother, but she never seems to have the time for it—these days, her oven holds only sweaters. Tacked to her office bulletin board is a photo from a magazine of a tidy cottage on the coast of Maine—a charming reminder of a life that could be hers, if she could only muster the courage to go after it. On a hope and a chance, Angela decides to pack it all up and move to Maine, finding the nudge she needs in the dating profile of a handsome sailor who loves dogs and Italian food. But her new home isn’t quite matching up with the fantasy. Far from everything familiar, Angela begins to rebuild her life from the ground up. Working at a local coffeehouse, she begins to discover the pleasures and secrets of her new small-town community and, in the process, realizes there’s really no such thing as the way life should be.

A Piece of the World

release date: Feb 21, 2017
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A Piece of the World
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "A must-read for anyone who loves history and art.” --Kristin Hannah From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the smash bestseller Orphan Train, a stunning and atmospheric novel of friendship, passion, and art, inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s mysterious and iconic painting Christina’s World. "Later he told me that he’d been afraid to show me the painting. He thought I wouldn’t like the way he portrayed me: dragging myself across the field, fingers clutching dirt, my legs twisted behind. The arid moonscape of wheatgrass and timothy. That dilapidated house in the distance, looming up like a secret that won’t stay hidden." To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century. As she did in her beloved smash bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of America’s history. Bringing into focus the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait, she vividly imagines the life of a woman with a complicated relationship to her family and her past, and a special bond with one of our greatest modern artists. Told in evocative and lucid prose, A Piece of the World is a story about the burdens and blessings of family history, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy.
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