THE WAY LIFE SHOULD BE by Christina Baker Kline


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A New Yorker moves to Maine in the latest from Kline (Desire Lines, 1999, etc.).

As she approaches her mid-30s, Angela Russo is finding her life less than satisfying. True, she successfully made the move from Nutley, N.J., to Manhattan after college, but she hasn’t done much since. Her job as an events planner for an art museum has become routine, and she hasn’t had a proper romance in quite some time. She loves to cook, but she long ago ceased to bother, and she daydreams about leaving the big city behind for an adorable cottage on the coast of Maine. Everything changes, though, when she clicks on a banner ad for a dating service and discovers a pleasingly disheveled, blue-eyed blond who calls himself “MaineCatch.” Flirtation by e-mail and phone ensues, and Angela neglects the other areas of her life as she pursues this new dalliance. Her distraction culminates in disaster—she hires a mentally unbalanced fire-eater for a museum gala and fails to buy supplemental fire insurance. Subsequently left jobless, she decides to take a chance on love. She gives up her apartment, puts most of her stuff in storage and moves to Maine, where she discovers that MaineCatch is not quite the rustic Renaissance man she’d been imagining. He does not, for example, live in the seaside cottage of her fantasies, but, rather, in an alarmingly charmless condo in a barren new subdivision, and Angela quickly realizes that he was not being clever or ironic when he sent her this haiku: “Soon you’ll be coming / We’ll have lots of sex I hope / My bed is king size.” MaineCatch, it turns out, is not just a philistine, but also a bit of a bounder. Realizing this, Angela finds herself alone in Maine. Never fear: She makes friends, rediscovers her love of cooking and, by novel’s end, finds herself on the brink of a new, better romance.

Earnestly unoriginal.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-079891-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2007

Kirkus Interview
Christina Baker Kline
author of ORPHAN TRAIN
May 12, 2014

Novelist Christina Baker Kline shares with Kirkus TV why she thinks readers have connected so well with her runaway bestseller, Orphan Train, and why it was surprising to her that more people don't know about the lost American history of the 20th century she reveals in the novel. View video >


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