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Desire Lines    by Christina Baker Kline order for
Desire Lines
by Christina Baker Kline
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2014 (1998)
Hardcover, Softcover, Audio, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Rheta Van Winkle

The title of Desire Lines is explained early in the book, as foot trails made through unmarked territory, and it's important to know this since one of the characters, Jennifer, was involved in an orienteering club in high school. She disappeared on the night after she graduated from high school. She was never found, but because she had been extremely adept at orienteering and seemed to have a built-in compass, her friends and relatives were never certain whether she had died or run away.

Jennifer's best friend, Kathryn Campbell, is the lead in this story. Kathryn was devastated by the disappearance, to the point that her life has seemed pointless. We meet her when she is leaving a failed marriage, moving from Charlottesville, Virginia to her childhood home in Bangor, Maine. She plans to stay with her mother until she has recovered a bit from the divorce and figured out what to do next with her life. Coincidentally it has been ten years since she graduated from high school and her class reunion will take place soon after she arrives. Kathryn and Jennifer were part of a close-knit group of six friends, who were all traumatized by Jennifer's loss in one way or another and have therefore not kept in touch. The plot revolves around Kathryn's agonizing about her life as she once again endures painful encounters with these friends and others from her past.

Although this book is well written, I didn't enjoy it much. Some details of the mystery were transparent while others of the so-called clues were incomprehensible, once the reader comes to the end of the book. The self-conscious suffering of the main character seemed unbelievable, even strange, since she had apparently moved on with her life by finishing college and getting married. High school problems are elucidated ad nauseam and having loved Orphan Train by this author, I was expecting better from her in this book.

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