A Piece of the World

A Piece of the World

A Novel

Book - 2017
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Graceful, moving and powerful."

--Michael Chabon, New York Times bestselling author of Moonglow

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.

This edition includes a four-color reproduction of Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World.

Publisher: New York :, William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062356260
Branch Call Number: FIC KLINE C

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e
Einer2
Sep 02, 2017

Can't wait to go to MoMa and see the painting again! I had no idea of the real story behind and this fictional version rings very true (much like Orphan Train). Also love it when I learn something new-like egg tempera. Will definitely look for more from this author.

r
Rubicat
Jul 12, 2017

This was a slow build to a devastating story. I ended up being very sad for these characters. The painting always made me feel sad & lonely and apparently this is a fairly universal feeling. I felt those things that Christina felt and although I found her hard to like at times, I could certainly understand her sadness, loneliness and bitterness. It was hard for me not to want to shake her and insist that she stop being her own worst enemy. An emotional read and really beautiful.

IPL_Mandy Jul 09, 2017

This beautifully written novel brings to life the woman and place that inspired Andrew Wyeth's painting, "Christina's World". Alternating between Christina's memories of her youth and her life as a middle-aged woman, the story reveals her struggles and triumphs as she manages with limited function in her legs and hands, and how the home that nurtured generations of her family both isolates and frees her. When the painter Andrew Wyeth enters her life, his paintings and perceptions force Christina to see herself and the place to which she belongs in a new way, one that challenges her understanding of her family and her choices in life.

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njon38
Jul 02, 2017

This is a well rendered fictional memoir of the woman in the Andrew Wyeth Painting "Christina's World". The detail and empathy is wonderful and I will never see that painting without imagining the life of fictional Christina.

GCPL_Angela Jul 01, 2017

Oh, what a beauty of a novel!

For a novel in which so very little happens, tangibly -- Christina, of course, rarely leaves the very narrow confines of her tiny "piece of the world" -- so very much happens in Christina's emotional world, and that inner landscape drew me in and spoke to me far more than I anticipated. Christina's voice is searing in Kline's spare, evocative prose. In very few words, she packs so much depth. This book is piercing in a wonderful way: like a sad, slow ballad full of longing and regret; bleak, but beautiful.

Highly recommended.

b
behere
Jun 07, 2017

The painting "Christina's World" is one of my favorites and Andrew Wyeth one of my favorite artists. This historical fiction book is very well written and has many true descriptions of living on a farm. I grew up on a farm and can relate to making your own clothing, being frugal, having a pump in the kitchen, no indoor plumbing, daily chores.

m
mjk236sb
Jun 05, 2017

I have always like this Andrew Wyeth picture and to read this book, even a fictional rendering of the story behind this was truly amazing. The author brought Christina to life and filled her difficult life with something other than hardship and pain. You could see the dreary life spent caring for her family in this dark house on the inside, but turned into such hope and light on the outside through the painting. This is a touching story, well developed and complete with references to other books about the time and location and the relationship between Christina and Andrew.

d
dallard67
May 27, 2017

A very well researched historical novel. Christina Baker Kline does an amazing job filling in the fictional details within the historical framework. While the book is great by itself, I really liked the references in the novel to other literary works (Emily Dickinson's poems, House of Seven Gables, The Yellow Wallpaper, My Antonia, and Ethan Frome) which if read along with A Piece of the World, provide additional context.

p
pp47
May 12, 2017

I could not put this book down but it was very sad to me .I feel the urge to know if the part of Walton was a true part of her story.

l
laphampeak
May 08, 2017

The author takes us into the emotional world of Christina Olson living her life on a Maine farm pulled in by the limits of her physical malady. I love a tale drawn from real events which, I feel, is part of the appeal. The events had life to them, thoughtful, but had rhythm and pace that hummed along without enough depth. The story draws from Christina's physical disability, her rural poverty, relationships, family, and connection to Wyeth.

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b
behere
Jun 07, 2017

"When you live on a farm, everyone is uncomfortable much of the time." p 108

b
behere
Jun 07, 2017

“Intensity—painting emotion into objects—is the only thing I care about.” quote of Andrew. p 97

b
behere
Jun 07, 2017

"I read once that the act of observing changes the nature of what is observed. That is certainly true for Al and me. We are more attuned to the beauty of this old house, with its familiar corners, when Andy is here." p 94

b
behere
Jun 07, 2017

On how people see death: "...the places we go in our minds to find comfort have little to do with where our bodies go." p 88.

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