A Piece of the World

A Piece of the World

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"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


From the critics

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Jul 02, 2018

This story made me sad for Christina and her brother Al, but it drew me in and I felt like a part of their lives. I would definitely recommend this book. It reminded me of summer trips to see my grandmother in rural P.E.I. before they had electricity or indoor plumbing. My uncle lived with and took care of my grandmother - almost imprisoned there, much like Al, as she couldn’t live on her own. A beautiful read.

Jun 26, 2018

Using the famous Andrew Wyeth painting "Christina’s World", Kline successfully merges some known facts with fiction to imagine the life of Christina Olson. The characters are fully developed and real, and the pace somewhat slower and more strenuous - the way farm life was in the early and mid-20th century. An engaging read.

k_t Jun 26, 2018

A compelling read about rural Maine in the early 21st century. Based on a true story of an artist and his muse. Although Christina's life wasn't particularly 'exciting', it was a really interesting read and I enjoyed the way it was written. Recommended to historical fiction fans.

ArapahoeAnnaL Mar 06, 2018

The plot doesn't follow the typical narrative of a woman's life, partly because the setting never changes. This book is about lack of fulfillment and loss and so it is remarkable that it is so life affirming!

Feb 15, 2018

It's not just Andrew Wyeth's mysterious picture anymore. It's an intriguing story. Nicely told.

Feb 13, 2018

Did you ever look at the Andrew Wyeth's picture of Christina's World and wonder why she was crawling towards the bleak New England house? In this beautifully written book, author Kline imagines what the relationship between the painter and this isolated woman might have been. Here is a link to my review: http://perfectretort.blogspot.com/2018/02/title-piece-of-world-author-christina.html

Oct 24, 2017

Kline has recreated the story of Andrew Wyeth’s picture, Christina’s World. She’s done the research and the stark world of Anna Christina Olson comes to life in this deftly written book. I’ll never be able to see the picture without also seeing the dead-end life Christina had.

Jcheng1234 Oct 02, 2017

Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train, did an amazing job writing a memoir of a historical character, also called Christina, using not only research but also her imagination. Christina’s life and emotional world were described in a way that felt very real and brought her to life. I could totally feel her loneliness and struggles in her small world. I especially like the author’s detailed description of a life living on a farm, shedding light on the hardship and the character’s pride. I didn’t realize that there was a real drawing by the artist until I reached the end of the book. The iconic painting of Andrew Wyeth inspired by the Christina he knew really completed the whole story.

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.

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.

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Jun 07, 2017

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

Jun 07, 2017

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

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

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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