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A Piece of the World


From the bestselling author of Orphan Train, a stunning novel of...
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Discuss A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline:
Discuss the balance of fact and fiction in the novel. Did the author's note change the way you thought about the book?

Created: 01/26/18

Replies: 12

Posted Jan. 26, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1519

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Discuss the balance of fact and fiction in the novel. Did the author's note change the way you thought about the book?

Which parts of Christina's life are probably based on biographical fact? What parts do you think the author added? Did your reading of Kline's Author's Note at the end of the novel change the way you thought about any aspect of the book? What about seeing the painting at the end of the novel?


Posted Jan. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 206

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RE: Discuss the balance of fact and fiction in the novel. Did the author's note change the way you thought about the book?

It’s interesting because I don’t think I read the authors note originally. I just went back and read it now. Apparently there is some information about the real Christina which I’m glad to know. There is always a fine line in historical fiction between the history and the fiction. Personally I prefer more history though dialogue is almost always fiction and that interpretation is often what drags these kinds of books down. I don’t necessarily think that’s the case here. But what has been pointed out on this discussion board, is that there was too much information about how hard life was on a farm. This seemed to be filler since there probably wasn’t enough information for an entire novel and that filler was more fiction than fact since we don’t really know what Christina’s day to day life was in real life


Posted Jan. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
raynat

Join Date: 02/29/12

Posts: 27

RE: Discuss the balance of fact and fiction in the novel. Did the author's note change the way you thought about the book?

I enjoyed this book so much. It is so well written and I kept writing phrases from the book. I like to underline things I like usually but I am passing this on to a friend and don't like to deface a brand new book as she passes them on to the local library.

I guess I didn't pay attention to whether it was fact or fiction. I can't wait to see what her next book will be.


Posted Jan. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 213

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RE: Discuss the balance of fact and fiction in the novel. Did the author's note change the way you thought about the book?

I actually wish I had read the author's note before reading the book. It would have answered a lot of the questions I had while reading. However, the questions that came up while reading gave me a reason to continue to read.


Posted Jan. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 106

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RE: Discuss the balance of fact and fiction in the novel. Did the author's note change the way you thought about the book?

I was both familiar with the painting and the back story of Christina and Wyeth's " friendship." I didn't mind the repetitive description of Christina's chores and daily life because it accented her physical deterioration but her mental and physical determination to keep up with the work, even if it meant dragging herself across the room or up the stairs using only her arms for propulsion. Historical fiction always involves dialogue and situations that may have occurred but may or may not have actually. In that regard, Kline, through her research was at least accurate to the possibilities. Was there a boyfriend from Boston? Did her parents and others try to get her to seek professional help? Who knows but it is in the realm of possibility.


Posted Jan. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elyseg

Join Date: 11/13/17

Posts: 12

RE: Discuss the balance of fact and fiction in the novel. Did the author's note change the way you thought about the book?

I always read the author's note in books like this, based on some true story. Often, I read it first, but always while I'm reading. There always comes a point where I wonder just what's true and what isn't. It often helps in the understanding of the book, in making some questionable plot points more believable.

In this case though, I don't think it made much difference to me how much was true, just maybe made some areas more interesting.


Posted Jan. 30, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joycew

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 90

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RE: Discuss the balance of fact and fiction in the novel. Did the author's note change the way you thought about the book?

I thought Kline did a wonderful job of mixing the fact and fiction. Her writing is beautiful and though sad, I really liked the book and am recommending it to my friends.


Posted Jan. 31, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 125

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RE: Discuss the balance of fact and fiction in the novel. Did the author's note change the way you thought about the book?

There is a good balance between fact and fiction in this book. The author’s note brought clarity, but didn’t change how I felt about the book. I really liked the novel.


Posted Feb. 01, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynnel

Join Date: 10/25/17

Posts: 8

RE: Discuss the balance of fact and fiction in the novel. Did the author's note change the way you thought about the book?

I was interested in the book because the painting Christina’s World is a favorite of mine and also because I heard an NPR interview with Christina Kline in which she spoke at length of the extensive research she did on the Olsen family, and Christina in particular. Her comments made Christina Olsen seem compellingly real. Knowing that the subject in the painting was a real woman and more than an iconic artistic figure was enhanced by the author’s note. It led me to feel that there was as much or more fact than fiction in the novel, an aspect of the book that I liked.


Posted Feb. 04, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lbellg

Join Date: 02/23/14

Posts: 40

RE: Discuss the balance of fact and fiction in the novel. Did the author's note change the way you thought about the book?

This is something Kline does especially well, just as she did in Orphan Train. Pulling fact into her prose makes her fiction more believable.


Posted Feb. 05, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 169

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RE: Discuss the balance of fact and fiction in the novel. Did the author's note change the way you thought about the book?

I think the author's note added to the story and certainly helped me understand what was going on in the author's mind when writing the book. I agree with someone else who wished she had read the notes first. I think this would have given me more interest in the book.


Posted Feb. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PiperUp

Join Date: 10/27/15

Posts: 80

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RE: Discuss the balance of fact and fiction in the novel. Did the author's note change the way you thought about the book?

The author's note didn't change the way I thought about the story but I appreciated the additional information it provided.


Posted Feb. 07, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
virginiap

Join Date: 03/01/12

Posts: 18

RE: Discuss the balance of fact and fiction in the novel. Did the author's note change the way you thought about the book?

Sometimes a novel based on fact but written as fiction rings true and you know while you are reading, you are getting the true story. And of course you can always check the resources the author used. While I thought this book was pretty accurate based on having read a biography of Andrew Wyeth, I felt Kline embellished the relationship and the story did not come across to me as being as accurate as other historical fiction I have read. I did not feel this way about Kline's book, Orphan Train , so I felt like Kline just didn't have as much actual information to go on in this book and she had to add her own perspective.


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