Reader reviews and comments on A Piece of the World, plus links to write your own review.

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A Piece of the World

A Novel

by Christina Baker Kline

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline X
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2017, 320 pages
    Jan 2018, 384 pages

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Ann Brown

A Perfect View
Beautifully written and hauntingly moving; this story of the life of Christina Olson, the model of the famous Andrew Wyeth painting, Christina's World, will not disappoint and more likely cause you to explore further the amazing artist and his work.
Cindy Dubinski

Christina's Back Story
Learn something about the place that inspired one of Andrew Wyeth's most haunting works, Christina's World. Understanding the back story of this woman and the isolation of her home situation increases my appreciation for the emotions of the painting, and the very plausible life of the real inspiration for Wyeth.
Shirley F

Christine's world
I loved this book and the way the author developed the character of Christine Olsen - the focus of a painting by Andrew Wyeth.
Christine suffered from a debilitating illness as a young child which affected her ability to walk. She attended a one room school and was easily the brightest child in the school. Her teacher encouraged her to continue in school to become a teacher, but Christine's father denied her the opportunity and replaced her education opportunities with a difficult life in the family home which lacked indoor plumbing, central heat, a telephone, electricity.
Christine did not want anyone's pity and her perseverance in meeting the challenges of daily life were inspiring and sadly detailed.
The author clearly depicted Christine's character development and her eventual bitterness that ensued. At one point where she had 4 summers of "love", it seemed that she would be able to be free of the burdens of her life but that was not meant to be, and she continued with her daily life and its challenges.
I highly recommend this book for all ages for discussion.
Cathy M. (Milwaukee, WI)

Christina's World
A Piece of the World is the story of Christina and how she becomes memorialized in Andrew Wyeth's famous painting, Christina's World. Christina has a degenerative condition, and at the end of the book she mostly just crawls. She can be compared to the house where she lives, the house in Wyeth's painting. As she becomes more disabled, her house becomes more dilapidated. The house is almost like a character in the book. Along with Christina, the house is a focal point in Wyeth's painting. In her childhood the house held all her dreams, but as she ages the house becomes an empty shell. Her dreams are gone.

I love reading the stories behind famous paintings. Anyone who feels the same way would love this book.
Jean N. (New Richmond, OH)

Christina's World
After reading this quiet thoughtful book, I felt like I had a new understanding of Wyeth's famous painting and the woman who inspired it. Christina's World is a seamless blend of fact and fiction. I loved the description of rural Maine in this time period. The author's writing took me there. Christina came alive as a person for me. I felt her determination to deal with her many challenges.

I love art and art museums. So, I connected with this book from that standpoint. However, I can highly recommend A Piece of The World to anyone who enjoys well researched, engaging historical fiction. This would be a great selection for book discussion groups.

I am looking forward to reading other books that Ms. Kline has written.
Sheila B. (Danvers, MA)

A Riveting Read
I found this book to be very sad, yet I couldn't put it down and was always reading a little bit more to find out what was going to happen. As far as the history goes, I feel Ms. Kline did an outstanding job of depicting rural daily life in the early 1900s. Being a young woman at that time wasn't easy...being a young woman with severe limitations had to be next to impossible, yet Christina persevered.
Susan B. (Hahira, GA)

A View Into Christina's World
When I picked up The Orphan's Train by Christina Baker Kline, I was swept away into a part of history I knew nothing about but her intensity and attention to detail. When I read that her next project was an exploration into Christina's World, I was thrilled and excited.

Of all of Andrew Wyeth's paintings, Christina's World has always been my favorite. I would spend hours in front of this painting trying to imagine who this girl was and what she was feeling. There was so much yearning in her pose.

As anticipated, Ms. Kline's talent and love of detail and research brought the rich history of the Maine coast, her people and specifically the Olson family and Christina alive. Andrew Wyeth, his wife Betsy and Christina became three dimensional and more than just historical characters I had read and studied about in art school. The empathy she shows for her characters made it all the more real for me.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. And, for those in book clubs, this is one entry that must be added to any list.
Terye B. (Boulder Creek, CA)

A Piece of the World
A marvelous story where we learn of the circumstances surrounding Andrew Wyeth's masterpiece, Christina's World. Christina Olson has lived at the farm house all her life, kept there by limited opportunities afforded her due to a mysterious childhood illness. Andrew Wyeth's girlfriend introduces him to the desolate Maine region, and he becomes transfixed by the stillness, the weather beaten surroundings. As Christina becomes accustomed to this stranger in her house, she reflects on her life, on her long ago romance. Through Christina Baker Kline's prose we feel the loneliness of Christina and the despair and worry of Andrew, who is trying to come to terms with his desire to produce great art, and to stay true to his vision.

Beyond the Book:
  Christina's World

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