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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
    Paperback:
    Jan 2018, 384 pages

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There are currently 46 reader reviews for A Piece of the World
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Power Reviewer
Beverly D. (Palm Harbor, FL)

A quiet gem
The quietly contemplative story of the inspiration for Christina's World. The lyrical writing invites us into her world, a hardscrabble farm life from which she never escapes.Kline's sense of place and the times makes her story memorable and moving. Highly recommended...excellent book club choice!
Cosette R. (Oakland, CA)

Pictures Come to Life
I've long lived with a copy of "Master Bedroom" by Andrew Wyeth hanging in my home. I am compelled to look at it each time I pass by.

A Piece of the World takes us even deeper into that world, bringing not only the artist, but his subjects into sharp focus. Ms. Kline draws the stark, yet changeable, landscapes (both geographic and personal) with words that resonate.

This isn't a deep book, but it's a great read and highly enjoyable.
Donna W. (Lansing, NY)

One of the best that I've read...
The words and emotions are powerful and characters are brought to life, so intensely in this beautifully written historical fiction of the main protagonist, Christina and her family.

The story is fraught with both humor and sadness, as we struggle along with Christina throughout her navigation of what all of us could describe as a difficult farm life, at best of times.

I was so entwined in the lives of many of the family and friends of Christina, as each and every character offered their own perspectives on how she should live her life. In the end, she clearly did it in her own way, for better or for worse...
Kathrin C. (Corona, CA)

A Piece of the World
Every now and again I come across a book that I would call a "jewel novel". A Piece of the World falls into that category. I enjoyed it thoroughly. The story focused on the lives of Christina Olson who suffered a lifelong degenerative disease and her brother Al as they spent their entire lives at the family farm in Maine from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s. And into those lives entered artist Andrew Wyeth, who ended up staying at the farm intermittently throughout many years, sketching, drawing and painting landscapes, still lifes and portraits and all along he and Christina formed a deep, indelible friendship. Pieces from this landscape, the farm house, livestock, farm implements and Christina and Al were portrayed on his canvases. It was amazing to now look through my copy of Andrew Wyeth, Autobiography and see and feel what came behind many of the paintings in an entirely new way.
Jean G. (Rockford, IL)

Fasinating History
It is always a pleasure to learn more about American history and this book doesn't disappoint. And especially to learn the story behind a famous painting by a famous artist who lived in the US in the first half of the 20th century is great. A well written book, easy to follow, even as the author shifts back and forth in time. This novel compelled me to delve deeper into the artist's life and his paintings after reading it. There is great insight into the lives of those who lived through war and didn't have the capabilities to make their lives easier. Book clubs could discuss the reasons behind the various choices made by the main characters throughout their lives.
John O'Donnell (Philadelphia, PA), novelist

Another Masterpiece
The author of the best-selling "Orphan Train," Christina Baker Kline scales new literary heights with this story of Christina Olson, the subject of Andrew Wyeth's famous 1948 portrait we know as "Christina's World." The novel draws profoundly and poignantly from American—particularly New England—literary sources and to an overpowering denouement. With delicate palette, stark images, sharp tones and loving care, the author has written this novel the way Andrew Wyeth painted the canvas.
Power Reviewer
Sylvia G. (Scottsdale, AZ)

Christina's World
Taking as inspiration the Andrew Wyeth painting, Christina's World, Kline imagines the life of the woman who sat for and inspired the famous painting. One of the best books I read this year. The writing is so beautiful, impactful and wise. I often re-read sentences and paragraphs to savor the language. Moving, even haunting at times, this is an outstanding book.
Marsha S. (Nags Head, NC)

A Piece of the World
This is a book that I could not put down from almost the very first page. I had only a vague remembrance of the painting of which Christina Olson is the subject, but do remember wondering when I first saw it what could possibly be the meaning or inspiration for it. After reading Christina Baker Kline's insightful novel, now I think I know.

The author brings Christina Olsen to life through her words, and allows the readers to experience a glimpse of what it might have been like to grow up in her world. The conditions of her family history and environment alone would have been powerful forces in shaping her life and personality. The added burden of the physical limitations imposed by childhood illness create a cage in which few could flourish. But flourish she does, and perseveres stubbornly to carry on her life as normally as possible within that cage.

It's wonderful to imagine that Christina would have loved the painting, and believed that it allowed the world to finally see her.

Beyond the Book:
  Christina's World

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