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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Debra V. (Kenosha, WI)

a piece of the world
I enjoy stories about art and artists and thought it would be interesting to learn more about Andrew Wyeth and this particular painting. Especially since the painting itself is very disturbing. I do think that Baker-Klinr caught the essence of that piece of art in her book and the story was as interesting as "Orphan Train". I never did manage to develop a liking for Christina, her behavior toward her brother Al especially bothered me because I felt that his sacrifice was just as great as hers.
Nancy K. (Perrysburg, OH)

Christina's World
Most people are familiar with Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World, even if they are not into art. Ms. Kline has written this book to tell us more about the subject of the painting, not the painting itself nor not Andrew Wyeth, the artist. Hoping to read and learn more about Mr. Wyeth, I found myself disappointed. In the book he is called Andy, and I frequently had to remind myself who he was because he plays such a small part in this story. Ms. Kline shares the same first name, Christina, of the main character and she grew up in Maine so that is why she became interested in writing this book.
I think the best word to describe the book is melancholy, as I found it to be quite sad and depressing. Yes, it is well-written, but at times I wanted to just shake Christina's friends and tell them to do more to help her escape he sad life. Perhaps people interested in modern art would be interested in reading and discussing this book.
Jane B. (Chicago, IL)

A simple well-told story of a simple life
This is a simple straightforward story about a determined woman with a degenerative disease that lived with her younger brother on the family farm in Maine. When she was in her 40's the woman, Christina Olsen was visited by,a friend, Betsy James and her soon to be husband, artist, Andrew Wyeth. Wyeth became a frequent visitor to the farm and Christina, her brother, their house and the farm itself became Wyeth's subjects. The famous painting Christina's World was one result of Wyeth's fascination with the Olsens. But this book is not about Wyeth,rather it is about Christina, her life's struggles and gains. It reminded me of the books in the school library about famous people. This book would possibly appeal to young adult readers who might have found the painting of Christina's World interesting. The author tells Christina's story "blending fiction and non fiction, filling in the details, illuminating stories that have been unnoticed or obscured" and gives us the story of the simple life of Christina Olsen.
Barbara R. (Lander, WY)

Christina's World
A print of Christina's World has hung in my living room for almost 50 years. Over time I learned that the woman in the painting was real and was crippled. It changed my perception of Wyeth's work. While reading the book, I spent some time online learning more about the Wyeths, Christina, and her ancestors. I looked through other works of Wyeth's with a new eye, seeing the portrait of Christina in the doorway, Mamey's tattered lace curtains, and the significance of a blue door.
After reading A Piece of the World, I will never look at my print without thinking of the subject as presented by Christina Baker Kline. Kline's Christina is strong-willed and determined to be as self-sufficient as her disability will allow. She is often unlikable, but she forms a bond with Andrew Wyeth, who is able to see in her what others don't.
Dorothy H. (Folsom, CA)

The Story behind Andrew Wyeth's painting Christina's World
The author of this historical fiction, presents the back story of the girl in Andrew Wyeth's famous painting. The author tells of the painter and his interaction with Christina and her family. The book is about the family history starting in the 1900s. A good read of an era gone by of a family highs and lows of life.
Mary A. (Lake Nebagamon, WI)

Good Historical Novel
This is a story of family loyalty and the dream of exploration. Christina being a very smart child in school was also inflicted with a debilitating ailment. Christina's life may have been disappointing, but she did have many bright times.

The author gives a good feel of the seafaring people in Maine in the early 29th century and an interesting family history of Christina. It was very interesting on the medical care at the time.

As an artist, I expected more of the story involving Andrew Wyeth, but the story is centered around Christina. Andrew was, most likely, the only one that really understood Christina.

Beyond the Book:
  Christina's World

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