Summary and book reviews of A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

A Piece of the World

A Novel

by Christina Baker Kline

A Piece of the World
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  • Published:
    Feb 21, 2017, 320 pages

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About this Book

Book Summary

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the smash hit 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

[Kline’s] insightful, evocative prose brings Christina’s singular perspective and indomitable spirit to life.

Kirkus Reviews

A character portrait that is painterly, sensuous, and sympathetic.

Author Blurb (Nathan Hill, author of The Nix
With remarkable precision and compassion, A Piece of the World transports us to a mid-century farmhouse on the coast of Maine. But just like the painting that inspired it, this gorgeous novel is about so much more. Heartbreaking and life-affirming.

Author Blurb Rita Maggio at BookTowne, Manasquan, NJ
It is the unfolding of a masterpiece in hands of a beautiful writer.

Author Blurb Beth Carpenter of Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC
Kline has written another blockbuster of an historical novel, this time about Christina Olson, the subject of one of Andrew Wyeth's iconic paintings. I loved this novel and know readers everywhere will, too.

Author Blurb Karen Bakshoain of Letterpress Books, Portland, M
Beautiful art writing with an elegant ending – I feel like I visited with these characters myself, had tea with them, suffered their physical hardships and dreamed their dreams.

Author Blurb Cheryl Perrino of Nonesuch Books, South Portland, ME
It is my favorite of the year!

Reader Reviews

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 ...   Read More

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 ...   Read More

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 ...   Read More

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 ...   Read More

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