• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (February 21, 2017)
“Graceful, moving and powerful.” –Michael Chabon, New York Times bestselling author of Moonglow
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the smash bestseller 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.
This edition includes a four-color reproduction of Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World.
“I am beginning to wonder if I will stay in this house forever, creeping up and down the stairs like the woman in the story.”
Uh, yeah. Can you say chilling? That’s basically the way the entire book goes- one frightening moment, followed by some introspection and a few tender moments. I really enjoyed the fact that the author didn’t give us another girl with an oyster egg earring, if you know what I mean.
While this isn’t the psych-thriller some people might expect, I appreciated the author’s lingering hand and attention to the most minute details. Though I admit to almost falling asleep a couple of times due to the lulling quality of the prose. I don’t think it amounts to a bad quality so much as it goes to show that this is for those who enjoy a nice, quiet evening in, rather than a rush to the finish line.
There are times when the books seems to be alluding to some great secret, or building to some climax that never really happens, however, upon reflection, I think this is a great mirror to Christina’s own life, always on the brink of thinking she might have more hope than really exists, and more happiness than is easily achievable.
While I didn’t fall head over heels for this novel, I think it was a lack of connection to the setting more than anything. I greatly enjoyed reading this and am now even more interested in reading previous titles by this same author. If you enjoy historical fiction, biographical fiction, or literary fiction with female mcs, this will certainly be a book for you to sit down and enjoy!
3.5 stars and my sincere thanks to William Morrow and TLC Books for the review opportunity!