Thursday, June 8, 2017
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline Review & Giveaway!
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.
My Thoughts: I was already a fan of this author because of Orphan Train. I love her writing style and how she gets right into the hearts of her characters. In A Piece of the World, Kline takes on the iconic figure, Christina Olson. Now, I knew about Christina Olson because she lived in Maine (like me!) and my grandparents had a framed print of Christina's World in their living room when I was growing up. The painting....
Christina Olson suffered from many physical limitations that made walking and moving an incredible struggle. Despite very significant disabilities Christina was the strength within her household from a very early age. Kline does a remarkable job of portraying the despair of the drudgery of day-to-day life in a very isolated part of the country. Sometimes the book felt achingly heavy to read....but in a good way if that makes any sense at all! There were sparks of hope and happiness within the pages though particularly when Andrew Wyeth enters the scene.
Wyeth is portrayed as a real ray of sunshine in what must have been a very dreary existence for Christina. His interest in her life both surprised and delighted her and the result was some of the very best in Americana art. As I was reading the book I found myself googling Wyeth, wanting to see his images as well as the paintings he had done on the Olson property. I was spellbound.
I can't recommend this book enough. It was a fascinating read that connected me to a part of Maine history. Christina Baker Kline has once again taken facts and added her wonderfully imaginative special touch. This is a must read! You can pick it up today on the Harper Collins website HERE.
I am thrilled to tell you that the publisher, Harper Collins, is giving one lucky Reviewed by Mom reader a copy of A Piece of the World. Thanks so much to the sponsor and good luck!
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