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"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 20 years, she was host to and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the 20th century.
As she did in her beloved smash best seller 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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Poppy on 03-04-17
Wyeth's Vision Comes to Life
I've admired A Wyeth's work since I can remember. Often, I have gazed on "Christina's World" and been drawn into the house upon the hill, but inside I can't make out anything in the shadows.
This novel, although partially fictitious, has cleared some of the shadows, and my mind's eye can make out faint glimpses of what Christina in this painting might be seeing. The painting has always left me with the feeling that she sees much more than what is readily apparent in the image.
This book is well written, the story impeccably and intricately woven scenes that connect the past to the future, connect one life to another, connect Christina Olsen to Andrew Wyeth.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
By Katy on 03-06-17
I was completely mesmerized listening to this creative story told by a talented narrator. Being actively involved in researching my ancestry I felt like his could have been the story of one of my relatives born in the same area and time as this charming character portrayed in Andrew Wyeth's painting. I honestly don't think I can look at a painting again without imagining it's rich back-story . Sigh.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful