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A Piece of the World: A Novel by Christina…
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A Piece of the World: A Novel (edition 2017)

by Christina Baker Kline (Author)

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5655025,204 (3.97)33
Member:BookBuddies
Title:A Piece of the World: A Novel
Authors:Christina Baker Kline (Author)
Info:William Morrow (2017), Edition: First Edition, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:2017 08/22

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A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

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» See also 33 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
So much of this fine novel felt sad and almost bleak, yet Christina, the model for Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World was resolute despite her overwhelming limitations both physical and economic. She had a few bright moments of joy, but was often bitter and pained. The book was a quick read and the ending was lovely and fulfilling so I'm glad I read it, but the pervasive heaviness made it hard to return to the book each time I put it down. ( )
  njinthesun | Sep 22, 2018 |
With extensive research and a dash of literary license, Kline illustrates the difficult life of the subject of Andrew Wyeth's memorable painting, Christina's World. I've a fondness for "the story behind the art" novels, whether real, embellished or imagined. This was at once a quick, engaging, infuriating and inspiring read. Recommended! ( )
  ryner | Sep 11, 2018 |
This is one of her best! I love how she weaves historical with facts to create this beautiful somewhat accurate to events story line. She was one strong but selfish woman. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! ( )
  Chelz286 | Aug 26, 2018 |
It is a famous picture. Christina’s World but what is the story behind the painting. Based on facts and imagination. The author tries to answer this question. ( )
  jerry-book | Jul 7, 2018 |
I have long been fascinated with the artwork of Andrew Wyeth, and particularly his body of work centered around Christina Olson and her rustic home in Maine. I knew, therefore, that a well constructed book about those persons would be interesting to me. For once, I got more than I anticipated. This book is marvelous.

I must say, in fairness, that this is more about Christina herself and has less to do with Andrew Wyeth or his art than I had thought it would. No problem. Christina is a complex and multidimensional person with a life worth the exploration. Crippled at an early age, she is a study in self-reliance, strength, and perseverance. She is a study, as well, in the loneliness and isolation that comes with being different.

It’s a good question. How do I think of myself? The answer surprises us both. “I think of myself as a girl,” I say.

One of the themes at the heart of this novel is the difference between how we see others and how they see themselves. Christina encounters so many people who see her as her infirmities, who discount her feeling and her intelligence because she has a broken body. Her brother sees her as his sister, who manages to take care of a home and family despite her limitations and as his playmate and sibling who has shared his life. She sees herself as a whole person, encased in a chrysalis from which there is no escape.

It is this that explains the relationship that forms between the artist and his subject:
Andy doesn’t usually bring anything, or offer to help. He doesn’t register alarm at the way we live. He doesn’t see us as a project that needs fixing. He doesn’t perch on a chair, or linger in a doorway, with the air of someone who wants to leave, who’s already halfway out the door. He just settles in and observes.

As we watch Christina’s life unfold, we see how much of it is dictated by how others see her. We watch her dream and we watch those dreams destroyed, we see windows of opportunity open and close with slams that echo like the screen doors of the old house. We watch her world collapse upon her, and yet we see her struggle to make the most of the life she is given. At the end, these words of Kline’s sum it up completely, The older I get, the more I believe that the greatest kindness is acceptance.

This novel is everything that I look for in a great novel. There are characters that are real and lives that have meaning. There is tension for these characters to transcend and obstacles to power through, and the glory of the human spirit to applaud and descry.

That this is based upon the life of an actual historic person makes it all the more poignant. I will now view Wyeth’s Christina’s World with a new layer of meaning. For as our character, Christina, says, Here is what I know: Sometimes the least believable stories are the true ones.

( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
In her lyrical new novel, “A Piece of the World,” Christina Baker Kline uncovers Ms. Olson’s diamond-sharp mind and flawed heart, which longs for someone to rescue her from a life circumscribed by hardship and geography.....
 
Christina Baker Kline has taken this powerfully creepy icon of American art and fleshed out the real-life story behind it, using the historical figures of Wyeth and his model Christina Olson as two of her characters and following their story so closely as to be barely fiction at all. Kline's portrait of her main character is moving in an unsentimental way as she evokes the New England landscape, the torment of crippling disease, and the piece of history embodied in Olson's story....
 
Christina Baker Kline sets herself a stark challenge in her new novel — giving flesh to the back story of the woman who crawls across a desolate field in Andrew Wyeth’s iconic painting, “Christina’s World.”...Christina Baker Kline sets herself a stark challenge in her new novel — giving flesh to the back story of the woman who crawls across a desolate field in Andrew Wyeth’s iconic painting, “Christina’s World.”
 
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Epigraph
"There was a very strange connection.  One of those odd collisions that happen.  We were a little alike; I was an unhealthy child that was kept at home.  So there was an unsaid feeling between us that was wonderful, an utter naturalness.  We'd sit for hours and not say a word, and then she'd say something and I'd answer her.  A reporter once asked her what we talked about.  She said, 'Nothing foolish.'"
---Andrew Wyeth
Dedication
For my father, who showed me the world
First words
Later he told me he'd been afraid to show me the painting.
Quotations
"It is a terrible thing to find the love of your life,
Christina, " she says. "You know too well what you're missing when it's gone."
Even in the midst if a pleasurable outing I'm aware of how ephemeral it is.  The water is warm but will cool.  The ocean is a sheet if glass, but wind is picking up, far across the horizon.  The bonfire is roaring but will dwindle.  Walton is beside me, his arm around my shoulder, but all too soon he will be gone.
Hours accumulate like snow, recede like the tide.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062356267, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:02:07 -0400)

Imagines the life story of Christina Olson, the subject of Andrew Wyeth's painting "Christina's World," describing the simple life she led on a remote Maine farm, her complicated relationship with her family, and the illness that incapacitated her.

(summary from another edition)

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