"[Kline's] insightful, evocative prose brings Christina's singular perspective and indomitable spirit to life."--Publishers Weekly
"Andrew Wyeth's celebrated painting Christina's World has her back to the viewer, but Kline turns her to face the reader, simultaneously equipping her with a back story and a lyrical voice...A character portrait that is painterly, sensuous, and sympathetic."--Kirkus Reviews
"A graceful, moving and powerful demonstration of what can happen when a fearless literary imagination combines with an inexhaustible curiosity about the past and the human heart."--Michael Chabon
"The inscrutable figure in the foreground of Wyeth's Christina's World is our American Mona Lisa, and Christina Baker Kline has pulled back the veil to imagine her rich story. Tender [and] tragic."--Lily King, author of Euphoria
"A brilliantly imagined fictional memoir of the woman in the famed Wyeth painting 'Christina's World, ' so detailed, moving, and utterly transportive that I'll never be able to look at the painting again without thinking of this book and the characters who populate its pages."--Erik Larson
"A gorgeous read."--Real Simple
"Kline's gift is to dispense with the fustiness and fact-clogged drama that can weigh down some historical novels to tell a pure, powerful story of suffering met with a fight. In fiction, in her quiet way, Christina triumphs - and so does this novel."--O, the Oprah Magazine
"Readers will savor the quotidian details that compose Christina's 'quiet country life.' Orphan Train was a best-seller and popular book-discussion choice, so expect demand."---Booklist
From the Back Cover
"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 paintings of the twentieth century, Christina's World.
As she did in her beloved 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, Kline vividly imagines her life--with her complicated relationship to her family and her past, and her 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.