A Piece of the World

A Piece of the World

A Novel

Large Print - 2017
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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.
Publisher: New York, NY : HarperLuxe, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2017.
Edition: First HarperLuxe edition.
ISBN: 9780062644183
Characteristics: 388 pages : color illustration ; 23 cm


From the critics

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Sep 11, 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!

Aug 06, 2018

I admired the book. I agree with another author, Nathan Hill, quoted on the following website: "This is a novel that does what Andrew Wyeth’s famous painting does: it renders a whole universe of love and longing inside a seemingly simple scene."

Author's website: http://christinabakerkline.com/novels/a-piece-of-the-world/

How much of the story is true? See https://www.bookclubgirl.com/book_club_girl/2017/02/behind-a-piece-of-the-world.html


Picture of brother mentioned on p. 132 is The Oil Lamp

Picture p. 136, Christina Olson, can be seen at

The original is at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Famous picture Christina's World is at the Museum of Modern Art. The book has a reproduction at the end, but this website is a better reproduction; click on the picture and listen to the audio.
https://www.moma.org/collection/works/78455. Notice how you see each blade of grass.

This article discusses how physicians view the painting:

P. 173 mentions a story about a woman trapped behind wallpaper. I believe this is The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Both books are sympathetic portraits of women who are circumscribed by patriarchal society.

Jul 02, 2018

This story made me sad for Christina and her brother Al, but it drew me in and I felt like a part of their lives. I would definitely recommend this book. It reminded me of summer trips to see my grandmother in rural P.E.I. before they had electricity or indoor plumbing. My uncle lived with and took care of my grandmother - almost imprisoned there, much like Al, as she couldn’t live on her own. A beautiful read.

Jun 26, 2018

Using the famous Andrew Wyeth painting "Christina’s World", Kline successfully merges some known facts with fiction to imagine the life of Christina Olson. The characters are fully developed and real, and the pace somewhat slower and more strenuous - the way farm life was in the early and mid-20th century. An engaging read.

k_t Jun 26, 2018

A compelling read about rural Maine in the early 21st century. Based on a true story of an artist and his muse. Although Christina's life wasn't particularly 'exciting', it was a really interesting read and I enjoyed the way it was written. Recommended to historical fiction fans.

ArapahoeAnnaL Mar 06, 2018

The plot doesn't follow the typical narrative of a woman's life, partly because the setting never changes. This book is about lack of fulfillment and loss and so it is remarkable that it is so life affirming!

Feb 15, 2018

It's not just Andrew Wyeth's mysterious picture anymore. It's an intriguing story. Nicely told.

Feb 13, 2018

Did you ever look at the Andrew Wyeth's picture of Christina's World and wonder why she was crawling towards the bleak New England house? In this beautifully written book, author Kline imagines what the relationship between the painter and this isolated woman might have been. Here is a link to my review: http://perfectretort.blogspot.com/2018/02/title-piece-of-world-author-christina.html

Oct 24, 2017

Kline has recreated the story of Andrew Wyeth’s picture, Christina’s World. She’s done the research and the stark world of Anna Christina Olson comes to life in this deftly written book. I’ll never be able to see the picture without also seeing the dead-end life Christina had.

Jcheng1234 Oct 02, 2017

Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train, did an amazing job writing a memoir of a historical character, also called Christina, using not only research but also her imagination. Christina’s life and emotional world were described in a way that felt very real and brought her to life. I could totally feel her loneliness and struggles in her small world. I especially like the author’s detailed description of a life living on a farm, shedding light on the hardship and the character’s pride. I didn’t realize that there was a real drawing by the artist until I reached the end of the book. The iconic painting of Andrew Wyeth inspired by the Christina he knew really completed the whole story.

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Jun 07, 2017

"When you live on a farm, everyone is uncomfortable much of the time." p 108

Jun 07, 2017

“Intensity—painting emotion into objects—is the only thing I care about.” quote of Andrew. p 97

Jun 07, 2017

"I read once that the act of observing changes the nature of what is observed. That is certainly true for Al and me. We are more attuned to the beauty of this old house, with its familiar corners, when Andy is here." p 94

Jun 07, 2017

On how people see death: "...the places we go in our minds to find comfort have little to do with where our bodies go." p 88.


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