Book Review: A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train

Title:  A Piece of the World
Author: Christina Baker Kline
Publisher: William Morrow, Imprint of HarperCollins Publisher
Release Date:  February 21, 2017
Genre: Literary Fiction

"Graceful, moving and powerful.” --Michael Chabon, New York Times bestselling author of Moonglow

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.

This edition includes a four-color reproduction of Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World.

Christina's World, and iconic American Art painting by Andrew Wyeth depicted a girl crawling towards a dilapidated house. Who is that girl and why is she crawling? New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline answered those questions in her latest release, A Piece of the World.  I had enjoyed Orphan Train and thought it well written. So I was looking forward to A Piece of the World, especially since I'm familiar with the painting that inspired it.

Somber and melancholic throughout, you may not even like the main character, Christina nor will you fall particularly in love with any of the characters for that matter. However, you won't be able to deny the story's intensity or the message of being fully attached to something or someone. Christina's paralysis is not only physical, though that is the reason, but it's emotional and even mental. She's anchored to her home, to the only place she knows, but to all, at least to her brother, Al, "it's become a prison..." and they're "inmates." (278)  Maybe we can relate. Is there something or some place or even some one that you're attached to, and no matter what, that something or some place or someone is a reason for many of your decisions? However it is, I may not find A Piece of the World my cup of tea, or the type of story that satisfy my reading habits, but it is indeed well written.  And if you're a fan of character driven fiction or you're a fan of art and its many reasons for how an artist depicts a subject, A Piece of the World is a story you should check out.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Christina Baker Kline is the author of five novels. She lives out-side of New York City and on the coast of Maine.

Find out more about Kline at her website, connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

TO CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:  Website | Facebook Twitter

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