Blending fact and fiction as she did in her previous novel, Orphan Train, author Christina Baker Kline narrates the story of Christina Olson and her family, who lived on a remote farm in Cushing, Maine. Theirs was a challenging existence lived between the unpredictability of the ocean and the rigors of the land. Each day meant hard work, few comforts, determination, and a willingness to work together.
From an early age, Christina knew personal struggle as her body was crippled by an undiagnosed infirmity. She persevered. Yet, her physical pain was exacerbated by her loneliness and the knowledge that she was always being observed—perceived as an oddity—but not really seen.
As the years passed, only Christina and her brother remained on the farm. One day a young artist, Andrew Wyeth, showed up at her home. Thus began a unique relationship in which Andrew set up his studio in the farm house and, for nearly 20 years, painted the world that Christina and her brother inhabited. Through Andrew’s perspective, Christina “saw familiar things anew.”
In Andrew Wyeth’s painting, “Christina’s World,” one of the best known paintings of the twentieth century, Christina’s fragility, determination, and willful spirit are still evident.
A Piece of the World is a gently paced novel made up of the big and small hopes of one woman’s life, hopes that were often dashed, but then resurrected in the knowledge that her yearning to be seen had finally been realized. (William Morrow)