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A Piece of the World

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  58,931 ratings  ·  5,311 reviews
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
ebook, 352 pages
Published February 21st 2017 by William Morrow
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Sally No! I have to disagree! I agree that she went through much bitterness in her life (who wouldn't?!?!) but her final thought after seeing her painting, …moreNo! I have to disagree! I agree that she went through much bitterness in her life (who wouldn't?!?!) but her final thought after seeing her painting, I felt like was a sense of calm, completion...of finally being understood, or as she says, " What she wants most---what she truly yearns for---is what any of us want: to be seen. And look. She is." I loved that line! Plus knowing that the real Christina lived another 20 years after that amazes me! We could all learn many life lessons from this woman!(less)

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Diane S ☔
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Andrew Wyeth, his painting Christina's World would immortalize this young woman and her life. In fact many of his paintings would feature this farm, where he would visit and paint in the summers for twenty years, a farm that Christina's family had owned and lived in for generations. Cushing, Maine, how the family came here and whom there ancestors were is an interesting back story in itself.

Although Wyeth makes an appearance here and there, for the most part this is the story of Christina, her f
Elyse  Walters
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At times I thought of Helen Keller....wishing Christina Olson - [of this story] - had half the opportunities Helen Keller did. I was aching at times for Christina.
This was a gut wrenching sad story. I shed tears a couple of times - and found myself thankful for a relief of the 'smallest' gesture-of-expression-of sibling-love. The touch of a hand between Christina and her brother, Al, was one of the most beautiful moments in this novel to me. There were a couple other 'golden box' beautiful scen
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had read several good reviews for this book by people whose opinions I trust so I expected that I would like it too. I was surprised by how much I liked it and how very readable it was! I found it very hard to put down.

I was not familiar with Andrew Wyeth or his famous painting entitled Christina's World but it made for an excellent story. Poor stubborn Christina with her deformed limbs and constant pain was nevertheless a wonderful character. As the book progressed I began to wonder how on ea
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Andrew Wyeth spent his summers in Cushing, Maine with his family. It is here where he first met Christina Olson who later becomes the inspiration for his painting “Christina’s World”. Christina lived a tough life along with her brother Al on the neighboring farm. Their dilapidated home lacked modern day conveniences and had fallen into disrepair. Andrew encounters the Olsons through their neighbor Betsy and he decides to express their lives via a painting. As Andrew puts paint to canvas, the det ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
"I wanted to show.......both the desire and the hesitation."

You know it well. It's the famous painting by Andrew Wyeth in which a young girl's image is set within the Maine landscape of house, of barn, and of an ocean of endless grass. Wyeth seems to reveal nothing as he casts her likeness from behind. Yet, her thinly posed arms are stretched outward in familiar motion. This is, indeed, Christina's World.

Generation after generation of the Hathorne clan have lived and farmed on this plot of land
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, 1940s, art-world, maine
”Over the years, certain stories in the history of a family take hold. They’re passed from generation to generation, gaining substance and meaning along the way. You have to learn to sift through them, separating fact from conjecture, the likely from the implausible. Here is what I know: Sometimes the least believable stories are the true ones.”

Their home at Hathorn Point in Cushing Maine was on land claimed by three men, two brothers, Samuel and William Hathorn, and William’s son Alexander. The
Marilyn C.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017

"What she wants most - what she truly yearns for - is what any of us want: to be seen."

Christina Olson lived her life mostly as a shut in, born with a degenerative disease that will take the use of her legs in childhood. The famous painter Andrew Wyeth befriends her, and will use her home and land to paint some of his most famous works, including the painting that now resides in the Museum of Modern Art, "Christina's World".

A story told through Christina's eyes as she bravely deals with the har
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I loved The Orphan Train and, happily, I enjoyed this just as much. 'Christina's World' is a work of art that has been made more special to me after learning the story behind it. I don't know that I particularly liked Christina, but at the same time I felt a deep connection to her. We can all be tied to anchores and while some are able to pull themselves free, others let it pull them under. I think in the end Christina found her world and, I hope through it all a bit of contentment. M ...more
Katie B
4.5 stars

I love the painting, Christina's World. It's one of the few pieces of art I feel a strong connection to and I was thrilled to find out the author wrote this historical fiction book on the real life Christina who inspired the painting. Art is so subjective as each person takes away something different but in my opinion this book really captured the essence of who I imagined the girl in the painting to be and also reading about her makes me look at it in other ways as well. Really a fanta
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-clubs
3.5 stars
Unlike most people, I was not a huge fan of Orphan Train. So, I wasn't sure how I'd like Kline’s latest book. And the beginning was so slow and dry I thought, well, here we go again. But stick with it and you will be rewarded.

The main character is Christina, the subject of Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World. It seemed to take forever before I felt invested in Christina. Not until her relationship with Walton did she come across as three dimensional.

The meat of this book is all in the se
Born in 1893, Christina Olson became ill at a young age, and from that day forward, her debilitating illness continued unabated. Doctors had no idea what was wrong with her, but over the years she continued to get worse. Her life was centred around the home she’d been born in – the family farm in Cushing, Maine. Christina lived with her mother, father and grandmother plus three brothers, and the duties of keeping the farm running increasingly fell on her shoulders. Made to leave school by her fa ...more
Don't you wonder sometimes who the people in paintings were? Like Mona Lisa. She was the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, who commissioned the painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. But what do we really know about her?

It was the same mystery behind the artist Andrew Wyeth's famous painting, titled Christina's World, which draw me to this book. The book has ..kind of.. this painting as a cover. But when I realized that this novel was written by Christina Baker Kline, the author of Orphan Train, one of my
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Over the years, certain stories in the history of a family take hold. They're passed from generation to generation, gaining substance and meaning along the way. You have to learn to sift through them, separating fact from conjecture, the likely from the implausible.
Here is what I know: Sometimes the least believable stories are the true ones.

Well, I'm extremely grateful that I don't wear mascara because I'm a blubbering mess right now. This absolutely mesmerizing fictional memoir of Christina
Sonja Arlow
I was very excited to see this book as I really enjoyed Orphan Train. When the description mentioned that this is fictional story weaved around a true figure in a well know painting I was even more excited because I was hoping it would be as interesting as Girl with a Pearl Earring.

But sadly, this was just not my cup of tea.

I get that Christina suffered. She was a perfectly healthy child deformed by a disease – which to my untrained ears that sounded like polio – and for the rest of her life she
Mar 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm afraid I'll be in the minority with my rating, but don't let that deter you from picking this up. I admire an author that can weave a story from an object. Christina is a strong, well drawn character and setting was spot on. I hadn't heard of Andrew Wyeth so researching his work was interesting. Where the book lost me was that it seemed to wane on and on and on. ...more
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3 stars. A quiet and melancholic novel.

This tells the story behind the inspiration of the famous painting by Andrew Wyeth titled “Christina’s World”. Christina’s family has lived in their quaint home on acres of land for generations. Christina has a physical disability with her legs which causes countless trips and falls and injuries over the years. This novel tells her story of isolation from the world — the limitations she faces physically and those she places on herself as a way of protection
Mar 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a framed print of "Christina's World" in my room as a teen and often wondered about the woman in the faded pink dress. I also imagined myself as her. Unfortunately, as depicted in this novel, Wyeth's muse is fairly dull. Christina's constricted, shallow life (mostly self-imposed) makes for an uninspiring read. I do like the setting and some of Kline's descriptions. ...more
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
Connie G
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Andrew Wyeth spent his summers painting in Cushing, Maine and he was especially drawn to the Olson House and its occupants. Siblings Al and Christina Olson lived in their old ancestral home which had no modern conveniences--no electricity, and no indoor plumbing other than a hand pump in the kitchen. The book is named for Wyeth's famous painting "Christina's World" which depicts a field of yellowed grass and a woman in a pink dress crawling up the hill, heading toward a farmhouse in disrepair. W ...more
Cindy Burnett
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Piece of this World is inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s painting, Christina’s World. I am a fan of both Andrew and N.C. Wyeth’s paintings and was therefore very eager to read this book. While I love the painting Christina’s World and have seen it on display a number of times at MoMA, I never realized that Wyeth based the painting on someone he knew.

The story goes back and forth through time slowly imagining Christina’s sad story and how Andrew Wyeth came to know and paint her. Christina spent her e
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
I'm proud to have been a stop on the blog tour of this book. You can read about that and all my reviews at Lit.Wit.Wine.Dine

I was immediately drawn to this book for so many reasons. I loved The Orphan Train and could not wait to read another book written by Christina Baker Kline. I love Andrew Wyeth’s work; I really could go on and on about how much I love his paintings. I’ll restrain myself though and say only that I’m unbelievably drawn to his signature color palette and his peaceful yet inten
A Piece of the World examines Christina's World, both her life on a farming ranch in Maine and the painting by that name by her friend Andrew Wyeth. Christina's movement is restricted by a crippling disease she was born with that only worsens as she gets older. Her world is restricted by a strict father who makes her quit school at 12, even though she exhibits brilliance, because she is needed to do chores. Later her heart is broken by a Harvard man and her place is pretty set. She becomes set i ...more
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that is the polar opposite of the grit. action packed 1000 under character hip and modern tome that holds 18 separate levels of criminal behavior or DSM5 quantity labeled conditions. Does that mean that all the characters are apple pie mode norms? No.

But it does mean that they are often peaceful, gentle, apt to comply and assist, and are also hard working norms for their lives' era. Nearly all of these humans in this piece of the world are. And doubly so are the 3 main protagonis
Stephanie Anze
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Christina´s World
By Andrew Wyeth 1948
"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 me. The arid moonscape of wheatgrass and timothy. That dilapidated house in the distance, looming like a secret that won´t stay hidden."

Christina Olson is born in Cushing, Maine on the family farm. Ailed by an unknown disease, Christina progressively losses her mob
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

Sometimes a sanctuary, sometimes a prison, that house on the hill has always been my home. I’ve spent my life yearning toward it, wanting to escape it, paralyzed by its hold on me. (There are many ways to be crippled, I’ve learned over the years, many forms of paralysis.) … You can never escape the bonds of family history, no matter how far you travel. And the skeleton of a house can carry in its bones the marrow of all that came before.

It is a terrible thing to find the love of
Jackie Ullerich
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this for book club. Received very favorably.

I was hooked on this novel. Heartbreaking, yet enlightening. The writing is fluid and beautiful. Although this is fiction, it reads like non-fiction. The romance adds an important element that keeps you wondering, and then...

Truly a pleasure to read.

Pam Jenoff
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate enough to have an early read of this forthcoming book by the author of Orphan Train and it is terrific. It is a re-imagining of the life of the young girl who inspired Andrew Wyeth's painting Christina's World. A must-read for winter/spring! ...more
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another great one from this great author!
Jenny Baker
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a perfect Sunday read. The pacing is what you’d expect and desire in a historical fiction novel. It allows you to settle back and enjoy the story, no rush or desire to be rushed. It was a relaxing and cleansing reading experience that I needed after reading mystery/thrillers and fantasy novels.

My first experience with a Christina Baker Kline novel was Orphan Train, which I loved, and was thrilled to hear that she had a new novel out. If you haven't read Orphan Train, I highly recommend
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways for the opportunity to read this book in advance.

This was so good, I could have read 500 pages more.

Each character leapt off the page, and I felt by the end of the book that I knew Christina, Al, Andy, Gertrude and the rest of the characters personally, like my next door neighbors who I can just pop round to see whenever I'd like. Each was flawed, but each somehow struck sympathy within me, and made me feel for them.

Christina, though. I grew to love her almost
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A #1 New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including The Exiles, Orphan Train, and A Piece of the World, Christina Baker Kline is published in 40 countries. Her novels have received the New England Prize for Fiction, the Maine Literary Award, and a Barnes & Noble Discover Award, among other prizes, and have been chosen by hundreds of communities, universities and schools as “One Book, ...more

Articles featuring this book

The Orphan Train author is back with A Piece of the World, inspired by the hardscrabble life of an artist's muse. Here are her picks for overcoming...
15 likes · 3 comments
“The older I get, the more I believe that the greatest kindness is acceptance.” 33 likes
“What she wants most - what she truly yearns for - is what any of us want: to be seen.” 14 likes
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