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A Piece of the World: A Novel Hardcover – Illustrated, February 21, 2017

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,211 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Applying her research from writing her best seller Orphan Train as well as her own experiences growing up in Maine, Kline has created an authentic portrayal of Christina Olson, the real-life inspiration for Christina's World, one of Andrew Wyeth's most iconic paintings. Wyeth and his young wife summered near the Olson homestead between the 1930s and 1960s, and he often used Olson and her brother as models in his work. In this novel, Christina's story is told in first person and includes flashbacks to help readers better understand how differently her life might have turned out if not for her circumstances. Christina and her brother Al sacrifice chances of finding true love and, in her case, the opportunity to become a teacher, because they have to keep the family farm running and care for their ailing parents. Day-to-day survival with no electricity in rural Maine is described in vivid detail. Such an unforgiving environment would be challenging enough for someone able-bodied but was far more difficult for Christina, who had a painful degenerative disease that eventually made it impossible for her to walk. Her struggles are portrayed in Christina's World, where she is shown dragging herself across a field. Thoughtful teens who appreciate literary fiction will find Christina's pragmatism and pride admirable. VERDICT Fans of historical fiction or those wanting to know more about this period of Andrew Wyeth's life will not want to miss this inspirational slice of history.—Sherry Mills, Hazelwood East High School, St. Louis

Review

“The novel evokes the somber grace of [Wyeth’s] paintings … Christina’s yearning, her determination, her will to dream, occupy the emotional center in both the novel and the painting. A Piece of the World is a story for those who want the mysterious made real.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Another winner from the author of Orphan Train. In this beautifully observed fictional memoir, Kline uses Andrew Wyeths’ iconic painting Christina’s World as the taking-off point for a moving portrait of the artist’s real-life muse. Book of the week.” (People)

“Fans of Kline’s phenomenal 2013 best seller Orphan Train will recognize the way the new novel...brings to vivid life a little-known corner of history...Avoiding sentimental uplift, A Piece of the World offers unsparing insight into the real woman behind the painting.” (USA Today)

“The novel provides gorgeous, complicated answers to all the questions the painting stirs, beginning with the day a young painter appears on her porch. Kline has created a memorable and unforgettable voice for Anna Christina Olson, the girl in the field.” (Portland Tribune (Oregon))

“Kline herself is an artist, drawing on the real history of Christina Olson and Andrew Wyeth to conjure up her own haunting portrait.... Kline’s deep research into characters, place, and time period provides the outlines of a compelling story, which she then expertly brings into three dimensions.” (Christian Science Monitor)

“Like Wyeth’s paintings, this is a vivid novel about hardscrabble lives and prairie grit and the seemingly small but significant beauties found there.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

“Artfully (pun intended) inspired by the Andrew Wyeth painting Christina’s World.” (Marie Claire)

“Absorbing...A portrait of Maine farm life, of an iron-willed spinster with polio and the accidental friendship that changes everything...Kline has a graceful, arresting style that lifts the narrative, and her portrayal of Andy leavens the entire story.” (Portland Press Herald)

“With beautiful and stunning prose, the novel explores the sensitive and complex bond between artist and muse against the beauty of the rural American landscape.” (Daily Beast)

“Christina Baker Kline’s remarkable novel, A PIECE OF THE WORLD, is the perfect book club pick.  An evocative, beautifully written, exquisitely researched historical novel that will both teach and enthrall the reader.  A must read for anyone who love history and art. ” (Kristin Hannah)

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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1,211 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2017
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Top international reviews

S. Hunt
5.0 out of 5 stars A challenging book worth the read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 25, 2017
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J. A. Findlay
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 11, 2017
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2.0 out of 5 stars Front cover doesn't cover the whole of the book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 3, 2020
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Delia Burke
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2017
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Ritika
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Reviewed in India on July 12, 2018
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Dawn
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!
Reviewed in Canada on November 15, 2018
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Lee W
5.0 out of 5 stars AN ABSOLUTE MUST TO READ - Simply Wonderful
Reviewed in Australia on April 13, 2017
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Granny
5.0 out of 5 stars A different lifestyle in a different time. Concerns an artist and a model.
Reviewed in Canada on August 8, 2017
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Suzanne from Canada
5.0 out of 5 stars I was sad to end it
Reviewed in Canada on August 23, 2017
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Katharina
3.0 out of 5 stars Schön Kurzweilig
Reviewed in Germany on July 15, 2019
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Sandra G.
4.0 out of 5 stars Fiction or fact?
Reviewed in Canada on August 20, 2018
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Eber
5.0 out of 5 stars Art begets art
Reviewed in Canada on August 7, 2018
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Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Reviewed in Canada on December 15, 2018
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Karen Conabeare
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a pleasurable and easy read.
Reviewed in Canada on March 4, 2018
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Kindle-Kunde
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Reviewed in Germany on December 12, 2017
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