As a reader I love it when a story behind a world-famous painting is brought to life by a masterful writer. I immensely enjoyed Christina Baker Kline‘s first book “Orphan Train” so I was excited to see this new title “A Piece of the World” by her. She does not disappoint.
Ms. Baker Kline tells the story of the real-life Christina Olson, the subject of Andrew Wyeth‘s well-known painting “Christina’s World.” Born and raised in the Olson family home in Cushing, Maine, Christina struggles with her physical shortcomings. Her mother’s side of the family history, connected to the Salem Witch trials, and her father’s poorer upbringing in Sweden are both intriguing. Christina excels at her schooling and is offered a chance to become a schoolteacher, but her father wants her to stay at home and help her mother to care for the house and her three brothers.
The story is told in flashbacks from her childhood to her days as an older woman. The story builds to a heartfelt crescendo as Wyeth’s masterpiece is revealed to Christina Olson. Readers will envision the painting before the last page, and understand Christina’s connection to her house and her family’s legacy.
Christina Baker Kline excels at creating the story behind the image.