Christina Baker Kline’s beloved novel Orphan Train hit the market in 2013 and has had an enormous impact on readers around the world. Readers have been eagerly awaiting Kline’s next book, A Piece of the World. Kline will be at the Camden Public Library on Thursday, July 20, at 7:00 pm. She will read from her book and answer questions. Copies of the book will be available for purchase from Sherman’s Books, and may be autographed.
In her new novel, Kline turns her attention to another little-known part of America’s history: the story of Christina Olson, the complex woman, and real-life muse Andrew Wyeth portrayed in his 1948 masterpiece Christina’s World. This iconic American painting — which features a mysterious woman in a pink dress sitting in a field, gazing at a weathered house in the distance — hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as part of their permanent collection. In A Piece of the World, Kline vividly imagines the life of Christina Olson. Born in the same remote farmhouse in Cushing, Maine that her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by a degenerative muscular disorder that made it difficult to walk, Christina seemed destined to lead an uneventful life. Her fate changed the day 22-year-old Andrew Wyeth knocked on her front door. 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.
“Artfully (pun intended) inspired by the Andrew Wyeth painting Christina’s World.” — Marie Claire
“Kline expertly captures the essence of Wyeth’s iconic masterpiece and its real-life subject, crafting a moving work of historical fiction.” — Library Journal, starred review
“Kline lovingly evokes the restricted life of a sensitive woman forced to renounce the norms of intimacy and self-advancement while using her as a lens to capture the simple beauty of the American farming landscape…A character portrait that is painterly, sensuous, and sympathetic.” — Kirkus
“The world of the woman immortalized in Andrew Wyeth’s haunting painting Christina’s World is imagined in Kline’s (Orphan Train) intriguing novel…Through it all, the author’s insightful, evocative prose brings Christina’s singular perspective and indomitable spirit to life.” — Publishers Weekly
“A gorgeous read.” — Real Simple
“A Piece of the World is the decoding of a 20th-century mystery, for who has not gazed on Wyeth’s picture and wondered, why does that girl have so very far to go? Kline’s gift is to dispense with the fustiness and fact-clogged drama that can weigh down some historical novels to tell a pure, powerful story of suffering met with a fight. In fiction, in her quiet way, Christina triumphs – and so does this novel.” — O, the Oprah Magazine
“Readers will savor the quotidian details that compose Christina’s ‘quiet country life.’ Orphan Train was a best-seller and popular book-discussion choice, so expect demand.” — Booklist
“Epic.” — Cosmopolitan