Last night I finished reading the book A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker Kline. This is the author of Orphan Train which I have already read and loved (sorry I read it before I began blogging so there is not a blog review to link)
A Piece of the World is historical fiction based on the life of Christina Olson. Christina spends her whole life in her own small piece of the world. She spends her whole life on her family farm in rural Maine. The book is told from Christina’s point of view telling the story of when she met Andrew Wyeth, an artist who decided to spend time at Christina’s farm during the summers, using Christina’s farm and life for inspiration for his paintings.
Through the book there are flashbacks to show how Christina came to spend her whole life on her farm taking care of her ailing parents. We learn about her childhood illnesses, disappointments, and failed relationships. All these factors play into the fact that Christina and her brother Al, never marry and never leave the farm.
One summer, Andrew Wyeth convinced Christina to pose for him in the field near the farm house. This painting became one of Wyeth’s most famous paintings. When Christina sees the painting she realizes that the house is her home, her prison, and her life.
I did enjoy this story. It was a bit disjointed, but I enjoyed seeing the simplicity of life being portrayed as the setting and plot of a story. You see how the world changed outside the farm, but the farm and those in the farm stayed put and didn’t change with times. I found myself sympathizing with Christina at times, and other things wanting to shake her and say stand up and advocate for herself. It’s a reflection of the difference in the times between then and now.
This was an easy read that gets you thinking about life, changes and how some decisions (your own and others) can alter the directions of life. The importance of standing up for yourself and making your own path and how if you don’t… you too will be stuck in time.
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