Friday, February 9, 2018

TLC Book Tour Book Review - A Piece of the World - Christina Baker Kline


A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline




• Paperback: 352 pages

• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (January 30, 2018)


Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of A Piece of the World from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.  The review below and the opinions therein are my own and offered without bias.


Golden Lines

"I still keep the door between the kitchen and the shed open for the witches." 237

I think of those long-ago Hathorns, determined beyond all reason to leave the past behind - and we, their descendants, inheritors of their contrarian tenacity, sticking it out, one generation after the next, until every last one of us ends up in the graveyard at the bottom of the field. 240

I choose the pink, of course. 243

We should have sold this house when we had the chance.  You're the inmate and I'm the warden. 271

What she wants most - what she truly yearns for - is what any of us want: to be seen. 296



The Why?

First and foremost, it's Christina Baker Kline...I LOVED Orphan Train...if I made a list of best novels I've ever read, Orphan Train would be on that list.
I also love Twentieth Century Americana and American Literature.


What an idea...to take this well-known Wyeth painting and the history surrounding it and fill in the blanks with story.  

First Impressions

As I first began to read, I noticed the slower pace...I was a little disappointed but then realized that maybe the pace was on purpose.  The slow, mundane, sobering, self-sufficient, persistent, rural life pace.
I slowed myself down and really let the words and the imagery sink in. 

The Publisher's Summary

"To Christina Olson, the entire world is her family farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. The only daughter in a family of sons, Christina is tied to her home by health and circumstance, and seems destined for a small life. Instead, she becomes Andrew Wyeth’s first great inspiration, and the subject of one of the best-known paintings of the twentieth century, Christina’s World."

My Perspective

Christina Olson's austere existence is defined by her past as well as the generations who came before her.  Her existence is tightly interwoven with her her mother, the last child (a daughter no doubt) of the Hathorn clan, her father, who left his home in Sweden and became stranded from a fishing boat, only to meet the 34 yr. old "old maid" who would become his wife, her brothers, and her grandmother Mamey.
An undiagnosed neurological illness (which some have said was polio) keeps Christina from experiencing life as everyone else her age does, and she watches time flow by as if she is standing still.
"Andy" Wyeth visits one summer and chooses the Olson House as his painting perch.  He and Christina form a bond like no other...only they can truly "see."
A Piece of the World honors a simple life, made by those living it, despite every possible obstacle thrown in your way.


The Google Factor (I'm a nerd)

Andrew Wyeth's painting habits and modes, his vision
Salem Witch Trials history - Bridget Bishop
Cushing, Maine
Harvard
the U.S. Navy
suffragettes
literature mentions
Emily Dickinson's poetry
Christina Olson's illness - I cringed at the descriptions Kline wrote as Christina moved from place to place...the imagery was vivid.

I'm a huge fan of historical fiction in which the author painstakingly keeps as much history as possible...I so appreciate what Kline did with A Piece of the World.


Christina  Baker Kline







Other Stops on the Tour

Wednesday, January 31st: Stranded in Chaos
Thursday, February 1st: Dwell in Possibility
Friday, February 2nd: Instagram: @Novelmombooks
Monday, February 5th: Instagram: @a_tad_bit_bookish
Tuesday, February 6th: 5 Minutes For Books
Wednesday, February 7th: BookNAround
Thursday, February 8th: Instagram: @jackiereadsbooks
Friday, February 9th: Peppermint PhD
Monday, February 12th: Openly Bookish
Tuesday, February 13th: Staircase Wit
Wednesday, February 14th: Life By Kristen
Thursday, February 15th: Man of La Book
Monday, February 19th: Book by Book
Tuesday, February 20th: Rockin’ and Reviewing
Sunday, February 25th: Instagram: @lavieestbooks
Monday, February 26th: Time 2 Read
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 Caryn, The Book Whisperer


4 comments:

  1. "What she wants most - what she truly yearns for - is what any of us want: to be seen." Being seen is so visceral -- we want it when we're kids, and we want it when we're adults. Kline really seems to understand human beings.

    Thanks for being a part of this tour!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, she does!
      Thanks for having me on the tour :)

      Delete
  2. Wonderful review of what sounds like a remarkable book!

    ReplyDelete