Cover blurb – Later he told me that he’d been afraid to show me the painting. He thought I wouldn’t like the way he portrayed me: dragging myself across the field, fingers clutching dirt, my legs twisted behind. The arid moonscape of wheatgrass and timothy. That dilapidated house in the distance, looming up like a secret that won’t stay hidden.
Christina Baker Kline, author of A Piece of the World, deftly brings us a fictional version of life behind the iconic Andrew Wyeth painting Christina’s World. The writing is lovely and the story is interesting. Christina Olson lived her life at her family’s remote farm in Cushing, Maine. Crippled as a child by illness, her ability to move grew more limited as the years went by. But for twenty years, a piece of the world came to her. Through a friend, Andrew Wyeth arrived as a visitor one day. Curious about the house, he asked if he could come and paint. Paint the house, the farm, the landscape, the view, the brother Al going about his daily chores, and then ultimately Christina in her habitat.
Kline weaves fact and fiction into a “powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of American history. She brings focus to the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait. Artist and muse come together to forge a new and timeless legacy.”
p. 288 There are traces of Andy everywhere, even when he’s gone. The smell of eggs, splatters of tempera. A dry, splayed paintbrush. A wooden board pocked with color..
the weather cools. He’s still working. He doesn’t leave for Pennsylvania as usual at the end of August. I don’t ask why, half afraid that if I speak the words aloud, they’ll remind him that it is past time for him to return home.
Excellent read. I’ve always liked the Wyeths – Nathaniel, Andrew, and Jamie. I’ve been to the Brandywine Museum and Chadd’s Ford area where they lived in Pennsylvania. And the painting, Christina’s World, is haunting. Christina Baker Kline’s A Piece of the World gives it and the story its due.
Sounds like quite the pairing that came to be. Image sure can be worth 1000 words or far more.ReplyDelete
Indeed. Quite a storyDelete
I loved the blurb also your review of this book, I wish the author every success with it.ReplyDelete
thanks. I try to write decent reviews. This author's writing is so smooth. She blends characters and descriptions well.Delete
OMG I loved Orphan Train so I bet I'll love this. I too love the Wyeths and have been to Brandywine. I also saw an exhibit of Andrew's work at the Portland Art Museum in Maine. My fave painting by him is called Northern Point, done in Cushing at the Olson farm!ReplyDelete
I'd love to see his work up in Maine. He just captures bleak and stark so well. And yes, you'll love this bookDelete
Hi Joanne - I'd love to read this ... the Wyeth connection is fascinating ... and I know I've heard of Orphan Train ... so great - thanks for sharing ... great review ... cheers HilaryReplyDelete
Hi - you'd enjoy the Brandywine area in PA where he's from. It's lovely and the museum is quite nice. And based on JoJo's comments above and her blog - I know I'd love MaineDelete
Lovely review. I love the writing in the excerpts you chose too.ReplyDelete
they are great examples of her writing - she really pulls you in with character and detailDelete
Seems like a great read, nice review indeed. Greetings!ReplyDelete
thanks so much for visiting. I do a variety on this blogDelete
Wow, this sounds fascinating. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Have I steered you wrong yet? I don't think soDelete
This reminds me of the girl in the pearl earring, that book too was fascinating! Great blurb and review, makes me want to grab a copy.ReplyDelete
Late to reply. But yes- I think you would enjoy the story and the writingDelete