A Piece of the World
A PIECE OF THE WORLD, like chicken soup, is food for the soul – smooth, satisfying, and healthy. So many books on bestseller lists lately either focus on Nazi resistance during World War II, a murder mystery or nail-biting psychological suspense tale, or four friends from the sixties or the seventies or whatever. This book is historical fiction about Christina Olson, who was for many years the friend and muse of Andrew Wyeth, and the model for his iconic work, “Christina’s World.” This Christina is inspirational – a handicapped woman who has no happy ending but finds meaning in someone else’s view of her. Given the relationship of artist and muse, it is even triumphant.
This book is about life in rural Maine in the first half of the 1900’s – specifically, the life of this woman who, at the age of three, develops a syndrome that is yet to be named but that makes walking painful and precarious. Christina wants to be part of the rest of the world, but between her family’s need and her own handicap, she is unable to leave her home. This home is the house pictured, along with Christina, in Wyeth’s masterpiece.
I found the author’s insight into life in rural Maine to be every bit as intriguing as her depiction of the creative process of an artist. We know Ms. Kline is a talented author; her ORPHAN TRAIN told us that. This book has a very different subject but the very same meticulous research and skilled writing.
Well worth a read!