|Scene from Port Clyde Area|
For my book club, we just read A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline. I knew it was historical fiction and that it took place in Maine, but it wasn't until I started reading that I realized I had been to all of the small towns that were mentioned in the book. I find it delightful to be able to picture the area that the story take place. The photo above is one that I took on my visit.
The BookI had read books by Christina Baker Kline before and really enjoy her writing style. She wrote The Orphan Train and Sweetwater both books I would highly recommend. So, I started A Piece of the World with high expectations and I was not disappointed. Christina Baker Kline has a way of bringing you into her book and making you feel empathy with her characters.
Although this book is a work of fiction, the major characters are all real people and the author did a lot of research into the characters and the area to give a realistic view. The book is based on a painting by artist Andrew Wyeth Christina's World , and in particular about the life of Christina.
The author alternates between describing Christina's early life in the early 1900's to describing her life when Andrew Wyeth is painting her in the mid 1900's. Christina leads a simple and hard life on a farm in a remote area of Maine. She grows up with her parents and three brothers on the family farm overlooking the bay. Although it sounds like a beautiful setting the work is hard without any of the conveniences of modern day. They have no electricity or indoor plumbing and Christina has a debilitating disease that makes it hard for her to move around. Despite this she manages to do her chores and eventually take care of the household.
In her late teens and early twenties Christina meets some summer people who visit the coast each summer and we hear of her friends and love interest from Boston.
Later in life the painter Andrew Wyeth summers in the area and uses the upstairs rooms in Christina's home to paint. Christina becomes friends with Andrew and his wife Becky and he is the one person that seems to understand things from Christina's point of view.
I found this to be a very intriguing book that really makes you consider life's choices. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.
Amazon Links to the Book and the Painting
Rockland and Port Clyde Area Today
I've also written a post on Review This about the area Review of Port Clyde Maine
Today Andrew Wyeth's son is a prominent local artist. There is a gallery just above the General Store that displays his works along with some of his fathers.
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