I love when fiction and art combine. Andrew Wyeth is one of my favorite American artists, and Christina's World is one of his most recognizable paintings. A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline is the fictionalized story of Christina Olson, the woman who inspired the painting. She and Andy Wyeth met one summer in Maine. He was a young man soon to be married; she was a middle-aged spinster. And yet, as Wyeth himself said, when they met "there was a very strange connection. One of those odd collisions that happen." Their quiet friendship deepened over the years as Wyeth studied and sketched her house and the fields around it; he even took over one of her upstairs rooms from which he worked and painted every summer for twenty years. But this book is not about Wyeth. It's about Christina: her childhood, her physical infirmity, her family, and her hopes and disappointments. It's a lyrical and fascinating portrait of the unassuming woman who inspired a masterpiece. This is an amazing read, so beautifully written, and interesting, and quietly compelling. I loved it. A Piece of the World is historical fiction at its best.