BOOKS FROM THE BACKLOG: “A PIECE OF THE WORLD”

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today I am spotlighting a book I downloaded on February 22, 2017:  A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker Kline.

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Synopsis:  To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century.

As she did in her beloved smash bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of America’s history. Bringing into focus the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait, she vividly imagines the life of a woman with a complicated relationship to her family and her past, and a special bond with one of our greatest modern artists.

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Why did I add this book to my shelves?  The description pulled me in, with its historical/artistic/iconic elements.  Plus, I have read and loved three books by the author.

I am not sure why I haven’t yet read the book.  It isn’t that lengthy, which often keeps me from diving into a book.  But I must rectify the negligence right away!

What have you been neglecting on your shelves?  What will you do about those books?

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REVIEW: LILA, BY MARILYNNE ROBINSON

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She was a neglected baby, then she was a rescued toddler. Clutched from the jaws of poverty and fear, she followed along with the woman who rescued her, accepting what was given and what she had to do to survive.

So how can she now be another kind of woman, the wife of the minister in a small town in Iowa called Gilead? How can she be pregnant with his child, fitting into his world, and somehow reconciling her new circumstances with what has gone before?

Lila is the kind of story that meanders from the past to the present, and even takes the reader into an imagined future, as we follow along with the character’s thoughts. What seems like a wonderful place of safety here in Gilead with the minister she has married, and who, through a good part of the book, she is still trying to adjust to, from his very presence to his philosophy on life and on existence, is also a place that arouses fears. Can she fit what she knows of her past into the present and future she is creating? What is the meaning of her existence, and what does her new situation mean about those she left behind?

This novel was challenging to read, since it moved all over the place, bringing some confusion as it did so, but throughout, this reader could sense that the philosophical meanderings of the young woman were bringing her to some kind of resolution. Finally. 4 stars.