Kristin Hannah declares this book, "Exquisite. A must-read." People Magazine recognized this book as a "book of the week." An instant New York Times bestseller, it is my honor to announce this year's Adams County Reads One Book selection, "A Piece of the World," by Christina Baker Kline.
Based on true events, Kline writes a beautifully touching and evocative story that shows an inspirational spark can happen even in the most ordinary of circumstances.
Christina Olson's life is very simple. Living in her Maine ancestral home with her brother, Christina performs regular household chores, made no less challenging by a disability that hinders her every movement. One day, a friend brings a young painter named Andrew Wyeth to Christina's house. Little does Christina know, she and Wyeth form a bond, culminating in one of his most famous paintings, "Christina's World."
Despite her limitations, Christina's world is one filled with contemporary events and historic individuals. Her family descends from John Hathorne, a judge at the Salem Witch Trials (and she is, incidentally, connected to the author Nathaniel Hawthorne). Ancestors sailed the ocean, collecting shells to place in the "Shell Room" of the Olson homestead. Christina's love for the poetry of Emily Dickinson fuels her through troubling times. She witnesses firsthand the struggle women faced to win the right to vote. But, Wyeth sees something beyond all of these connections, something worth commemorating in a painting. Kline sees something too, giving a voice to Christina, captured by Wyeth forever gazing over her homestead and land.
Kline's name may be recognizable as the author of "Orphan Train," a bestseller several years ago. Kline will also appear as the guest speaker at this year's Signature Event on Friday, Sept. 28. Tickets are still available for this event - visit the library system's website or stop by any library location for more information.
Copies of "A Piece of the World" are available at each Adams County Library location. Fans of eBooks and eAudiobooks will be very excited to know that from June 29 through Aug. 31, cloudLibrary will offer unlimited simultaneous usage of the book in both eBook and eAudiobook formats. What does that mean? No holds list. No wait period. Check out the book through cloudLibrary without any hassles. New to cloudLibrary? Stop by any Adams County Library location, and a staff member will help you access the program and app.
All One Book programs and events will take place in October. Look for an announcement of programs the beginning of September. However, in the coming weeks, stay tuned for information about a bus trip to the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art in Chadd's Ford; those on the trip will visit the museum and the Wyeth Studio. "Christina's World" may not be there, but visitors will have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Andrew Wyeth and see some of his other famous works.
And, watch in September for book discussion announcements. As in the past, each Adams County Library will host a book discussion. Discussions are open to everyone.
We hope to see you in October at one of the One Book programs and book discussions. Happy reading!
Jessica Laganosky is the public services librarian.