When I was a child, I used to spend hours staring at this painting. My parents had a print hanging in our upstairs hallway across from the entrance of my bedroom. I would often stop and spend several minutes each day gazing up at it wondering why my mother was sitting in an image on the wall. For the longest time, I thought the woman in the painting was either my mother or grandmother. I don’t think I ever asked my parents why my mother was in a painting, but I was convinced that hanging in front of me was proof of a mysterious family secret (I was really into Nancy Drew books at the time).
Christina Baker Kline’s new book, A Piece of the World, is a fictionalized account of the woman behind Andrew Wyeth’s paining. Reading the novel brought back a flood of memories. I hadn’t thought about that painting in over 20 years. Read more