This is a wonderful book, based on the back story to Andrew Wyeth’s famous painting entitled “Christina’s world”. There’s a colour reprint of the painting on the last page of the book, and you’re constantly re-examining it as you enjoy the novel.
Christina Olson was a real person, whose family clung, with tenacity, to farming in a rocky, windy spot on the coast of Maine. Christina had the misfortune to inherit a motor sensory disease, which went undiagnosed in her lifetime and ended up crippling her. When she was a young girl it mostly affected just her balance and how she walked, but the symptoms got progressively worse as she aged. As the only daughter of the family, she was burdened with endless daily chores and forced to leave school at 12. It seemed there would be no escape from the farm, until a Summer visitor, Walton Hall, falls in love with her when Christina is twenty years old.
What happens next, going backwards and forwards in time, forms the main part of the novel, combined with Christina’s friendship with the artist, Andrew Wyeth, and the genesis of his most famous painting.
You’ll love Christina; she’s gutsy, brave, and stoic. It’s a moving story and really enjoyable. Highly recommended for year 10 upwards.
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