WCC Book Club

For our Tuesday, April 3rd selection we have chosen A Piece of the World, Christina Baker Kline’s fictional memoir of the woman in Andrew Wyeth’s famous painting’ Christina’s World. Kline’s goal is to give flesh to the back story of the woman who crawls across a desolate field in this iconic painting. To Anna Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. From childhood, a progressive disease had hobbled Christina’s mobility, yet she stubbornly refused medical help and even the use of braces or a wheelchair. No one seemed to feel much pity for her, nor did she pity herself. She just carried on with the sheer physical toil that was required to survive in a home without electricity or running water. The arrival, in 1939, of twenty-two-year-old painter Andrew Wyeth who was summering with Christina’s friend, Betsy James, provided relief from isolation. Christina was a middle-aged woman when Wyeth first encountered her, and perhaps because they both had a physical disability and he was half her age, she might have been more open with him so that he saw her yearning, her determination, and her will to dream. Although she would never achieve status and fame on her own, through Wyeth’s painting, Christina’s World, she has become immortalized. Join us on the 3rd in the Ladies’ Locker Room as we discuss this finely drawn novel about hardscrabble lives, prairie grit and the seemingly small but significant beauties found there.

For May we have chosen Fredrik Bachman’s latest novel, Beartown, which tells a poignant story of a hockey-loving-town that is slowly dying. It seems the only way to save the town is for their junior hockey team to win the national championship, but when a scandal occurs involving the team’s star player, all hopes and dreams seem shattered. Backman’s rich characters, strong plot and gut-wrenching scenes of despair are certain to bring tears or sly chuckles – this unforgettable book is a must-read.