A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

The best-selling author, Christina Baker Kline, most well known for her novel Orphan Train, has outdone herself once again. A Piece of the World, by Christina Baker Kline, is unlike anything else. Poignant, not always kind, but always deep, this novel puts you in the head of Christina, a woman who spent her entire life in a small fishing community, living in a rural area. Inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s painting entitled “Christina’s World”, Christina Baker Kline tells the story of a woman who had a small life, but who is full of incomparable determination and grit.

Cursed with an unknown medical condition from a young age, Christina struggled to undertake tasks that others took for granted. Not one to simply accept a life of infirmity, Christina found ways to contribute just as much as everyone else in her large family. Giving herself to everyone else dutifully her entire life, she was always behind the scenes. Until she wasn’t.

A painter named Andrew Wyeth comes into town and introduces himself to Christina and her brother at their seaside home. He wants to paint the house, the landscape, the garden…Everything. Christina sees something in that painter, and she welcoms him to paint and roam as he pleases. Thus forms a friendship and a connection that would forever change their lives.

Bristol House by Beverly Swerling

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Architecture scholar Annie Kendall has just been given an opportunity to re-start her career and work on the project of her dreams : researching the possible existence of a very important Jewish icon during the Cromwell Period. This discovery would be very exciting, because anyone who practiced a religion other than that of the Church of England during this time period was persecuted as a heretic, and an influential Jew who was allowed to flourish during Cromwell’s rule could not have done so without being very, very special…

In the process of her research, however, Annie begins to wonder about the motives of the man who has assigned her the task. Ancient Judaica seems to be the motivation behind the research. Handsome investigative reporter,  Geoff Harris, seems to think that something is pulsing under the layers of intrigue that could take a very dangerous man out of the equation, if he could only get to the facts. The two decide to work together and find solutions to mysteries that have been protected for hundreds of years.

This novel has a touch of romance, is laced with the supernatural (the place where Annie is staying seems to be haunted by a monk with a story to tell), and is loaded with suspense and mystery. If you like books like The DaVinci Code or similar scholarly mysteries, and you like a bit of the supernatural, be sure to give Bristol House, by Beverly Swerling,  a try for yourself!