When journalist Beth M. Read more...
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When journalist Beth M. Howard's young husband dies suddenly, she packs up the RV he left behind and hits the American highways. At every stop along the way--whether filming a documentary or handing out free slices on the streets of Los Angeles--Beth uses pie as a way to find purpose. Howard eventually returns to her Iowa roots and creates the perfect synergy between two of America's greatest icons--pie and the American Gothic House, the little farmhouse immortalized in Grant Wood's famous painting, where she now lives and runs the Pitchfork Pie Stand.
"Making Piece" powerfully shows how one courageous woman triumphs over tragedy. This beautifully written memoir is, ultimately, about hope. It's about the journey of healing and recovery, of facing fears, finding meaning in life again, and moving forward with purpose and, eventually, joy. It's about the nourishment of the heart and soul that comes from the simple act of giving to others, like baking a homemade pie and sharing it with someone whose pain is even greater than your own. And it tells of the role of fate, second chances and the strength found in community.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-02-27
- Reviewer: Staff
A fateful, sorrowful trajectory takes Los Angeles journalist turned pie maker Howard from an erratic, far-flung career back to her origins in Iowa, which just happens to be the pie-baking capital of the country. Married for six years to Marcus, a German automotive executive, though separated from him in 2009, contemplating divorce and living far apart, Howard learns that her 43-year-old husband has died suddenly in Germany of a ruptured aorta, stemming from a congenital condition not deemed problematic. The news plunges Howard into a period of down-spiraling guilt and self-examination, and she drifts back to Portland, where they once lived together, to indulge her grief and anger, before casting back to her therapeutic pie-making days at Mary’s Kitchen in Malibu. With the help of her friend Janine, a TV producer, she takes her pie-making skills on the road, specifically in Marcus’s beloved RV called the Beast. Team Pie travels from town to town shooting a pie documentary (also a potential TV pilot), interviewing bakers at legendary diners from San Francisco to L.A., and giving out free pie on National Pie Day (January 23) in downtown L.A. Howard’s long-winding, occasionally tedious, and forcibly pie-trope-heavy journey finally deposits her serendipitously at the American Gothic House, in Eldon, Iowa, made famous by painter Grant Wood. Here she reigns as America’s Pie Lady, rendered in one unique, crazy-quilt, truly American tale of reinvention. (Apr.)