September 10, 2012

Death & Desserts • Making Piece

Making Piece book cover
Making Piece by Beth M. Howard
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: March 20, 2012
Source: Netgalley (Thanks!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the opinions in my review.]

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.

I have a constant love affair with dessert, and pie just so happens to be one of my favorites. There’s something about a crumbly crust, perfectly mushy apples and the sweet scent of cinnamon that gets to me every time (obviously, my favorite is apple pie).  So, I love a good pie. I also love a good memoir. And that is basically the reason why I picked out Making Piece as one of the books I wanted to read recently.

It seems ironic for me to say that I really enjoyed reading this memoir, since at its core, it’s a story pertaining to the author and how she dealt with her grief over losing her husband. But it’s the truth! I really enjoyed reading Beth Howard’s story. Her tone was genuine, the voice authentic, and I really enjoyed getting to become a witness (and a silent participant) in this particular time of her life.

I love reading other people’s stories. Even though I might never necessarily experience exactly the same situation as they do, I love that there’s still the ability to connect with them (even if I’ve never met them personally) through the emotions and memories they share. It’s just good to be reminded that, in times of joy and in times of grief, we can always find common ground in our emotions.

Making Piece was such a pleasure to read, despite the sadness that was touched on throughout the entire book. It was heartwarming to see Beth’s incredible journey unfold from start to finish, as well as her pursuit of her passion (which was inspiring to me!). I also love that, as a bonus, she shared a couple of the recipes for pies she mentioned in the book!

Despite leaving me with a desperate craving for pie, Making Piece certainly left my heart satisfied. Beth Howard is incredibly brave for sharing her story and her journey, and I certainly will be picking up a copy of my own.


  1. I love reading other peoples' stories, too -- especially when food is involved! I've read a few books that leave me with mad cravings after the final pages!

    Thanks for sharing this, Alexa -- it looks good!

  2. Great review! I love memoirs, especially those that are touching in some way. Truth be told, I typically pick up ones that are funny or humorous, because I love laughing with people who laugh at themselves, but every now and again you just need to hear from someone who has been through something and wants to tell their story! And pie?! Yummo!

  3. I love the cover. I'm a big fan of memoirs and baking, so I'll definitely have to check this out. And I like that stories like these can be inspiring and can help other people going through a similar situation.

  4. Alexa, I swear you are the only person that can make me want to read these types of books. And yes, I too love pie and I now have a craving for it!

  5. Hi Alexa, It's me, Beth Howard, the author. I just wanted to say thank you so much for your nice review of my book. Yes, it's a tough story, but I take solace in knowing that my book has helped many people -- not only in dealing with grief but in facing their fears of making pie! The world could definitely use more pie. Thank you again. --Beth

  6. I have never read any memoirs but I am always thinking to give such books a try, who knows I might end up liking them like you did.

    Great review, Alexa! I really like such inspiring and moving stories that makes the reader think and think hard.

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile


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