Book Review: ‘Making Piece’ by Beth M. Howard

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Dislosure: I received the featured book for free. All opinions are 100% my own

I was fortunate enough to receive an ebook copy of Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie by Beth M. Howard through Net Galley.  Here is the description from Amazon:

“You will find my story is a lot like pie, a strawberry-rhubarb pie. It’s bitter. It’s messy. It’s got some sweetness, too. Sometimes the ingredients get added in the wrong order, but it has substance, it will warm your insides, and even though it isn’t perfect, it still turns out okay in the end.”

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 paining, 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.

Usually I do not read memoirs/biographies/autobiographies because I just cannot get into them at all.  But this one was the complete opposite.  It had me hooked from the first page.

Beth talks a lot about how pie has always had a significant role in her family since that’s the first thing her mother made for her father.  What I really enjoyed about this book, though, is her path towards healing.  Her husband died young and Beth blamed herself for it (I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I won’t got into further details why).  To keep herself occupied she set out in her RV and filming a documentary about pie and helping judge pie contests.

Through Beth’s words you can almost feel her pain and loss.  I couldn’t even imagine losing my husband and I admire Beth for coping the way she did.  She honestly turned her loss into something good for other people.  And that is definitely something to admire.

Overall, I give this book a five out of five stars.  It was that wonderful!

Disclaimer: I received the above book for free in return for my honest opinion.  The thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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  1. I’m on the other end of the reading preferences spectrum. I actually prefer reading memoirs and autobiographies. I stay away from biographies though. I view them as third party opinions. This is a great review. I may add this book to my reading list.

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