**Giveaway is now closed**
Love. Loss. Grief.
We all deal with the grief that comes with loss differently. Several years ago, after my world turned upside down due to a series of unforeseen events, I turned to knitting in hopes of getting back a "normal" life. After the sudden death of her husband, Beth Howard turned to the healing power of baking pie.
I have to admit, my reasons for wanting to review "Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie" were selfish. My experience several years back wasn't my first experience with unforeseen changes in life, but it was the greatest one, and the one that has had the most impact on my life. As I've managed the rocky road that comes with navigating through a "new normal," I have developed a vast interest in how others handle this tricky path. So when I read the synopsis of this yummy tale, I just had to read more, hoping to further my understanding and growth process so that the next time I am presented with such difficult times, I can better master the bumps along the way.
I can't pick out a favorite part of this book. If I didn't feel the need to keep the pages in pristine condition, I would have marked it up like a textbook full of lessons, highlighting passages I wanted to make note of in case I ever wanted--or needed--to reference them at a later date.
The lessons seemed simple -- "I am going to be okay. Maybe not right away, but I was aware that I was indeed still alive and that I was capable of feeling something other than numbness." or "Sometimes you come to a fork in the road where you are forced to make a decision about which way to go, and the direction you choose can forever change your life."
However, I knew below the surface that these lessons were far more significant. Maybe this had to do with my own personal experiences with grief, but I'd like to think these lessons are universal and can be applied in many different aspects of life.
|Photo credit: Kathryn Gamble|
Beth Howard's story not only entertained me and reinforced lessons I had already learned through my own personal experiences, it inspired me to try baking a pie from scratch, as well. This has been something I've wanted to do ever since I was in college, so when I saw this book contained pie recipes, I immediately knew it was not only my responsibility as a diligent book reviewer to try out at least one recipe, but it was also time to fulfill my desire to create pie love.
I won't go into the great detail about my pie making experience in this review. However, I do want to talk about the pie mission that was inspired by one of the stories in this book - and also share with you how my pie turned out.
|My peach pie in all its glory|
To say the pie was consumed quickly is an understatement. I would have had a second piece myself, but it was important to me that as many people who worked there got to indulge in a piece, including my friend who almost didn’t get one. Once folks were done with their piece, all I heard were rave reviews. One individual told me I was welcome to bring them pie anytime I felt so inclined. Later that evening, I received text messages from my friend regarding the continuous chatter about my visit. I feel as though all this feedback allows me to report that the recipes in this book are in fact reader friendly and doable for even the greenest of pie bakers. Also, that Beth Howard is correct - pie has the power to make people happy.
I have already made my second pie, Mary Spellman’s Apple Pie* (page 302), and am currently planning to make a third one soon (I’m thinking Strawberry). In the blink of an eye, I have become obsessed with pie making and I also find it a source of happiness. Maybe one day I can fine tune my pie making abilities with a personal lesson from Beth Howard. If not, I will always have this book in my collection as a reminder of the healing power of pie.
Love. Loss. Pie.
*For both pies I used Beth’s Pie Crust recipe (page 301)
Thanks to Harlequin Nonfiction for the book in exchange for an honest review and for offering FIVE copies to some lucky readers in the US and Canada.
How to win "Making Piece":
Tell us your favorite pie flavor OR your favorite pie restaurant. (One entry per person.) Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win.
US/Canada only. Giveaway ends June 5th at midnight EST
You might also want to read: