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Making Piece: A Memoir Of Love, Loss And Pie (2012)

Making Piece: a Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie (2012)

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3.55 of 5 Votes: 2
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0373892578 (ISBN13: 9780373892570)

About book Making Piece: A Memoir Of Love, Loss And Pie (2012)

I read this for my church book club. When I first started reading this, I was worried it was going to be another Eat, Pray, Live whinefest I couldn't get through. Beth Howard does go one with her grief a little too long. I'm also intrigued by the way she writes about herself, which isn't particularly likable. (If I was writing my memoir, I'd ultimately be the the heroine of my story.) When I was about halfway through the book, I went to hear Beth Howard speak. She was charming and very relatable. She also made making pie look easy. I'd like to get her cookbook. One of my favorite genres is the memoir, and this memoir by Beth Howard was one that really spoke to me. Journalist Beth Howard had been married to her husband, Marcus, for 7 1/2 years; and their relationship had always been difficult... they loved each other intensely but their differences seemed to continue to push them apart. Marcus was a German automotive executive and because of his job, they spent a great deal of time apart.... this was one of the points of contention between them. Finally, the two decided that, although they loved each other, the constant turmoil in the marriage had worn them out; and they decided to separate.An interesting aspect of Beth's and Marcus's relationship is that their problems didn't seem to me, to be about their personal differences, as much as they seemed to be about their inability to communicate. What Beth really wanted was for Marcus to spend more time with her; but instead of telling him her feelings, she pushed him away... asking for a divorce... but secretly hoping he would say no and would fight for their marriage. They were at the end part of the divorce process.... just needing to sign the papers.. when tragedy struck. Marcus died suddenly of a congenital heart problem. Marcus's death left Beth filled with guilt over the words she hadn't been able to say to him and grief stricken. This memoir is Beth's story... not only of her grief .... but also of her healing and her journey back to finding peace and looking forward to her life once again.I suppose this story isn't a new one. After all, we all deal with loss and grief at times in our lives, and we all need to find a way to work through it and find a way to look forward to the rest of our lives, all the while accepting the loss we have suffered; accepting that we are forever changed somehow. There were a couple of things which made Beth's story unique in my view. First of all, Beth's self-awareness and understanding of her own feelings were very impressive to me. It was obvious that she had done a great deal of very difficult soul searching ; and had to face some very difficult truths about herself. And in this world where few people seem to engage in introspective thinking, I find that a very rare and admirable quality. The second thing that stood out that I could really identify with was the way that Beth found her way back to peace. It was something that she had always loved to do and on the surface, it wouldn't seem to be an activity that would bring a person peace of mind... it was her love of baking pies! She wrote.... "With each push of the rolling pin and each pie that came browned and bubbling out of the oven, my soul was soothed and my heart mended a little more."This made perfect sense to me on a very instinctive level. I am a baker also... I have loved to bake my entire life. So when Ms.Howard talked about how it felt to take a few simple ingredients and using just your own two hands, form those ingredients into light and flaky crust which you fill with apples (sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar), summer blueberries or even the juiciest peaches; and how that aroma would fill the air and your home. Well, that was something I could not only understand; but something I have found brings calm to my own mind when it has felt cluttered or when my life has felt chaotic. Perhaps it's a form of meditation or maybe you can call it a 'prayer'... whatever you wish to call it.. it really DOES work!Ms. Howard decided to get into an RV that she and Marcus owned and she began a journey across the country. She baked pies and distributed slices to anyone who wished to have one: and on National Pie Day, she stopped to teach anyone who was interested, how to create their own pies. What she discovered was that the act of creating those scrumptious offerings and sharing them with others soothed her and 'fed' HER soul. I believe that what she found was that caring for others by giving them nourishment was probably one of the most elemental things a person can do. Providing nourishment to others can be very healing.. both emotionally and spiritually.Ms. Howard finally ended up back in her birthplace in rural Southeastern Iowa... in the town of Eldon. It seemed somehow fitting that she end her period of grieving and healing back in the place where her life began. Upon her arrival, she discovered that there was a house for rent that seemed perfect for her. This was no ordinary house.In fact, it is a well-known tourist attraction... the American Gothic House, which was made famous in the iconic painting by artist, Grant Wood (it's the painting of the couple in front of the farmhouse, holding a pitchfork). Ms. Howard decides this is the perfect place for her to be.. there was a peacefulness in Iowa that she needed and it provided a place for her to plan and look forward to what would come next in her life. She ended up opening a pie stand where she sells pies to tourists visiting the old house.... calling it appropriately the Pitchfork Pie Stand. As of the writing of this memoir, she is still making her home in Iowa.I found Ms. Howard's memoir to be especially moving and her incredible ability to be honest with herself about her feelings was nothing short of inspirational. I found a bit of myself in her story and reading her eloquent words was an affirmation for me.. about who I am and what motivates me.

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I love the creative aspect of her journey, making pie and sharing pie, on the journey to healing.

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