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Pie always helps

Memoir tracks journey back from grief

By Beverly Meyer

The Free Lance-Star

WHEN THE chips are down, you have to  turn to your strengths to carry on.

Beth M. Howard had to do just that after the sudden death of her athletic and physically fit husband, Marcus, when an undiagnosed heart defect cut his life short at age 43.

Her memoir detailing this painful period of her life, “Making Piece, a Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie” reflects Howard’s skill as a journalist in detailing  how,  despairing and desperate, she  “baked her way to happiness.”

Making good use of the eponymous pun, the peace she finally achieves by making pies  follows the shock and grief Howard bore for months after Marcus’ death. That they had actually recently agreed to divorce made the sudden loss more poignant, because neither had stopped loving the other—their long-distance,  career-centric lifestyle had finally worn the marriage out.

Howard wanted to “crawl out of my skin to escape the searing pain” when she first heard the news. She couldn’t cry hard enough, couldn’t scream loud enough. For 100 pages the reader learns of the specialness of Beth and Marcus’ relationship and of her struggle to cope. Friends  try to help but the struggle for peace is  a personal one, achieved from within.

Her “recovery” is accomplished largely by tapping into a passion for pie baking, and a business that grows from it.

Well-written, absorbing, poignant, “Making Piece” comes out right.

Beverly Meyer is a copy editor  for The Free Lance–Star.

MAKING PIECE, a Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie

By Beth M. Howard

(Harlequin, $24.95, 311 pp.)

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/books/2012/04/08/pie-always-helps/

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