Book review: Making Piece by Beth M. Howard

Beth M. Howard loses her husband, Marcus, right after she divorces him. Now, don’t take that the wrong way — she didn’t want to divorce him, but it was complicated. He worked a lot, in many different countries, and there was only so much “following” that she could handle. He passed away suddenly while still in his 40’s, due to an undiagnosed heart defect after moving their things into storage. To deal her grief, she turns to the one thing that can comfort her — baking pies.

Following her theory that, “The World Needs More Pie,” Howard embarks on a cream, fruit, and sugar-laden journey to spread pie across the country. This is where, Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie really takes off. First she tries to find a job in a bakery, but when that doesn’t work, takes up residence in the RV that Marcus left behind. She ends up back in L.A., handing out pieces of pie on the street, before traveling (while being filmed by a friend) and eventually ending up in Iowa, not far from her hometown. Throughout the book, which is filled with pie-related anecdotes from her childhood, baking tips and suggestions, and most importantly, the journey that she undergoes to deal with her grief at losing Marcus, Howard manages to find the “piece” within herself.

Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie is more than just a food memoir. Yes, it manages to leave the reader with the overwhelming urge to bake and eat an apple pie, but it also shows that there are many ways to deal with a catastrophic loss besides curling up in a non-functioning ball. Sometimes getting out there and finding your own therapies (although Howard did have some help from an actual therapist) can be the best medicine.

Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie by Beth M. Howard is published by Harlequin Nonfiction. It is out in bookstores everywhere, and can also be purchased on For more information about Beth M. Howard and her pie-related journeys, check out her website and her pie blog.

(Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. For more information, please see my Disclosure Policy.)


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