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Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie Hardcover – March 20, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"Beth Howard describes with warmth and wit how the bitter events in life are set off by the sweet ones-much like the ingredients of a good recipe. Making Piece is a moving account of love and loss." -- Jeanette Walls, New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Castle

About the Author

Beth M. Howard has been a journalist for more than 20 years, specializing in personality profiles, adventure travel and outdoor sports. In 2001, she quit a lucrative web-producing job to bake pies at a gourmet deli in Malibu, California. She started her popular blog, The World Needs More Pie, in 2007, and it has been featured in publications worldwide. She lives in Eldon, Iowa. Visit her at

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (March 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373892578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373892570
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Beth M. Howard, author of "Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie" and "Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bold Tales from the American Gothic House," has been a journalist for more than 25 years specializing in personality profiles, adventure travel, and outdoor sports. She has written for Shape, Elle, Travel & Leisure, Fitness, and many other magazines. Her assignments have taken her sky diving, dog sledding in Alaska, scuba diving with sharks, and competing in the Eco-Challenge, a ten-day multi-sport race through Utah's wilderness, which she and her team successfully finished.She has worked as a senior editor for Sports Traveler and a contributing editor for Sports Illustrated Women. She has been a producer for's Women's Channel and for's 2002 Winter Olympics official Web site. For six years she freelanced for Microsoft Corporation as the content editor for Bill Gates' annual CEO Summit.

Before becoming a journalist, Howard established herself as a successful public relations executive. She began as a PR manager for a Hyatt Hotels mega-resort in Hawaii, which led to an account executive position at Rogers & Cowan in Los Angeles, where she launched the original hit TV series Beverly Hills, 90210. Other high-profile PR projects have included Diedrich Coffee, Hilton Hotels, and FUEL TV (a unit of Fox), establishing an internal publicity department for the action-sports cable network.

At the age of 25, she started a gourmet coffee business in Nairobi, Kenya, living the life of a modern-day Karen Blixen. She marketed her award-winning coffee in Kenya and the U.S. But after convincing The New York Times to run a story on her product, she knew media was her true calling.

She received a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, graduating in three years with an emphasis on communications and environmental studies. She has worked and lived throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. She continues to practice speaking French, Spanish, and German, though, admittedly, she gave up on Japanese and has forgotten most of her Swahili.

From 2010 to 2014, Beth lived in Eldon, Iowa, in the famous American Gothic House, where she wrote her memoir, "Making Piece" (published April 2012) and her cookbook, "Ms. American Pie" (published April 2014) and ran the Pitchfork Pie Stand. She is currently writing a memoir about living in the famous Iowa tourist attraction. She continues to write for magazines and is developing a TV/web series about pie. Her story and her blog, "The World Needs More Pie," has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, New York Times, Readers Digest, Midwest Living, Real Simple, Country Living, CBS This Morning, NPR, and many other national media outlets.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mandi Kaye on April 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
When I first saw this book, I knew I had to read it. Food. Memoir. Yes, please! And I was not disappointed.

Beth's story is like pie. Specifically, strawberry-rhubarb.

"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."

I was crying within the first thirty pages. Beth writes herself so well that I felt as if her words were my own. When her heart broke, mine broke right with her.

When she began to rebuild her life, my heart rejoiced with hers.

"All I had to do was look around the room to see that you can lose your loved ones and still have fun, and not live like your heart is caged behind bars."

Beth's journey was full of pain, sorrow, humor, kindness, and pie. Lots and lots of pie. I am inspired to bake pie - and lucky for me, there are recipes in the back of the book! I'm going to start with the Banana Cream Pie and then make the French Silk Pie (and according to Beth, this recipe is better than sex!).

Bottom line - this is a memoir everyone should read.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By sboss on April 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Full Disclosure: I know Beth Howard. That's why I read her book. Actually, I read it out loud to my wife.

What makes this tome so engaging is it's honesty. Beth is a no-nonsense type of woman. She put her story on these pages as she lived it-very emotional, lots of raw edges, no holding back. This gritty style of writing gives the reader permission to feel the loss, anger, desperation, sadness, and love that she describes in her memoir. Her non-linear telling of this intense journey along with other life happenings keep the reader engrossed. The back story provides some needed breaks from the emotional ups and downs directly related to her husband's death and Beth's grieving process.

The book forced me to reexamine many aspects of my life as it places the fragility of our existence directly in our sights. From that angle, it's a masterful example of the self-help genre without any preaching. At its essence, it's an intimate look at life through Beth's eyes; eyes that reflect an intelligent, creative, caring person dealing with a situation all-too familiar to many. We empathize with her, exult in her progress, and its all done with pie as the backdrop.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By piekat on April 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just as she fashions pie crust with her bare hands, Beth M. Howard has fashioned a memoir that is filled with warmth, sincerity of emotion and honest humor. I truly enjoyed reading this book and found it difficult to put down as I journeyed through the vivid descriptions of Ms. Howard's love affair with pie and her late husband Marcus. She captured the complexity of human emotions that exists in any marriage, and honestly shared the stresses that cultural differences, careers, and distance can place on a marriage no matter how much love is there. All of this is folded into her love of pie and how it has been her guide, companion and teacher in life. I highly recommend this book, with one warning: when you finish reading it, you WILL want to bake a pie!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK on April 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
by Beth M. Howard

Publisher: Harlequin

Imprint: HarlequinNonfiction

Pub Date: March 27, 2012

ISBN: 9780373892570

When Beth Howard's estranged husband Marcus died suddenly, her world was turned upside down. The undeserved guilt that she felt was overwhelming. So, she did what she knew how to do. She baked pies. She packed up the RV that Marcus had bought hoping to make road trips and hit the road trying to assuage her grief while teaching pie baking.

This book tells the story of Beth Howard's overwhelming grief over the loss of her husband. The reader is along for the journey from the notification over the phone to the realization that his death was not her fault, and that the healing process was taking place. The underlying message of the book, for me at least, was that grief really is a natural part of life, and a process that takes time. Baking pies, sharing pies, and teaching people to bake them was her way of healing. The author writes so honestly of her grief that the reader can't help but share in that grief. At times, her grief is so strong that it pulls you in until you can't help but grieve with her. It is a very personal journal of loss, grief, and healing. But by the end of the book I couldn't help but feel as though I had made the journey with her.

And on a lighter note, I am CRAVING pie. I can't stop thinking about apple pie, peach pie, cherry pie, .............I can't speak for the rest of the world, but I need more pie.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Netgalley [...] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By JBarr5 on March 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Making Piece A memoir of love, loss and pie by Beth M. Howard

The power of pie!
This is a story of a woman who loses her husband that was just about to sign the divorce papers.
They've traveled and lived all over the world and he could never find enough time for her.
Love to learn new things: pie safe, had no idea that's what they were called.
Love scenery of Washington along Olympic Mountains western area where we first learn of how she made her first pie ever, the instructions are priceless!
Making pies to her is like what knitting does for me-calms, relaxes me.
Love the shortcuts to baking pies and learning how she perfects her technique.
She has returned to Portland, Oregon from Texas after he dies and tries to get a job making pies. Nobody is hiring.
Heartwretching to hear of her going through Marcus things to be donated, given away or to keep a few for her memories.
The RV Camper that he wanted to travel to every national park and camp at is a bucket list item for me as well.
She loaded up the camper and drove it to her friends in CA and met up with another friend who would return in 30 days so
they could start their venture: how pie helps me grieve with my loss. making pies on the road.
She starts by researching the other places around town that sell pie. They filmed and showed how pies are made at different
establishments and at others homes: baking parties learning something new at every stop.
Love the idea of the Spur Award and how she uses it not only with horses but other major aspects of her life.
Story of how she is coping with her grief is spot on, even with her thyroid problem.
Judging at the various events was eye opening in what they do to their creations and creatures to be assured a ribbon.
And recipes are included!
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