World of Pies: A Novel by Karen Stolz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First-time novelist Karen Stolz has created a cozy, poignant and exquisitely written episodic tale of family, food, and love. Set in a small town in Texas in the 1960's, where "there wasn't a lot to pick from, summer-wise: counter-girl at Jerry's Dairy King, shampoo girl at Barb's Tint n' Clip; the maid job at the Bluebonnet Motel," a young girl named Roxanne comes of age. Whether it's a pie-baking contest that becomes a lesson in racial politics and courage; a crush on the new mailman (who is a woman); or dealing with the death of her beloved father and her mother's remarriage, Roxanne never fails to touch our hearts. And if that weren't enough, the recipes following each chapter--which range from Christina's Lemon Meringue Pie to Doreen's Frozen Fruit Salad--evoke a cozy sweet sensation that makes it seem as though there could be no better place to live than tine Annette, Texas.
I read this selection because our book club decided to read books set in the 60's for this month. We will each read a different book. I looked up "books set in the 60's" and this was one of them. This book is about Roxanne, who is heavy into baseball at the beginning of the book but her mother wants to teach her how to make pies because there is going to be a Pie Fair in their little town. The book follows Roxanne through her life and stops at eventful periods to give us a taste of how it is. I liked it because I remember some of the things that were happening. I grew up in the 60's too. Roxanne would have been a little older than I, but not much. The story tells how it was to live in a small town, but the things they were dealing with could have happened anywhere -- racism, old flames coming for a visit, the assasination of President Kennedy, the war in Vietnam and its affect on those who fought it, homosexuality, losing a parent, getting married, deciding whether to have children, aging parents...this book dealt with everything! And it was entertaining while doing it. I really liked it.
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