Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mmmm, PIE.

Sunrise was at 7:04, sunset will be at 6:55. Blue skies and windy. Lots and lots of birds hugging the bird feeder in the blackberries. The berries are drying out and hanging tightly to the canes. They are clinging upside down on the vines, pulling berries off. The vines then bounce and scatter the rest of the birds into the maple until things calm down, starting the whole process over.

I just finished reading Sarah Weeks' newest book, PIE. I am a sucker for Sarah Weeks' books- every one of them makes me happy and glad that she writes books. PIE is the story of a famous pie crust recipe, a recipe that disappeared after pie-maker Aunt Polly's death, and the effect of that loss on the town and her niece, Alice.

When Aunt Polly dies, when the pie shop closes, the tourists who filled the town for slices of pie stay home and the town begins a quick turn for the worse, quickly losing revenue and population. Alice's mother is pretty upset because Aunt Polly has left the recipe for her crust to Lardo, her cat, and her cat to Alice. No actual written words seem to be left behind and the cat's not talking. The town is in uproar, too, when a series of burglaries happen. Lardo goes missing, a gold earring is found in Alice's bedroom, and the pie shop is demolished. Someone is desperate for the recipe.

What we learn from PIE is that it really isn't the pie itself that is magical, but the way in which the pie is shared. Memories happen with each bite, people are remembered, and the feeling of being part of a family envelopes each person as the fork passes lips and touches tongue.

Each chapter starts with a recipe and a memory. The ending had me in tears. Sigh. Now I want to re-read her books.

And here's a list: Pie, As Simple As It Seems, Jumping the Scratch, So B. It, Up All Night, and The Guy Series (especially good for 3rd & 4th grade guys.) The novels of Sarah Weeks are all heart-touching and often funny, most deal with a character or two who have to overcome something traumatic and serious in order to move on with life. They are SO GOOD! The All for Kids Book Group (reading kids books we missed when we were kids) found her books especially good for discussion.

Up All Night is a collection of short stories by different authors about being awake and out in a world where you would usually be asleep. This would be a really good lesson plan for a writing class. I still vividly remember being awake until the sun came up as Saturday became Sunday, writing bad high school poetry, trying on makeup in the only bathroom for three girls, and just staying curled up on the couch waiting for something to change.

And here is her website if you want to know more about her:

PIE is good for ages 9 and older. Scholastic. $16.99. Available now.

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