All I need to be entertained are cats within ear-scratching distance and a good book . . .OK, maybe that's not ALL I need, but it's a good start.

I love to read. And I love to get recommendations for books to read.

I started Cats and a Book to share the books I read with others. Some I love, some I don't, but you may love the ones I don't, so you're welcome to post your own comments and suggestions.

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Happy reading!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pie Town, by Lynne Hinton

Pie Town, by Lynne Hinton, is a lovely story in the style of Jan Karon, featuring a new priest, Father George, a pregnant wanderer named Trina, and a young boy diagnosed with spina bifida whose ailment and personality bound the otherwise prickly town members together.

The reader learns quickly that Pie Town, once known for its desserts, now offers not much more than brownies at the local diner. When Father George drives into town with Trina, who is hitchhiking to Pie Town on the advice of an old Apache woman she met along her travels, townspeople are less than welcoming. In fact, they warn both Father George and Trina that the town isn't known for its hospitality, and that most newcomers don’t make it there. Alex, the young boy with spina bifida, takes to Father George and particularly Trina, and convinces the townspeople to give them both a chance.

Hinton does an admirable job introducing readers to an interesting cast of characters, including Sheriff Roger, Alex’s grandfather; Malene, a nurse’s aide and Roger’s ex-wife; Angel, Alex’s mother, who is largely absent; Oris, Malene’s cantankerous father; nosey neighbors, young lovers, and a cultural mix of Caucasian, Hispanic, and Native American elements that gives the story richness. Hinton, who is an ordained minister, weaves spiritual elements into the story without being heavy handed.

Pie Town is sweet and funny. Readers might find the short chapters in the voice of Alex’s great-grandmother, a spirit that visits Hinton’s living characters, feel a little stilted, but the story and dialogue reads well and is an engaging story.

Pie Town was published in paperback by William Morrow in June of 2011. The published includes recipes of dishes mentioned in the book, like Oris’ Famous Cowboy Beans and Posole. Another book in the Pie Town series is slated for release in 2012.

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