My first big surprise with Slicing Heaven: Tales, Poetry, and Recipes from The Slice of Heaven 24 Hour Pie Shop and Driving Range was that it was fiction. I thought, from the name, that it would be a nonfiction book concerning real people, and a real place.
My second surprise was that yes, it is fiction—but with each vignette, poem, or recipe Barbara Jean Walsh gifts us with a quirky slice of life that touches at least one chord of truth every single time.
Walsh says of this work, "Drawn from posts that originally appeared in a blog that was meant to be an exercise in learning to use WordPress, I've tried to offers a view of an imaginary place where friends and strangers alike gather to compare notes on life, happiness, pie, and the search for the perfect golf tip."
I enjoyed reading Slicing Heaven from the first page to the last. It is funny and philosophical, and the characters, including the narrator, are unique and engaging. The book is satirical and witty, and celebrates the absurd without tipping the balance into parody or becoming ridiculous. Walsh masterfully draws the reader into the community she has created with The Slice of Heaven by having the narrator continually refer to a personal relationship; for example, "your second-cousin Darnell" and "Still, if I ever ask you, 'Do you see that, too?' I hope you'll know what I mean."
Each chapter of Slicing Heaven is like a piece of pecan pie; it's rich enough that you can settle for just one, but it leaves you wanting more, eager to begin on the next!
Read an excerpt from this book.
Barbara Jean Walsh is a freelance writer and editor living in Alameda, California. She is also the co-host of "It's My Boat" Radio, her latest venture in a long career in the marine industry working primarily for WoodenBoat Publications and IBEX (the International BoatBuilders Exhibition & Conference). She has also been a library director, English instructor, and newspaper reporter. She has a B.A. from the University of Maine and an M.A. from the University of Denver. Visit her blog and the book website.
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