“Hinton’s writing style is similar to Eudora Welty’s: easy, conversational, down-home.”—Greensboro News & Record
Welcome to Pie Town! Bestselling author Lynne Hinton—who has delighted readers with her heartwarming tales of faith, food, and friendship—has cooked up a delectable treat for fans of Fannie Flagg, Whitney Otto, Kaye Gibbons, and Jan Karon’s Mitford books…as well as the dedicated readers of her own popular Hope Springs novels (Friendship Cake, Christmas Cake, et al). The first in a series centered around the inhabitants of a small New Mexico town once renowned for its homemade desserts, Pie Town is the touching and funny tale about the unexpected changes a sleepy little southwestern community undergoes following the arrival of a well-meaning but woefully unprepared priest and a young hitchhiker who looks like big trouble.
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Pie TownA Novel
By Lynne Hinton
William Morrow PaperbacksCopyright © 2011 Lynne Hinton
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThey come. The two of them, desperate, longing, alone, and
displaced, they come because they are told to come. One beckoned from
whispers speaking in lingering dreams, directed by stars and canyon
voices. The other, obeying the orders of stern and reasonable men, men of
piety and certitude. They come because they know no better, because they
have nowhere else that will receive them. They come to settle what cannot
be settled. They come to find what it is they miss and what it is they never
Neither of them has a sense of this desert, the forests, Cibola or Gila, no
knowledge of its wide open plains named, by the Spanish, San Agustin, a
feeble attempt to wrangle a blessing in their uncelebrated discovery. They
do not know the long winding dry springs, Largo and Mangas Creeks, nor
have they walked the road through the tiny village of Quemado, with its
famed lightning field, or across the meadows studded with short scrubby
pinion pines. They have not lifted their eyes to see Madre Mountain Peak
or ridden the dusty trails south to the Baldys, Whitewater, and Mogolion,
following the tracks of elk and deer and lone gray wolves.
They do not know this is hallowed family land, my mother's mother's
land, the land of my ancestors and the old ones. They have not learned that
this is my family's heritage, Zuni, gathered and scattered along this territory,
centuries ago, living here long before the farmers, Catholic and Spanish,
moved from settlements north and east to establish villages of their
own, and longer still before the Panhandle Texans and southern plains
homesteaders came riding into town, laying claim to earth and making
borders on property that was not theirs to possess. They do not know that
this is the place of aged secret trails and the sacred Salt Lake of my people
and their tribes.
This is my home, the place where I took my first breath, landed my
first step, laughed my first laugh, and shed my last tear. This is the place
where I fell in love with red skies and clear black nights, the sky dotted with
stars, and afternoon rains, the smell of sage, and the high-pitched cries of
coyotes, the dance of red-tailed hawks. This is the place where I fell in love
with silence and one man who knew the name of every flower and seed and
who looked at me as if I were the sun. This is the place for which I long
even when I sit among the spirits, float above clouds, glide across galaxies.
This is my home, and by the time I came back, and though nothing had
changed, it still seemed to me that I had been gone far too long.
These two will never understand, however, that I came not for this
place, not for them, and not even for the man who grew bushes of sweet
lavender and tall stalks of pink and rose hollyhock. I am here not for the
man who thought I was the sun, but for the child who was born broken and
unformed, the child who was to take my place but who arrived too early and
too fast. I came for him, and as if he had been waiting, he knew me when
I first appeared. "Lady," he calls me, the one who was here when he was
born and the one who has never left his side.
I doubt he will speak of me to these two newcomers because he rarely
talks about me to others, not because he doesn't know me or doubts my
presence, but because he believes I am a gift to him and he worries that if
he speaks of me casually or too much or to too many people, I might find
him indulgent and selfish and leave. I doubt, however, that I ever could.
Especially now. Especially as the winds speak of change, the clouds of
coming storms. Especially as they arrive.
He is, after all, my connection to all that I lost in death, my link to
loved ones and earth and desert, and I am his connection to all that he lost
in birth, his link to all that is beyond the land with its low ceiling of sky.
And together we rely upon the thin air that somehow offers enough breath
and lift for us both, the weaving of our two spirits, and this place we both
know best, this place the newcomers seek, this place we both call home, this
place known as Pie Town.
Excerpted from Pie Town by Lynne Hinton Copyright © 2011 by Lynne Hinton. Excerpted by permission of William Morrow Paperbacks. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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“Lynne Hinton deftly pens an uplifting tale of hope, faith, and community.”