Review: Pie Girls by Lauren Clark + Giveaway

pie girls by lauren clarkFormat read: ebook provided by the author
Formats available: ebook, paperback
Genre: women’s ficton
Length: 338 pages
Publisher: Camellia Press
Date Released: August 5, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Princess, Southern belle, and spoiled-rotten social climber Searcy Roberts swore on a stack of Bibles she’d never return home to Fairhope, Alabama. After marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Atlanta, Searcy embraces big-city life—Carrie Bradshaw style.

But now, Searcy has a teeny, tiny problem. Her husband’s had a mid-life crisis. He’s quit his job, cancelled her credit cards, and left her for another man.

Searcy returns to Fairhope, ready to lick her wounds. But when her mother falls ill, she’s is thrust into managing the family business—only to discover the beloved bakery is in danger of closing its doors forever.

Enlisting the help of the adorable bike store owner next door, an array of well-heeled customers, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Searcy hatches the plan of the century to save Pie Girls.

My Review:

There are two completely opposite literary tropes about going home. One is the title of the Thomas Wolfe novel, You Can’t Go Home Again. The other is the quote from Robert Frost, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”

For Searcy Roberts, home is definitely Frost’s version. She has to go back to tiny Fairhope, Alabama, and it has to take her in. Not initially because either she loves it or it loves her, but because they both love her mother Maggie, the owner of Pie Girls.

And Searcy has no place left to go. Considering the amount of glee she expressed on seeing Fairhope in her rearview mirror 10 years ago, there’s more than a little schadenfreude around town that she got stuck coming back.

The person Searcy is at the beginning of the story deserves every bit of that karmic payback, too. She’s vain, shallow and using conspicuous overconsumption to fill in the huge holes in her life and, frankly, her personality.

Searcy is a woman who not only can’t live without regular consultations with her personal shopper, but she expects champagne (her favorite and in her signature style) while she does her consultation. And then she feels fully justified in dropping $3,000 on “just a few things”.

Searcy isn’t mean or bad tempered, she’s just chosen to become high-maintenance to make up for everything lacking in her life. Like any relationship at all with her husband. Or much relations, ever.

When Alton finally does the very late but ultimately couragous thing and calls both their marriage and his advertising career, over and done, Searcy answers a call from her mother and realizes that her only option is to go home to Fairhope and regroup while she checks in on her mother’s health and on the family business, Pie Girls.

Both the shop and her mother are ailing. In fact, they are both terminally ill, and they need Searcy to give them both a new lease on life, every bit as much as Searcy needs to go back to her roots and find herself a new purpose.

it’s too late for Searcy to rescue her marriage (in fact, it was too late on her wedding day), but it isn’t too late for Searcy to make a fresh start on the rest of her life.

Escape Rating B: As a heroine, Searcy is a study in contrasts. The woman she is at the beginning of the story isn’t a person I liked very much. She felt like a caricature of one of the stars of Real Housewives, rich and pampered and completely shallow. She wasn’t bad or mean, she just wasn’t really there.

Then her marriage finally gives up its last ghost, and she’s depressed and desperate. And completely self-absorbed. She’s ashamed to let her friends know what happened, so she hides and covers up.

When her mother calls, it’s a rescue. Not in any financial way, but simply because it adds purpose to an otherwise purposeless life. It’s only when Searcy stops feeling sorry for herself and gets herself re-involved with Fairhope and Pie Girls that she becomes a person that you’d want to know.

Because of this, the first half of the book moves a bit slow. I wanted Searcy to see the clue-by-four way earlier than she did. It actually takes her soon-to-be-ex-husband bringing his boyfriend around to meet her that she finally gets that he’s gay, and has been all along. (The reader figures this out much, much earlier)

Although if I had to deal with his mother, I’d probably hide myself too. Possibly in Greenland. Or Antarctica. Far, far away from his mother and her badly behaved, spoiled rotten purse-dog.

But once Searcy starts taking care of her own mother, the store, and her old friends in town, her life perks up and her story gets much more interesting. And fun. I liked Searcy at the end, quite a lot, and I was rooting for her happy ending.


Lauren is kindly giving away a $20 gift card for Amazon. To enter, use the Rafflecopter below, and for more chances to win, visit the other stops on the tour!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

35 thoughts on “Review: Pie Girls by Lauren Clark + Giveaway

  1. I enjoyed reading your review. This author knows how to write the heroine in need of redemption and does it quite well. I have a copy of this book on my Kindle waiting its turn at hand! It’ll get there soon!

  2. Vicki – Thank you so much for stopping by Reading Reality! So glad you’re wanting to read Pie Girls. Would love to hear what you think!
    Hugs, Lauren

  3. Danielle – I really appreciate you stopping by Marlene’s blog! Doesn’t she write a fantastic review? Loved it!

    Hope you have a great Friday! Lauren

  4. Karen – What a lovely compliment! I really appreciate the praise! I am quite proud of Searcy’s development from spoiled rich girl to thoughtful and grown-up heroine. Thank you so much for stopping by Marlene’s blog today!

    xx, Lauren

  5. Judy – Thank you so much for taking a moment to read Marlene’s review of “Pie Girls.” She does a lovely job of summing up the storyline and analyzing Searcy’s character development! 🙂 Hope you have time to dive into PIE GIRLS soon! Hugs, Lauren

  6. Erin – Ahh! The cover … it’s the favorite of my four books. I’ve always loved the color pink – and adore shoes – so it’s the perfect combination! Of course, I can’t afford any of the high-end heels that Searcy adores 😉 xx, Lauren

  7. Elena – I can’t say enough about the sort of reviews Marlene writes! They are so detailed, well-thought out, and easy to read. I feel very fortunate to be featured on her Reading Reality blog today! Thank you for coming by!! 🙂 Lauren

  8. Robbie – I’m thrilled to be on Marlene’s blog today, and so glad that she took the opportunity to read “PIE GIRLS.” She does a simply fabulous job with reviews. So glad you decided to stop by today 🙂

    Hope you have a fabulous weekend! Lauren

  9. Dear Marlene – Thank you for your excellent review of Pie Girls! Searcy was an interesting — and challenging — character to write, and I loved seeing her change and grow after she gets to Fairhope and realizes that life is so much more than expensive lunch dates and Tiffany jewelry!

    I so appreciate you taking time to read the book and feature it on Reading Reality.

    All the best, Lauren

  10. A captivating story which is memorable and intriguing. What a lovely post, feature and giveaway. Many thanks.

    1. Thanks, Suzie! That’s my favorite sort of book, too! Love a positive ending that makes you feel like the character has really grown and changed 🙂

      xx, Lauren

  11. Karen – Marlene does a great job with reviews. She really hit all of the important points. Thank you for stopping by Reading Reality! xx, Lauren

  12. Anne – Thank you so much for the kind words! It’s my hope that other people who read Searcy’s story feel like that, as well!

    Happy Monday! Lauren

  13. Mary – THANK YOU! I love the cover as well … and thankfully, I have a brilliant and talented cover designer. It’s almost like he can read my mind!!!

    xx, Lauren

  14. Thank you so much for the comment about Pie Girls! I’m so glad that you made time to stop by Reading Reality and check out Marlene’s review of the novel! Happy Monday 🙂 Lauren

  15. Shelly S – Appreciate the kind words! I’m thrilled to be on Marlene’s blog as a part of the Pie Girls blog tour. So glad that you came by to check it out!

    xx, Lauren

  16. Serena – Yes, Marlene writes a great review, doesn’t she? I’m so glad that you took time to stop by and read her thoughts about Pie Girls! Hope you are having a wonderful week! xx, Lauren

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