When I think small town I think Fried Green Tomatoes and the Whistlestop Café and Ya Ya Sisterhood. Welcome Back to Pie Town slugged along on a very slow track. I read a page, put it down, read a page – three days and running. The characters never sparked, the plot never firecrackered and the FBI agents bored me to tears.
Pie Town is home to Trina Lockhart and her baby girl. Trina loves Raymond Twinhorse, or at least she did until Raymond comes home from Afghanistan after an explosion killed all of his buddies, left him physically wounded and left him with rage, despair, and hopeless PTSD. The VA fixed his wounds, but Raymond doesn’t know who he is anymore, as the feelings he cannot explain overwhelm him. When he pushes Trina into a stove and a pot of boiling water scalds her back and legs, he runs. Trina takes up for him, but wonders herself if Raymond would hurt the baby.
Frank Twinhorse, Raymond’s dad, owns the garage where Trina works as a mechanic – Frank gave her a chance when she came to town with nothing. Then Gilbert, a cranky mean old man who owns the local saloon, finds $200 from his cash register missing when a lightning storm puts out the towns’ electricity, blames Raymond. The FBI has been in town on a drug raid, and has put an old woman in the hospital when they raided the wrong locale. Gilbert takes the opportunity to tell them that Raymond is the drug lord that they want. Frank and Trina know that Raymond would never do drugs, or steal, and they go after Raymond. Father George, the priest, helps Frank find Raymond and hide him away until Raymond can come back and tell his side of the “story.” When Gilbert finds that his partner, who has been out of town on a fishing trip and had taken the money to the bank to deposit, the FBI can’t give up. They screwed up once and now they have an easy victim to target – Raymond. And Father George as well as Frank end up in jail for obstructing the investigation by the FBI.
There are some more lovebirds and a few other plot twists that are sweet and well written, and the story becomes a tale of the town coming together to bring their hero, Raymond, home. The story does a great job of depicting Raymond and the issues of war that he comes home with, and this is certainly a feel good story with a good plot.
I loved Friendship Cake by Cabot, and perhaps if I had read the first novel, Pie Town, in this series (Welcome Back is the second of three), I would have been more compelled to appreciate the townspeople and their problems.
Welcome Back to Pie Town is available for purchase on Amazon.com and other booksellers.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own.