Evidence that the more traditional literary themes can sometimes prove inferior
It starts with a husband and wife splitting up. This happens while they're in the kitchen where she's making pies. Then they split, and she starts selling pies to earn money. Then she starts working in a cafe and finds that the pies they buy are inferior to her pies. So she persuades the cafe owner to buy her pies instead. Then she starts a pie restaurant. Now I read that she's running a take-away pie service as well as the restaurant.
That's as far as I've got, but things are building up, and I'm fully expecting her to win some major pie competition or get a royal commission for her pies or maybe things will take an unusual turn and she'll wake up one morning to find she has been transformed into a pie and can't move in any other way but pie-like (which isn't a lot of movement), like Kafka's beetle.
|Mildred didn't mind having turned into a pie overnight, but she did lie there wondering|
how she was meant to hang the washing out
Meanwhile, in between pies, Mildred's youngest child has died and she's had one or two affairs, but all this really does take second place to the pies.
It's really nice to unashamedly read a book about pies on the bus which isn't called 'How to Make Pies' or 'Pies, Pies, Pies Throughout the Year' or even 'How to Cure a Pie Addiction'. There's something odd about a woman who takes a recipe book on the bus and even more so if she's so absorbed by it that she misses her stop and ends up at the bus station. So, now, I can indulge myself in the description of the light pastry and the apple and blackberry filling, or I can revel in a scene in which Mildred crimps the edge of the pastry or makes a little leaf to put on the top. I can let my little heart thrill as Mildred walks into the kitchen wearing an apron, covers her hands in flour and gets out a mixing bowl. No one on the bus knows what's going on at all.
Unlike a recipe book, though, there are no pictures (apart from one of Kate Winslet on the front cover looking as little like a pie as it's possible to look). This is a tad disappointing, but it forces one to use the imagination. It would be no good for someone who had had minimal experience of pie, but as I have had wide-ranging and thorough experience of pie, I have no problem with the visualisation.
|Fran blushed while reading a particularly steamy scene involving dark chocolate,|
butter, sugar and a large dollop of cream
What I want to know is whether it's a coincidence that the title of the book - the name of the main character - is Mildred Pierce. I did pronounce it 'Peerce' when I first got the book, but now I realise it's meant to be pronounced 'Pie-erss' as in 'pious'. As you all know, 'pious' is a word meaning 'having deep reverence for anything to do with pastry' so I think that's what James M Cain must have intended.
While researching 'pie' on Google Images (as everyone should at 8 o'clock in the morning before starting their day), I found an image which fits with the theme of this blog post exactly, but is nonetheless disturbing.
|Although Roland had been very happy when Susan had suggested some bedroom fun,|
he had to admit, he was surprised to find himself being daubed with gravy
While we're on bedrooms, I just thought I'd report that my duvet and next door's tree are currently a perfect match.