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There are one million new books published each year. With so many books and so little time, where do you begin to find your next must-read? There’s the New York Times Bestseller list, the Goodreads app, the Cape Library’s Staff picks shelf and now Martin’s Must-Reads.Every Wednesday at 6:42 and 8:42 a.m., and Sunday at 8:18 a.m., Betty Martin recommends a must read based on her own personal biases for historical fiction, quirky characters and overall well-turned phrases. Her list includes WWII novels, biographies of trailblazers, novels with truly unique individuals and lots more. Reading close to 100 titles a year, Betty has plenty of titles to share.Local support for "Martin's Must Reads" comes from the Cape Girardeau Public Library and the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library.

Martin's Must-Reads: 'Mr. & Mrs. American Pie'

“Oh dear, what does one wear after learning her husband can’t bear the sight of her? Can I quickly fashion a funeral shroud out of the bedsheets? No, I’m still Mrs. Douglas Simmons, and I need to act like it.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s a quote from Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel. 

It’s 1969 and due to a pre-nuptial agreement, 35 year old Maxine will receive nothing after the divorce from her airline executive husband Douglas. After threatening to make a public scene, Douglas and his attorney do agree to give her $250,000 and a crummy apartment in Scottsdale, Arizona.

It’s there that she makes friends with  Robert, the gay owner of a local bar and twelve year old Chuck who lives in her apartment complex. She’s leading a lost life until she hears about the upcoming Mr. and Mrs. American Pie pageant and remembers how happy she was when she won the Miss San Bernardino pageant in 1952. There’s only one small problem...in order to be awarded the nation’s best wife and mother she needs a husband and children.

You’ll have to read this funny and poignant book to discover how she convinces Robert to marry her and  Chuck and his two year old sister Dawn to play her children. And what they all do when they discover her former husband is one of the pageant judges.

Ultimately this is a story about what it truly means to be a family.  If you like to laugh out loud when you read and enjoy a happy ending you must read Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel. 

Betty Martin was born in Boston, Massachusetts to a Lutheran pastor and his organist wife. Betty’s love of books was inspired by her father who read to all four children each night.
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