In the American south, Jenna Hunterson is a waitress at Joe's Pie Diner in Redhook. Along with Becky and Dawn, the other waitresses, Jenna makes the pies for the diner, she who is known in her circles as the best. She funnels her energies into her creative pie making, this love and skill which was passed down to her by her now deceased mother. Her newer pie creations are always a reflection of what is happening in her life at the time. Otherwise, her life is a fairly unhappy one because of the people in her life. Cal, the diner's manager, is always barking orders, never providing compliments. Jenna more often than not is tasked with waiting on Joe, the elderly owner of the diner, she who has to cater to his different but constantly demanding order peccadilloes or else. Even though Becky and Dawn are her close friends and confidantes, their lives are as screwed up as Jenna's and thus they can't provide her much constructive guidance. However, even Becky and Dawn would rather be themselves than Jenna, largely because of Jenna's husband, Earl, who she fears and hates because of his controlling behavior. That control includes keeping all the household money, even her diner wages and tips, and treating her like his sole property. She doesn't have the means to leave him, she secretly hiding money from him to enter the United States of Pie bake off with a $25,000 first prize, the contest which he would not allow her to enter if he knew what she was doing. That control is why she is dismayed to learn that she is pregnant with his baby, from one of their infrequent sexual encounters when he got her drunk. Although she plans to keep the baby, she plans not to tell him until absolutely necessary, and treat the pregnancy as a cold-hearted fact with respect but not love, as she realizes this baby will tie her more to him. As Jenna goes through her pregnancy, she has to deal with a new physician, Dr. Jim Pomatter, a nervous but otherwise sweet man. Although Dr. Pomatter is also married, he and Jenna embark on an affair, and although they seem to be falling in love, she doesn't want him to save her. If Jenna can delve under the surface of these relationships, she may get a clearer picture of what her post-delivery life as a mother may be like.