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Friday, February 27, 2009

DAISY CHAIN by Mary E. DeMuth on CFBA with REVIEW

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Daisy Chain
Zondervan (March 1, 2009)
by
Mary DeMuth

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mary E. DeMuth is an expert in Pioneer Parenting. She enables Christian parents to navigate our changing culture when their families left no good faith examples to follow.

Her parenting books include Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture (Harvest House, 2007), Building the Christian Family You Never Had (WaterBrook, 2006), and Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (Harvest House, 2005).

Mary also inspires people to face their trials through her real-to-life novels, Watching The Tree Limbs
(nominated for a Christy Award) and Wishing On Dandelions (NavPress, 2006).

Mary has spoken at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, the ACFW Conference, the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, and at various churches and church planting ministries. Mary and her husband, Patrick, reside in Texas with their three children. They recently returned from breaking new spiritual ground in Southern France, and planting a church.
ABOUT THE BOOK

The abrupt disappearance of young Daisy Chance from a small Texas town in 1973 spins three lives out of control—Jed, whose guilt over not protecting his friend Daisy strangles him; Emory Chance, who blames her own choices for her daughter’s demise; and Ouisie Pepper, who is plagued by headaches while pierced by the shattered pieces of a family in crisis.

In this first book in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy, fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper has a sickening secret: He’s convinced it’s his fault his best friend Daisy went missing. Jed’s pain sends him on a quest for answers to mysteries woven through the fabric of his own life and the lives of the families of Defiance, Texas. When he finally confronts the terrible truths he’s been denying all his life, Jed must choose between rebellion and love, anger and freedom.

Daisy Chain is an achingly beautiful southern coming-of-age story crafted by a bright new literary talent. It offers a haunting yet hopeful backdrop for human depravity and beauty, for terrible secrets and God’s surprising redemption.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Daisy Chain, go HERE

MY REVIEW:

I’ve been waiting impatiently for the release of Mary DeMuth’s new book—Daisy Chain. It came last week, and what a compelling read!

Jed Pepper, a 14-year-old preacher’s son, has one thing in common with Daisy Chance—their families are not normal. Aberrant would be a better description. In the opening pages, Daisy disappears, throwing Jed into despair and guilt because he didn’t walk her home from their daily explorations.

With a cast of quirky and troubled characters, the book is about Jed’s search for Daisy while praying for courage to stand up to his father’s rants and frequent abuse.

It’s difficult to read at times with raw emotions laid open on every page, but that’s also what is so gripping about it. Each chapter draws you into the next as you hope life will turn out better for Jed. Glimpses of beauty and kindness woven into the tragedies gives the book many layers and a tender side.

Many things about Daisy Chain remind me of To Kill a Mockingbird. First, the southern setting, the poetic, sometimes haunting prose. Characters cast from their own unique molds change preconceived notions about worthiness and godliness. Even Jed and his sister, Sissy, reminded me at times of the younger Jem and Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. The story is rich, bursting with truths about Jesus and chock full of wayward Biblical interpretations. Jed is tormented, confused, and sifts through the mess of his life looking for truth—the truth of God and the truth about Daisy’s whereabouts.

Had Mary handwritten this book on a yellow pad, I can almost imagine her with pencil poised, gouging words onto the paper. The writing is strong, lyrical, and heart-breaking at times. I desperately cared for many of the characters, felt dirtied by others. We truly do live in a world where hope is the only answer.

Not all the threads are tied up in a nice package with a pretty bow, but knowing this is only the first book of the series, I too have hope that better things are ahead for the folks in Defiance, Texas. Great southern read!

2 comments:

Camille Cannon Eide said...

Thanks for the review, Carla. I have been eagerly waiting for this book to release, and have a spot at the top of my TBR pile reserved for it.

carla stewart said...

It's one you don't want to miss, Camille.