Friday, May 29, 2009

Daisy Chain by Mary DeMuth

The back cover copy of today's featured novel:

The abrupt disappearance of young Daisy Chance haunts the small town of Defiance, Texas. Fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper searches for answers in this gritty story that reveals God's hand of redemption in impossible situations.

And a snippet about its author:

I'm an aspiring gourmet cook, a sometimes tri-athlete (note emphasis on sometimes), and a passionate follower of Jesus. I'm in love with my husband and kids and am zealous about writing and speaking. (I promised my family I wouldn't talk about my nose ring.)

My deepest dream is to see stories—mine and others—change your life as they've changed mine.

Although I write both non-fiction and fiction, I'm especially fond of the latter because of the power of story. Stories saved me. From the parables of Jesus, to novels like To Kill a Mockingbird and The Book of the Dun Cow, stories swept me away into a world of hope and possibilities.

To say my childhood was difficult is like saying the Grand Canyon is a big ditch. (Read my testimony by clicking the tab below.) But out of it God gave me a passion to help families break devastating generational patterns.

This led to an expertise in the field of Pioneer Parenting. I love guiding parents who don't want to duplicate the homes they were raised in, or who didn't have any parenting role models to equip them.

And now my review of Daisy Chain:

2 a.m. It’s unusual I stay awake to read that late, but Mary’s book kept this busy mother of three up, attention fixed to the final pages. From the moment this story launches, you are holding tight to your seat, thrust so deeply into these characters’ lives and the heart of their country life you feel you’ve become a character. I’ve rarely read a book this emotionally gripping, one which was obviously a considerable labor of the author’s heart and mind. (though Mary’s efforts were superb and to readers, her work will appear effortless. Only writers will guess at the labor involved.)

The characters’ stories will grip you. I’d recommend considerable time set aside for the second half of the book, though the first half will keep you reading simply due to the incredible prose.

I’ve heard this book compared to Leif Enger’s “Peace Like a River.” I hold that book in very high esteem as well. And I would agree. Mary’s coming-of-age story, centered on her hero Jed and heroine Daisy is so well written, so gripping, prose lingering in your mind, even if you’re not a highlighter of fiction phrases, you may be tempted to raise a yellow marker to the page.

Fantastic novel. Highly recommended.

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