Thirteen year old Daisy Chance and fourteen year old Jed Pepper are the best of friends. They have explored the length and breadth of Defiance, Texas. The run down old Crooked Creek Church building is their favourite place to spend time whiling away summer days and after school hours.
Daisy’s sudden disappearance sets Jed’s world spiralling into desperation and despair over what has happened to his best friend. His guilt over not walking Daisy home that night drives his desire to find Daisy.
Meanwhile Jed’s own family is slowly imploding. Jed’s mother Ouisie carries a load of guilt for her husband, Hap’s raging temper and abuse. Jed and his little sister Sissy try their best not to enrage their preacher father. It is only through his friends Hixon and Bald Muriel that Jed is able to begin to be at peace, despite the tragedy and dysfunction of his young life.
What I thought:
‘Daisy Chain’ is the powerful, haunting tale of a young boy’s coming of age. Jed’s desire to be strong enough to stand up to his father is heartbreakingly bittersweet. His love for his mother and sister and their wellbeing sparks the rage growing in his heart against his father. It is through quirky characters like Hixon and Bald Muriel that Jed learns to forgive. Each, in their own way, encourage him to see that his heart is full of goodness, rather than the unpredictable rage that fills his father. They show him that God is a powerful, prayer-answering God and not like Hap at all.
Mary DeMuth shows her literary craftsmanship in ‘Daisy Chain’. She pulls the reader on through the story with her strong character-driven plot. As the novel progresses it becomes more and more difficult to put the book down, such is the strength of the mystery woven in with the development of each character. While ‘Daisy Chain’ seems filled with despair, hope is artfully woven between the pages, showing that even in the darkest times of our lives God offers us hope and strong arms to carry us through.
My one disappointment was that the mystery of Daisy’s disappearance is only partially resolved. Perhaps this is because a fourteen year old boy would not be privy to the full extent of such details. Despite this, ‘Daisy Chain’ is a gritty, powerful and thought provoking read that deserves a place on every discerning reader’s bookshelf.
Guest reviewer:~ my friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence
*Possible spoiler alert if you haven’t read Daisy Chain*
Tracy ~ the sequel might solve your disappointment!
Here’s the synopsis for A Slow Burn, releasing September, 2009 from Zondervan
Burying her grief, Emory Chance is determined to find her daughter Daisy’s murderer—a man she saw in a flicker of a vision. But when the investigation hits every dead end, her despair escalates. Not even the kindness of her persistent suitor Hixon can soften her heart towards the community of friends that long for her healing. And as the questions surrounding Daisy continue to mount, and Emory’s safety is shattered by the tattooed man’s dark pursuit, she can’t shake the sickening fear that her own choices contributed to Daisy’s disappearance. Will she ever experience the peace her heart longs for?
A gripping suspense novel, A Slow Burn is about courageous love, the burden of regret, and the bonds that never break. It is about the beauty and pain of telling the truth and letting God take over. Most of all, it is about the strength of forgiveness and what remains when shame no longer has power. Mary DeMuth’s distinctive new voice in Christian fiction will keep readers enthralled as they ask soul-searching questions in this second book of the Defiance, Texas Trilogy.
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