Last week I told you about Daisy Chain, a rare and wonderfully gripping piece of Christian fiction from author Mary DeMuth. The first in her Defiance Texas Trilogy, Daisy Chain weaves a tale of suspense and fear, grace and deliverance, as told through the eyes of a forlorn 14 year old named Jed. Chapter One opens like a firecracker–rising high and exploding with questions, doubts, and a terrifying new reality that Jed’s best friend, Daisy, has vanished. Jed’s choices, while innocent in the making, prove to be an unshakable dark cloud that follow him throughout the book. Could he have done something differently to protect her? Why did he leave her? How can he go on? And, Can he ever forgive himself?
These questions, deep and universal to anyone who’s ever felt the weight of guilt, follow Daisy’s friends and family into book two, A Slow Burn, due out OCTOBER 1. This time, the chain of regret is tightly wound around Daisy’s mother, Emory Chance. Never one to wallow, Emory’s past and present at last collide, forcing her to deal with the demons that took up residence in her heart as a girl.
Mary’s skill as a writer lies in part in how she expertly layers her characters so that the reader feels a kinship to them. Despite her faults [and believe me, there are many], Emory became someone I cared about. I wanted her eyes to be opened to the loving folks around her. I wanted her to unfold and welcome difficult healing. I wanted her to allow her heart to be soft–to be teachable. I wanted her to repent.
“Only Emory didn’t repent of anything; instead she nursed her grief, feeling the great injustice of it all. She reminded herself she was a good mother to Daisy, considering. She wasn’t wicked. Not as wicked as her parents were. Daisy, she didn’t know how good she had it” [pg. 46, A Slow Burn].
The depth of character that Mary builds in her books is outdone only by the unbelievable sequence of events that had me hunched in the dim light of the early morning hours, unable to put it down. A Slow Burn builds on the mystery of Daisy Chain while adding fresh elements of surprise, new characters, and eerie revelations about Daisy’s disappearance. With many questions remaining, the forward momentum compels me to unlock the answers. Will Book Three finally hand over the keys? I can’t wait to find out!
I hope you’ll head to your Christian Bookstore this Thursday for a copy and leave a comment with your own review. Let’s start a conversation!
PS: I feel fortunate to have been chosen as an influencer for Mary, and as such, was privileged to have received this book free as an early release so that I could tell you all about it [thank you Zondervan Publishers!].