Daisy Chain: A Novel

( 56 )

Overview

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...
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Daisy Chain: A Novel

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

In 1973 Defiance, TX, the disappearance of 13-year-old Daisy Chance from the ruins of an old church haunts the small community. Her best friend, Jed Pepper, feels guilty. Afraid of his father's blows, he left her alone despite her pleas that he stay with her. Daisy's mother is optimistic that her daughter is still alive, but some blame her promiscuous lifestyle for what happened to her daughter. Jed is determined to find his friend and to protect his little sister, Sissy, from the dangers in the woods as well as the violence at home. DeMuth's (Watching the Tree Limbs; Wishing on Dandelions) third novel is a coming-of-age novel in the classic Southern gothic tradition, and while it has moments of brilliance, it unravels at the end. Still, this is worth reading for the complex relationships, skilled prose, and the author's depiction of God's redemption in difficult times. Recommended for public and regional libraries.


—Tamara Butler
School Library Journal

Adult/High School

Fourteen-year-old Jed is the son of an admired and respected preacher in Defiance, TX. His younger sister, Sissy, soulfully longs for a dog and, with a timid lisp, references Anne of Green Gables and The Velveteen Rabbit . His artistic mother writes daily notes and affirmations on the petals of stolen flowers. What the congregation doesn't realize, however, is that Jed's father is a violent, abusive, and controlling force who permeates his family's sense of self and safety. To further complicate Jed's formidable hardships, his friend Daisy Marie Chance has just disappeared from their small town after he neglected to walk her home. What follows are Jed's Sisyphean struggles to set things straight: protect his mother and Sissy, stand up to his tyrannical father, and find Daisy. His only-and possibly dishonest-companions are Daisy's "loose" and hardened mother, a quirky prophet, and an ex-cult member dying of cancer. Slightly troublesome here is the use of colloquialisms that start to sound too quaint in their frequent overuse. Further, there are a plethora of loose ends and a few awkward time lapses-but this is the first book in a proposed trilogy. Despite these challenges, the intrigue of Daisy Chain will have definite appeal to teen readers of Christian fiction, especially to boys who will appreciate Jed's perspective and attempts to rectify his faith with real life.-Shannon Peterson, Kitsap Regional Library, WA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310278368
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Series: Defiance Texas TrilogySeries Series
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 958,795
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary DeMuth is the author of several southern novels, including A Slow Burn, Life in Defiance, and the Christy award finalists, Watching the Tree Limbs and Daisy Chain. She’s also written four parenting books and a memoir, Thin Places. She’s passionate about the written word, teaching, and mentoring writers. Mary lives in Texas with her husband, Patrick, and their three children.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 56 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 4, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Compelling, poignant and haunting!

    This is a compelling, poignant and haunting story of hope in a small southern town centered around the missing Daisy. The many memorable characters paint a lovely portrait of Daisy in flashbacks and descriptions of her wonderful character.Sadly, Jed is molded by his environment of mental and physical abuse by his father. This is a gripping, powerful story of raw emotions as the search continues throughout for Daisy, displaying also tenderness, beauty and kindness as tragedy brings people closer. This is a memorable read that will haunt you for years!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2009

    Abuse Behind Closed Doors

    Another title for this book could have been "Secrets of the Upstanding Christian Leader," but of course DeMuth's is better.

    What is Daisy Chain? First, it is NOT a strawberry fluff entertaining book with a whipped topping end. But it IS a compelling, thought-provoking message for most American Christians. DeMuth wrote the story after she had conversations with children of "upstanding" Christians who abused behind closed doors.

    Readers will understand why DeMuth is acclaimed as a rising star in the CBA. One reason: she writes rich characters. The main character is a teenage boy, but this is a book that any age can appreciate. I realize I related to the characters out of the agonies of my own dysfunctional growing up. But DeMuth always left me with hope. Even Daisy's death left little sunbeams of faith around the edges.

    Readers follow the perspective of 14-year-old Jed, whose best friend Daisy goes missing. Add to Jed's life the sometimes dark tale of severely flawed parents, abuse, anger, growing into his own world view, protecting his little sister, and reconciling the fear that Daisy's disappearance is his fault.

    DeMuth's metaphors are seamless, melding into the narrative with her strong writing. I did experience confusion with the references to Jed as an adult. I felt jarred each time, and found myself stopping to figure out what happened. Or puzzling over the story as I loaded the dishwasher.

    Daisy Chain is the first in a trilogy, and some questions are left unanswered, but readers will undoubtedly find solutions in the remaining novels.

    I recommend Daisy Chain for anyone desiring a fascinating tale that challenges the reader in the right places-to understand that everyone is flawed, that no one is perfect, and we all need redemption.

    Reviewed by Audrey Hebbert, M.A., author of Green Light Red Light

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    "Daisy Chain" by Mary DeMuth

    Imagine the horror of learning a child in your community is missing. Now pretend that you are the best friend of the child that's missing. Go one step further: How would you feel if, as the best friend, you believed you were somehow to blame?

    The book, "Daisy Chain" by Mary DeMuth, tells the story of fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper, whose best friend, Daisy Chance, disappears one summer evening in 1977.

    The first chapter is a poignant scene between Jed and Daisy, and takes place right before she goes missing. The rest of the story tells about Jed's struggle with guilt, and his journey to find out what has happened to her. But interwoven throughout this main story is a second thread dealing with family secrets.

    As you can well imagine, because of the subject matter this is not a "fluffy" read. It's gritty and raw and edgy, but it's all those things done well.

    Here are the things I particularly enjoyed about this book:

    1. STRONG CHARACTERIZATION

    The author does an amazing job of bringing the characters to life on the page. Many times when you read a book told from the viewpoint of children, the characters seem like miniature adults instead of kids. Not in this story.

    One of my all-time favorite books is "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. The main thing that drew me into that story was the voice of Scout. The voices of Jed, Sissy and Daisy from "Daisy Chain" are equally compelling.

    2. TIGHTLY WOVEN PLOT STRUCTURE

    The skill Mary DeMuth displays as she weaves in the story thread of family secrets is nothing short of masterful. If you've ever watched a person skilled at embroidery, you will understand what I mean. They sew in this thread and that one, and a work of art comes together in a beautiful whole. That is what happens in this story.

    3. TRUE TO LIFE PLOT

    We all love fairy tale endings where everyone lives happily after. The only problem with fairy tales is--well, they're just that--fairy tales. DeMuth brings resolution to this story without tying all the loose ends into one pretty package. The characters still have issues to address and deal with when the story ends. That makes it more true to life for me.

    4. A GREAT SUPPORTING CAST

    All my favorite movies have a good supporting casts, and that's one thing I appreciated about this book. The secondary characters were realistically portrayed and compelling. There was also a great deal of variety among the secondary characters.

    The story's main antagonist is Jed's father, Hap Pepper. The author makes the reader sympathize with even this character, which makes the "bad guy" in the story more realistic, and not a cardboard stereotype.

    5. GREAT CHAPTER ENDING HOOKS

    One way great authors keep readers turning the pages is through strong chapter endings--those endings where you can't put the book down. That's definitely true of "Daisy Chain." If it's getting late and you have to up early the next day, I highly suggest stopping in the middle of the chapter. If you read on to the end, I guarantee you won't put it down.

    If you're looking for a story with a strong spiritual thread of remption, lifelike characters and an amazing plot, you won't be disappointed with "Daisy Chain" by author Mary DeMuth.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2009

    Poignant Story

    From the first sentence, Mary Demuth's skillful writing draws the reader willingly or unwillingly into this tragic tale. Though the sadness seems almost too great to bear at times, the reader presses on for redemption.

    The poignant story of young Daisy Chance's disappearance and the dark secrets of her friend Jed Pepper will resonate with those whose lives have also been scarred by tragedy. Jed's pilgrimage through pain caused by closeted family matters offers the reader an emotional peak behind the door of abuse, and the guilt that riddles its victims. Demuth presents the victim's plight with heartrending accuracy and doesn't shy away from having her characters ask the questions that dog situations like this. She wisely resists offering pre-packaged answers but does consistently point the reader in the direction of the Cross.

    As the first of the Defiance Texas Trilogy, several threads lack resolution. The reader is sure to return to Defiance again and again for more of this compelling story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Haunting, but Hopeful Story

    Daisy Chain is Mary E. DeMuth's masterpiece so far. Where her first two novels were lyrical in style, I found the prose in Daisy Chain to be quietly haunting and sophisticated. While I could hardly put it down, Daisy Chain isn't a book a reader wants to plunge through in one day. This is a book to savor. There is too much to learn and explore for a quick read and I found I wanted to take my time with the characters.

    As in her earlier works, DeMuth's characters are youthful with a sort of wisdom that young people should not have, but have come to through the most difficult of circumtances. In Daisy Chain, the reasons for the young characters' insight are sensitively shown on the page, but thankfully not glossed over.

    When we first meet Jed Pepper and his friend Daisy, they are barely in their teens and still wrapped in the innocence of childhood friendship. Just when they begin to see a hint of their future together, it is ripped away, leaving Jed to blame himself for Daisy's disappearance. As the adults in the community struggle to deal with the tragedy, the mystery of the disappearance seems to be mixed up with their own secrets. The truth seems just out of reach for the young Jed who sets out to find Daisy and forces himself to believe she is still alive.

    As Jed stands in the passage between boyhood and manhood, he carries a tremendous weight on his shoulders. His heavy burden is surprisingly lightened by a mish-mash of unexpected, quirky characters who show God's love to him, but can any adult really be trusted? It is his difficult as a reader not to worry about Jed, sensing he might be in danger with every turn of the page.

    Anyone who has experienced the painful disappearance of a child, or just followed such stories in the news, will be profoundly moved by this story about a small, southern community that is rocked by Daisy's disappearance. The sultry Texas summer of Defiance is an appropriate background for the story as the hot climate and harsh natural surroundings encircle the mystery of what happened to Daisy.

    DeMuth's powerful story wrestles with the realities of what happens when God seems to turn his back on children, but the truth is something more profound, something that Daisy herself seemed to already understand on that fateful day before she disappeared. The ending will leave readers asking for more, but they will be glad to know the book is only the first in a trilogy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Perfect marriage of sorrow and faith

    I was beyond pleasantly surprised by this book.I had never heard of this author, and was a little worried about reading a book under the category of "Religion"This book is amazing! It marries discovering faith with a real-world painful accident. From the very start you feel the characters and go through the emotions as they are going through them. You want to reach through the pages and hug, cry, laugh, surrender and believe right along with them. All the while bringing to light the power of faith and religion.Not one sentence in this book feels like a lecture. Instead, it uses an incident which happens in each American community at one point or another, and shows how by letting go ofpre-judgements and conceptions, everything can be overcome and healed.One note I must add is that once you read this book, you have no choice but to continue with the series. Not because of obligation, but because you get so attached to the characters, that you want to be there for them when they continue their journey. Not one character you meet in this book is a throwaway. They are all written for a reason and are integral to making the story what it is. To do that is a rare gift this author has mastered.This first book in the Trilogy is a sure smash! The second book, "A Slow Burn" is sure to be just as enticing and well written. Please be sure to look out for it as it comes out October 1, 2009.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 3, 2011

    DAISY CHAIN: a story unnervingly told

    I just finished reading Mary DeMuth's novel "Daisy Chain," first book in the Defiance Texas Trilogy. It was a hard read for me. The story of the small Texas town of Defiance is told through the young eyes of fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper. His closest friend, Daisy Chance, has gone missing, and he's sure it's all his fault. Town secrets come to light during the search for Daisy, and we experience it all from Jed's viewpoint--the viewpoint of a child living in a house full of its own secrets. I was too captivated by the story to stop reading, since Mary DeMuth has a writing style that wrapped me up inside Jed's head--and there was my pain. Having grown up in a house of secrets myself, the author's uncanny ability to write from within the mind of a child unnerved me. I lived each emotion as Jed did: each moment of powerlessness, shame, guilt or rage. I felt his tentative hope, his doubts. What I loved most about this book was the very thing that made it hard reading, the author's ability to crawl inside a child's head and stay true to the telling through his eyes. For this reason I highly recommend this book and author.

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  • Posted October 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful prose, off-beat but very real characters, and a delicate story

    Review by Gretchen Hoffman

    Mary E. DeMuth's latest book, Daisy Chain, is a coming of age story about fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper. He lives in Defiance, TX in 1977, a time of small towns where parents didn't have to worry about their children running around. At least they didn't until young Daisy Chance goes missing.

    Not only is Daisy Jed's best friend, but he was the last one to see her. Jed faces guilt over the disappearance of his friend and struggles with hidden hurts from his seemingly picture-perfect family. Through his pain, Jed must learn to overcome his guilt and find redemption.

    This novel has been compared to Harper Lee's infamous book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Let's just say I can totally understand why. It's the newest coming of age story that is so well-written. Daisy Chain has beautiful prose, off-beat but very real characters, and a delicate story. It's one of those books that stays in your mind long after you've finished reading it. The story is a little sad, and I couldn't help wishing things would have turned out differently, but alas, life isn't always happily-ever-after. I would recommend it.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Perfect marriage of sorrow and the healing power of faith

    I was beyond pleasantly surprised by this book.

    I had never heard of this author, and was a little worried about reading a book under the category of "Religion"

    This book is amazing! It marries discovering faith with a real-world painful accident. From the very start you feel the characters and go through the emotions as they are going through them. You want to reach through the pages and hug, cry, laugh, surrender and believe right along with them. All the while bringing to light the power of faith and religion.

    Not one sentence in this book feels like a lecture. Instead, it uses an incident which happens in each American community at one point or another, and shows how by letting go ofpre-judgements and conceptions, everything can be overcome and healed.

    One note I must add is that once you read this book, you have no choice but to continue with the series. Not because of obligation, but because you get so attached to the characters, that you want to be there for them when they continue their journey. Not one character you meet in this book is a throwaway. They are all written for a reason and are integral to making the story what it is. To do that is a rare gift this author has mastered.

    This first book in the Trilogy is a sure smash! The second book, "A Slow Burn" is sure to be just as enticing and well written. Please be sure to look out for it as it comes out October 1, 2009.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 17, 2009

    A Touching Story of Victory Over Trials

    Victory through trials and tribulation is the theme of Daisy Chain by Mary E. DeMuth. Thirty years ago in Defiance, Texas, the summer when Jed Pepper was fourteen, his best friend, Daisy Marie Chance, died. Jed saw Daisy last after they met in their usual meeting place. He was worried about going home early so he left Daisy alone to go home by herself. A few hours after, still worrying this time if Daisy came home safely, he decided to go back to the old abandoned church where he left her. There he found one of Daisy's shoes but no Daisy. He went to her home and found that she has not come home. Filled with guilt, he spends the following days and weeks searching for her as best as he could.

    But Jed also had problems of his own. His father was their town's preacher. They seemed like the perfect Christian family, but nobody in their town knew what was really going on inside their home. As Jed deals with guilt over Daisy, he also has to deal with their problems at home.

    I've had to constantly stop and reflect while I was reading this book. Mary de Muth writes with such poignancy and truthfulness that I was so affected with sadness and pain as I read this. The pain that abuse brings is brought to reality here. Though there is no usual happy ending to this story, there is also the reality of hope in the Lord, that even if our start in this world is so bad, God is still there and is able to change our lives.

    This is a beautiful, beautiful book and should be read by many. Daisy Chain is the first book in the Defiance, Texas trilogy. It includes group discussion questions at the end of the book.

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  • Posted June 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    When Growing Up Is tough

    Sometimes you find an author who is able to take difficult subjects, tough truths and weave a poignant story from them. It is rare, indeed, to find books of such depth that also draw you in and will not let you put them down. Every time I crack the binding of a book by Mary Demuth I know I am opening such a book. Her skill at telling stories is made more memorable by the subjects and the characters she creates. Daisy Chain is yet another example of turning trials to triumph.

    Jed Pepper lives in a typical small town. The time is 1977. His best friend, Daisy Chain, goes missing and Jed is convinced it is his fault. Daisy, in her sweet innocence left a trail of clues for Jed. As Jed follows the clues determined to find her, he finds other hidden things along the way. Hidden secrets within his own family that threaten to destroy his own world. At a time when he needs her the most, his best friend is gone. Jed must grow into manhood through difficult circumstances and only as he does will he find the truth of a God always present, even when no one else is.

    This is a beautiful, heart-wrenching story or growing up, rebuilding, and redemption. The reader will be drawn into the lives of the characters and work through each struggle with them. It takes one back to simpler days that held complicated problems and the knowledge that God is always there. Daisy Chain will challenge the reader, and touch hearts. I recommend this book for anyone, but especially those searching for God's Hand in the trials of life.

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  • Posted May 14, 2009

    Daisy Chain touches my heart!

    Daisy Chain is an amazing story. It has charming characters with flaws. It has awful characters that you see the human side. I wanted to encourage them to go the right direction. I would lose time while reading this book. I did want more of a conclusion on some of the story lines. I will read the future books in this triology. I just want to read them now!

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  • Posted May 3, 2009

    There is Always HOPE

    Long before Daisy Chance went missing, Jed Pepper knew that life was unpredictable.

    Long before weeks passed without any word from his best friend, Jed Pepper knew life wasn't fair.

    Long before the final tragedy played out, Jed Pepper knew well that life didn't give a person what they deserved.

    But then Jed knew a lot of hard things about life by the time he'd reached the age of fourteen. But even knowing those things, Jed kept looking for the story to change, for the ending to play out different.

    Jed Pepper never gave up hope.

    In this poignant coming of age story we see the most horrific nightmare that can be imagined played out in just the first pages. A child goes missing, her last words coming back again and again to haunt the young boy who saw her last. "You'll regret it." The words hung on the air, and in the heart of the boy who stubbornly refused to give up home when everyone else did.

    Jed Pepper's life isn't easy. Living in an abusive home, is it any wonder that he's got a lot of questions about what God is really like.especially given the one hurting him is his preacher papa? But the one thing Jed does have is hope. And the fragile faith that maybe, just maybe, God cares about him after all.

    This book will haunt you long after you turn the last page. The answers aren't all there, and so leaves you hungry for the next book that's sure to come. What we do have is this, a story about change. About second chances. And about God's love shining in the darkest of places.

    Don't miss this one. You'll surely regret it if you do..

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  • Posted April 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The End of the Story

    Daisy Chain's portrayal of the harshness and beauty of deeply flawed lives both chills and warms the heart. It is about recognizing that betrayal at the hands of those who ought to have loved better and the weight of sorrow that ensues, is not the end of the story. There is One who loves perfectly. There is more.

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  • Posted April 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Thought-provoking

    Mary Demuth writes about difficult subjects in an engaging way. This book explores the dynamics of dysfunctional families and shows how different children react in varying ways. It's a wonderful, engaging and entertaining tale with discreet lessons.

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  • Posted April 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Mystery and Allegory Blend with Authentic Reality

    With red dirt realism, the poignant memories and mysterious events of main character Jed Pepper's life story intertwine with the magnetic voice of his one true love, Daisy Marie Chance, while Jed's parents, little sister and eccentric friends keep the pages turning through the darkest of family secrets. Haunting pain mingles with poetic beauty and poisonous sorrow to weave a Daisy Chain of rhythmic deep breaths. Breathe in: He, God, loves me. Exhale: He, my earthly father, does not know how. Adult characters with evocative childlike faith, an abusive apostate, and the children who experience this startling coming of age tale join author Mary DeMuth in telling a story presented as if Jed, Daisy, Hixon and Bald Muriel directed her to listen while she acted like a faithful scribe. A high tribute to a true professional destined to delight a broader and broader audience with her gift.

    Those who enjoy Charles Martin's style of writing will delight in this well-narrated, eccentric story where mystery and allegory blend with authentic reality, balancing the depths of depravity against the heights of grace. Perhaps the next book in the Defiance Texas Trilogy will reveal the-who-done-it. Looking forward to sorting more clues, this book comes highly recommended.

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  • Posted April 9, 2009

    MARY DEMUTH DOES IT AGAIN

    A powerful and moving story of a young boy of 14 dealing with life struggles far beyond his years. I was captivated by DeMuth's portrait of Jed. She draws you into his feelings and battles as he forms his own judgments and opinions on life. His family and friends are beautifully depicted. Very sad and very hopeful at the same time. Jed's fight with faith, his devotion to Daisy, his love for his little sister and his mother will speak to your heart. His love/hate relationship with his abusive father will break your heart. As God puts new friends in his life to help him along this difficult journey, your heart will sing with hope. Daisy Chain will leave you feeling a mix of emotions and a longing to continue the Defiance Texas Trilogy.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    Review of DAISY CHAIN

    DAISY CHAIN takes the reader back to the 1970s, a time before teenagers isolated themselves with computer games or tuned out the world with music downloaded onto an iPod. Yet, like any slice of present or past, not all is perfect or safe. Set in Defiance, Texas, DAISY CHAIN, part one of a trilogy, sets into motion the thought troubling many people: How can a good and loving God allow bad things to happen to good people?

    Jed, a 14-year-old boy, lives with his tough-as-rusty-nails preacher dad, his emotionally unstable mom who gives her love the best she could, and a younger sister who at times is seized with a lisp. At times, Dad Pepper's actions are as hard as his words. His family suffers both physically and emotionally from his abuse. A family secret, they keep this from the public eye, although a few have suspicions.

    The beginning of the story sets Jed's world upside down. The stability and probable future soul mate he has in his life, Daisy, is snatched up and away, joining the ranks of missing children. Jed's guilt and self-blame over Daisy's disappearance is carried throughout the story: a heavy burden for anyone, especially so young, to carry.

    Jed meets and befriends some very special people. Muriel, who is fighting cancer, comes from a bizarre marital past. Hixon, who is often thought of as the town prophet, suffers through prejudice against him, and his own demons. Combined with the companionship of Jed's young sister, and what seem to be Daisy's whispers of faith, Jed finds the strength to stand up for his convictions.

    DAISY CHAIN is not light reading, but is thought provoking, leaving the reader asking several questions about life and God, and wondering what will happen to Jed and those whom he loves. It's well worth spending time in Defiance for a walk with young Jed down a very rough road, one we all seem to travel on at one time or another.

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  • Posted April 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A really good read!

    I settled myself on the sofa, a cup of hot coffee in hand, looking forward to a really good read. I picked up "Daisy Chain" and began. Right from the start, Jed and Daisy drew me into their world of Old Defiance and New. Who cannot remember being a child in a world removed from grownups, in a time when play was all day long and ruled by imagination, secrets, and scary places? My coffee grew cold as I lost myself in Jed and Daisy's world. Dread seized me as the shadowy circumstances of their lives began to unravel. Then delight--it's going to be a mystery! Eccentric characters like Hixson, Hap, Ousie, Bald Muriel, and Miss Emory fascinated me as the plot thickened. Were they heroes? Or villains? Or both? Could they be trusted? Mary's winding plot and delightful prose held me till the wee hours of morning, all the way to the somewhat perplexing end. Was that the end? Mary leaves some threads of story untied, just like real life. Her book faces hard truths and provides no quick fixes. A most enjoyable read! Can't wait till the sequel comes out.

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  • Posted April 4, 2009

    A Great Book to Share!

    Mary DeMuth has done a marvelous job painting the small town landscape of Defiance, TX and its inhabitants. The writing draws the reader into the book, and the characters take on life, it is almost as if one is watching the drama play out in front of the eyes rather than on paper.
    Mary tackles some hard subjects, and some challenging Christian believers. Yet, sin does exist in all of our lives, and only by God's grace and the blood of Jesus Christ are we forgiven and cleansed. Mary is not suggesting that only Christians sin, but she is exposing secrets, those that hurt and scar, those that wound the heart to the core and those that may even cause us to trip in our faith. These are tough subjects, and like all sin it is not pretty to face. As Christians we must be transparent and not try to hide our sins, but be honest about our struggles, that attracts rather than detract people.
    Mary does not leave the reader wallowing in sin, but rather offer redemption, forgiveness, as well as unconditional love to those who are willing.
    If I have one disappointment with the book it would be that the next two are not in print yet. I cannot wait to read them. My copy of the book will be passed on this week - it is too good to keep on the shelf.

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