Daisy Chain: A Novel

Daisy Chain: A Novel

4.5 55
by Mary E DeMuth

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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 and compelling story of love and sorrow, revealing God’s hand of redemption in impossible situations. Lyrical fiction from a bright new literary talent.See more details below


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 and compelling story of love and sorrow, revealing God’s hand of redemption in impossible situations. Lyrical fiction from a bright new literary talent.

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

Publication date:
Defiance Texas Trilogy
Sold by:
Zondervan Publishing
Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Daisy Chain is a hauntingly beautiful novel in which innocence gives way to the unspeakable one awful summer in Defiance, Texas. Mary De Muth's storytelling has never been stronger, nor the stakes more desperate. This is one story that will linger long, long after the last page is read. — Sharon K. Souza, Author of Lying on Sunday and Every Good & Perfect Gift

Every now and then a book comes along that weaves its way into your soul and takes up residence. Daisy Chain is such a book. Heartbreaking. Hopeful. And peopled with unforgettable characters—Jed, Hixon, Bald Muriel, and the irrepressible Daisy—who wind their way into your heart and won't let go. Reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird, this book will leave a lasting mark on your heart and soul. Thank you, Mary De Muth, for writing it. — Laura Jensen Walker, Author of Daring Chloe and Turning the Paige

Daisy Chain, the first book in the 'Defiance Texas Trilogy,' is a powerful story of friendship, family secrets, and the presence and love of God in the darkest of places and through the darkest of days. Readers should be advised to clear space on their bookshelves for this emotion-packed story. — Tamara Leigh, Author of Faking Grace and Paying Piper

Daisy Chain is a spell-binding, beautifully mysterious masterwork of a story that will both frighten and comfort, break your heart and mend it again. Mary De Muth is one of our very best authors, and you will savor this novel from the first page to the last. — Kathleen Popa, Author of To Dance in the Desert and The Feast of Saint Bertie

Mary De Muth has written yet another lyrical tale of haunting secrets and lavish redemption. Daisy Chain is sure to steal your heart and take your breath away. — Claudia Mair Burney, Author of Zora and Nicky: A Novel in Black and White.

Daisy Chain grabbed my heart immediately, broke it with Jed's struggles, and healed it with the touch of Grace in his broken world. Mary De Muth has penned a compelling tale that kept me turning pages until the surprising, yet satisfying, conclusion. I can hardly wait for the next installment from Defiance. — Janelle Clare Schneider

Mary De Muth's artistic flair for the sublime and the subtle shines in Daisy Chain. Painfully poignant and realistically redemptive, this is a story to savor and ponder. — Susan Meissner, Author of The Shape of Mercy

Within a few paragraphs of Daisy Chain I found myself letting out a contented sigh. The story captured my attention from the first page, but more than that the writing has a melody to it. If words can lull one into a story, these did. Reminiscent of Peace Like a River only different, better. — Vickie Newton, Author of ACFW Book of the Year winners Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights.

Mary Demuth's latest novel, Daisy Chain, is a deeply moving tale of love and loss, hope and heartache. Richly drawn characters and a starkly believable southern setting paint a landscape that this reader will not soon forget. Highly recommended. — Annette Smith, Author A Bigger Life.

Mary Demuth's beautiful, lyric style of writing will capture you and draw you into this compelling story of hope and grief, of innocence lost, and redemption found, even in the midst of suffering. Jed's journey will linger in a reader's heart, long after his story is over. Daisy Chain is another brilliant masterpiece by one of my favorite authors. — Susan May Warren, Award-winning Author of Nothing But Trouble, a PJ Sugar novel

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