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: 9780310561156
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 5/26/2009
  • Series: Defiance Texas Trilogy
  • Sold by: Zondervan Publishing
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 406,864
  • File size: 670 KB

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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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Sure to Hit Home No Matter Where You Live

    Rarely does a work of Christian Fiction exhibit both literary genius and masterful story telling. Daisy Chain is one of those rare and beautiful finds that touches the heart but also possess a balance of intrigue that keeps the reader turning the pages. Kudos to Mary Demouth for the courage to expose the hypocrisy that makes an intelligent child question what faith is really about. Fourteen-year old Jed Pepper is the son of a very imperfect preacher. Few outside his father's church know the extent to which his family hurts. Except for Daisy, the love of his life. When she comes up missing, Jed feels alone. Like most young men growing up in abusive homes, feels he must become the protector for his mother and sister. Her struggles with the misperception that he failed to protect Daisy, blaming himself for whatever happened to her. We ache with the least of Defiance's citizens on his journey to comprehend this faith his father preaches, a faith veiled by the hypocrisy that so permeates Jed's life. Mary Demuth takes us on an expose of a small Texas town through the eyes of an adolescent. She has crafted a beautiful window into the heart and soul of a boy trapped in rural insanity, before Amber Alerts and child protective services. Like so many small towns we drive through, picturesque and post-card perfect, Defiance hosts pain and sorrow tucked underneath a faux veneer of righteousness. This is the backdrop that haunts Jed as he deals with a family torn apart and the grief he endures from Daisy's disappearance. A wonderful read and deserving of all the accolades it has received to date.

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