A Slow Burn: A Novel

A Slow Burn: A Novel

by Mary E DeMuth

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A Slow Burn: A Novel by Mary E DeMuth

“I will punish you as your deeds deserve…” Emory Chance knows the cross-stitched warning points directly to her motherly neglect. Burying her grief, she’s determined to find her daughter Daisy’s murderer. But when the investigation hits a dead end, her anger escalates. Not even the kindness of her persistent suitor Hixon can soften her heart towards the community of friends that can help her begin to heal. And as the questions surrounding Daisy continue to mount, Emory can’t shake the 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310564386
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 09/22/2009
Series: Defiance Texas Trilogy , #2
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 905,860
File size: 669 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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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Slow Burn 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
The story and characters drew me into this book right from the start. The protagonist, Emory Chance, is waiting for the police to knock at her door with the worst kind of news. A single mom, and not the most friendly of people, she's left to identify her daughter's body and organize a funeral, while creditors demand payment, the landlord threatens to throw her out and neighbors stare. With past and present colliding in her emotions, Emory bounces between Angus's offer of drugs and Hixom's promise of prayer. The writing style, with beautiful, powerful prose, anchors the reader with stunning descriptions of place and memory, seamlessly weaving the tale together. The book cover, with its fiery red sky and moody shadows, is a perfect fit. And the author draws the balance of light and dark, hope and despair, belief and denial quite beautifully. From Catholic burial to disapproving preacher to laughter to messages from God, the reader is pulled through the gamut of faith and finds it strong and powerful in the strangest places. I closed the book feeling uplifted and enthralled. The novel is part of a trilogy, but its story comes to a satisfying conclusion. I'll look forward to reading parts 1 and 3, and I'm sure they'll be wonderful. But this book, A Slow Burn by Mary E. DeMuth, is a wonderful read on its own.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A-MA-ZING!The second part of the Trilogy, this book gives us the same heart pounding action and heart wrenching emotion we have come to expect from MaryDeMuth.The acts of forgiveness, denial, betrayal, love, humility and hatred are expertly examined in this Defiance, Texas sequel. It's almost as if Mary know just what to write on paper to touch each of our souls, and then does so as if she is speaking to us as individuals. Her words make you feel what each of her characters are feeling and saying and you will find yourself laughing out loud, crying your eyes out, loving without shame and then feeling betrayed all within minutes of each other.There are absolutely no "slow" chapters or forced words in this book. It is written as it is lived.EVERYONE should read this sequel!
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ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
A Slow Burn by Mary DeMuth is the second book in the Defiance, Texas trilogy. Emory Chance is "perfect in every way, but flawed to her marrow." Devastated after the disappearance and murder of her daughter Daisy, Emory can't forgive herself for not being the mother her daughter needed and deserved. Hixon Jones has determined to show Emory the love of God no matter how hard she pushes him away, eventually falling in love with her. Emory's spirit was broken again and again from childhood throughout her entire life: molested, abused by her malevolent mother, she's like a sack of broken glass: the shards are poking through, slicing anyone who comes near. DeMuth's writing is a revelation. Hixon's relationship with God is a beautiful message to every reader; his struggle at the police station to do the right thing resonates. How do we treat others? Do we speak the truth in love or does love cover a multitude of sins? She never gives a sermon in her books, and yet the reader can't help but close the back cover with a deeper and richer understanding of God and his love. DeMuth carefully renders a haunting portrait of a woman so haunted by her past sins that she can't see any way out from under them and makes Emory's incomprehensible actions understandable. This is a deeply moving and multi-layered story from a masterful author.
tiggerdaisy More than 1 year ago
A Slow Burn was a terrific follow up to Daisy Chain. (If you haven't read Daisy Chain, do so without delay!) It was full of twists and turns that kept me guessing the whole story through. As soon as I opened the book and began reading, the characters seemed to literally jump off the page. When an author can make me feel as if I know the characters, that they are warm and cozy friends or treacherous foes, then the author has done their job. Especially when you want to join Hixon for a cup of coffee, hug Emory, smack her boyfriend, sit down and give Ousie a good talking to about her hubby, but also love on her for staying with him. This book is hard hitting when it comes to honestly looking at yourself with regards to how we treat others and how readily we forgive. Defiance, Texas comes alive on the pages of A Slow Burn--it can even be life changing if you let it. I was completely satisfied with the ending (well almost--I was upset about a particular twist in the book, until I sat back and realized what it did for the book and its readers) of A Slow Burn until I got to the back of the book and read a few pages of the third book that has yet to be released. Now I can hardly wait for the third and final book to hit the shelves! Yes, it's just that good!
thebloggingswede More than 1 year ago
This is the second book of fiction that I have read written by Mary DeMuth. Just like the first one, Daisy Chain, this one A Slow Burn kept me up all night, I simply could not put it down. Her character development is amazing, the descriptions of Defiance so real, I immediately feel transported to this slow town in hot Texas. I can almost hear the dialogues and the scents, sounds, the wind, the heat from the fire are so vivid, I truly feel I am right there and not in the comfort of my little house in CA. Mary has a way with words that make them jump off the page and become alive. It is a delight to read such well written work. I do not read a lot of fiction as most is so formulaic, and half way through the book I can usually predict the ending, not with Mary DeMuth's fiction. Her characters are not black and white, good and evil, but a little of both and many shades of gray, much like most of humanity. I can easily identify, although reluctantly, with Jed, Hap, Emory, and Ousie, all of whom I share experiences and feelings with. The only one I wished I could identify with is Hixon but if I am truly honest with myself I have a long way to go to be like him. Although this is fiction, it forced me to think, to reflect, to readjust, to reconsider and redirect - all the while keeping me at the edge of my seat as I followed the lives of the people in Defiance. Mary DeMuth shows that there is hope, there is redemption, and there is grace in this fallen world. This is a book that will force the reader to think, it will challenge common wisdom and conventions and it will vividly depict the immense and incredible love of Jesus. There is only one problem with this book, that the third book is not available yet. I cannot wait to learn what will happen to my friends in Defiance.
SherrieAshcraft More than 1 year ago
What would you do if you were called to the morgue to identify the body of your thirteen-year-old daughter? What emotions would course through your soul as you were hit with the realization your drug and alcohol abuse may have played a part in the loss of your only child? What guilt might you attribute to her young friend, Jed, who was the last person to see her alive? Emory Chance is a mother living through such an unthinkable situation. She seeks to find out who murdered her daughter, and why. Things like this just don't happen in their small Texas town. Others deal with problems of their own: Hixon, a man who believes God has told him to marry Emory, though they have little in common, and Jed, the boy reeling under the regret of not walking his friend home after they had last played together. The lives of these three characters intersect in unusual ways, up to the last pages of the book. A Slow Burn is the sequel to Mary DeMuth's novel,Daisy Chain. It's important to read them in the correct order. Ms. DeMuth's writing is stellar--deep and flowing. The characters come alive and may remind you of people you've known in your past. Huge topics of forgiveness, regret, guilt, and blame are dealt with. This book will grab your emotions and give them a hard twist before leaving you with a satisfying ending. The two books would make a wonderful Christmas present. I give A Slow Burn one of my rare five-star ratings!
Jeanne_Noorman More than 1 year ago
This is Christian fiction at its best. Mary DeMuth's characters struggle. They have problems, many that they have created for themselves, and there won't be a happily ever after ending for some of them. The reality of life is that some of us are not raised in loving Christian homes, and even Christian homes can have their dysfunctions. Life is hard. We're all human, and we all make mistakes. Emory Chance is living with the consequences of her mistakes. Her only daughter Daisy is dead, and Emory is left to pick up the pieces of her life. But what do you do with a life that is full of bad decisions? Where do you turn when the pastor's hell and brimstone sermons are about you? How do you respond when you don't feel worthy of even the smallest kindness that come your way? In A Slow Burn DeMuth doesn't put a happy Jesus face on the problems or make them go away. She shows us the good and the bad in each of her characters. We see their strengths and their weaknesses. We see their struggles, their victories and their failures, and through her characters, we see ourselves more clearly. In A Slow Burn, as in the first book of the Defiance Texas Trilogy Daisy Chain, DeMuth gently helps us see that there is grace to cover guilt; there is healing for the hurt, and with faith you can face the future one day at a time.
Donna-Collins-Tinsley More than 1 year ago
I finished A Slow Burn by Mary E. DeMuth and loved it so much I didn't want it to end. A song from Todd Agnew has the words, "Cause we are all broken here, We are all ashamed I couldn't fool you if I wanted to Our stories are too much the same" I thought of that song as I wrote a letter to my granddaughter, Aubrey, about the book "A Slow Burn," by Mary E. DeMuth, the 2nd book in the Defiance, Texas trilogy. Words from the book weren't always a slow burn, but scorching hot and searing with love and the warmth of God's forgiveness and redemption. Somewhat reminiscent of the classic by Francine Rivers, "Redeeming Love" it was a book that I didn't want to put down yet cringed to think I was so close to the end, and wouldn't have it to read anymore. I loved "A Slow Burn" and as a writer, I felt that Mary has surpassed many in being able to portray the depths within the souls of her characters. Her novels scream the spirit of Harper Lee and the South, with all the intricacies of living there, good, bad, indifferent, covered over, secretive and yet also personified those that were spiritual, loving, giving, self-sacrificing, prophetic and Godly. I wept as I read because such searing words could not be read without weeping; not sorrowful but as in "joy coming in the morning type" of weeping. I don't want to give the story away as I hate when people do that before I have read a book, but I must say that I have a whole new appreciation for Mary as a master word weaver and craftsman. I can't wait for the next book to come out! Donna Collins Tinsley
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"A Slow Burn" grabbed hold of me from the first sentence and took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions and feelings that lasted until the last sentence of the book. I smiled, I cried, I rejoiced. I despised, I loved. I worried and prayed-after which I had to remind myself it's just a book after all-these people aren't real. But that is part of the beauty of this book. Mary DeMuth went so deeply into the characters, I felt like I had known them all of my life. I was transported from my hometown to Defiance, Texas; from my mundane, everyday life to the life of Emory Chance, failure as a mother in her own eyes and in the eyes of the townspeople. For those of us who feel as though we failed as mothers, or who perhaps feel our mothers failed us, that part of the book may not be easy to read. For those of us who knows someone fighting a war with drugs and alcohol, or perhaps it's one of us fighting that battle, as Emory did - that part may not be easy to read. I urge you - don't stop reading! There is redemption, forgiveness, peace, acceptance and love for Emory and for us. (Review written by Edwina Cowgill)
Jodi_Whisenhunt More than 1 year ago
Author Mary DeMuth's A Slow Burn (Zondervan, 2009) presents quality literature that appeals to the masses. In this second installment of the Defiance Texas Trilogy, the reader assumes Emory Chance's burdens and becomes the mother of a murdered child, a mother consumed by the guilt of love ungiven, of hope neglected, of shame unyielding. When Emory was a child, her mama warned her the crossed lifelines on her palms destined her to heartache and misfortune. Drug abuse, adultery, and neglect of her daughter, Daisy, brought that prediction to fruition, engulfing Emory in pain and suffering. Believing God created her to fail, Emory tells Ousie Pepper, "I'm really only good at messing things up." With Daisy's killer stalking Emory, lurking in the shadows, she trusts no one, especially not God. In Emory's opinion, God is weak. He couldn't protect her little girl from evil. Why expect Him to deliver her? One man, Hixon Jones, a man "more like Jesus than anyone," accepted God's charge to protect Emory. Having wrestled with life's afflictions, Hixon knows firsthand her need for redemption and persistently reaches out to Emory, despite her resistance. The reader transforms along with Emory Chance and emerges a bit charred but renewed, together receiving a final prayer, "Dear, dear Jesus, Author of everything beautiful, Thank you for changing her, for making her a woman who loves you again...Oh, how I pray that every single day, Emory would know she's treasured." As Emory considers the message, she knows she'll "spend her life living up to outrageous love like that." Mary DeMuth is a master at her craft, and A Slow Burn is a must read!
LynndaE More than 1 year ago
Have you ever seen your reflection in a shattered mirror? The shards show you little pieces of yourself, distorted segments of who you see yourself to be. In "A Slow Burn" Mary DeMuth gives us a vivid look into the shattered life of Emory, a single mother whose child has been killed. Emory is not a woman whose life is empty and who is seeking to fill it. Instead, her life is filled with guilt, bitterness, brokeness, and razor-sharp self-hatred. When Daisy's killer stalks Emory,she slashes to ribbons every person who wants to help her,leaving her vulnerable to what she thinks she deserves. The book ends on a hopeful note, not on the full summer of redemption, but on the early spring of new birth. This mystery with enough twists to knot up a snake, will keep you turning the pages right to the end.
LaJoyce More than 1 year ago
'A Slow Burn' second in a trilogy gives the reader an inside to a drug addict's life and the will of God to set her free. The novel is definitely a story of redemption that the author Mary DeMuth explains so beautifully in the art of her words. Her characters are so fully entailed in their explanation that there is nothing left unturned. Her flow of language brings to light the love God has for us and how reaching out can be realized. The third book is looked forward to give the reader a definite prognosis.
SharonALavy More than 1 year ago
This book is best understood if you have already read Daisy Chain since A Slow Burn is the second book of the Defiance Texas Trilogy. In Daisy Chain we were left with a lot of unanswered questions. Some are answered in A Slow Burn and some are left to be answered in the final book of the series. The Love of Jesus is portrayed in the character Hixon as he follows Christs leading to love a person while they are still unlovable. Sometimes God calls each of us to do just that. Am I up to it? As I read A Slow Burn I found myself with this and other soul-searching questions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago