Daisy Chain by Mary deMuth

Summary: 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.

My thoughts: Jed Pepper is a strong lead: even in his weakness and youth, he's searching, trying to make sense of his own world, and then of Daisy's. A fully developed character, Jed carries the reader through. Mary's thoughtful and real prose shines in this novel, soothing the reader just enough to make the darker spots navigable.

Although Daisy Chain deals with many of the same themes in Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, Daisy Chain's worldview is more comprehensive: it's not dealing with suppositions about heaven and God, but grounded in Biblical truth -- something I can completely stand behind.

The small and large betrayals of the Christian community are brought to light, serving as a cautionary tale to those of us who might commit the same wrongs. But grace presides over the events in the story, both in the writing and in the message.

Daisy Chain at Amazon.com
Mary deMuth's Web Site (lots of great help for aspiring writers here)
Family Secrets Blog

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Mary DeMuth said...

Thanks so much for your review. Your blog is lovely!!!!