"" Writer's Wanderings: Books for the Road -- A Slow Burn by Mary DeMuth

Friday, October 02, 2009

Books for the Road -- A Slow Burn by Mary DeMuth

When I agreed to read A Slow Burn to review it, I was torn between reading it alone or reading it after first reading Daisy Chain, the first book in the Defiance Trilogy by Mary DeMuth. I opted to purchase a copy of Daisy Chain and begin with that. Daisy Chain explores the mind, the heart and the soul of a young teen, Jed, who copes with abuse and then has to cope with the loss of his closest friend, the only one in whom he could confide. Add to that the guilt that he might have somehow saved his friend, Daisy, from being murdered and you have quite a story. It is tough reading because DeMuth truly digs in and pulls out all the stops as she explores his feelings.

In A Slow Burn, I was surprised to find that instead of continuing Jed's story from the first book, DeMuth chose to examine Daisy's mother, Emory Chance, who was devastated from the loss of her daughter and needs to find and give forgiveness. I wondered if the last name, Chance, was coined because she is a woman who finds her chance to be a mother is over and now she is presented with the chance to change her life. All of this while battling a drug addiction and demons from the past.

The second book of the trilogy is no lighter in character and emotion than the first. Both books are extremely heavy reading and while there is some good resolution, the reader is still left with heaviness of heart. The characters struggle with their spirituality, their obedience to God, and never seem to find the joy in their faith--except perhaps for Muriel who dies from cancer with a peace the others never find.

I expect the third book will be much the same but DeMuth's storytelling is compelling and I will be reading that as well. I need to resolve the murder mystery and it will be interesting to see how she handles the telling of Jed's mother's story. While you can read A Slow Burn on its own, I suggest reading Daisy Chain first. There are a few places you will understand better if you do.

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