About the Novel:
You can read more about it on my previous Christian Fiction Blog Alliance post, or you can go to Mary's site and read the synopsis.
Mary DeMuth is an expert in the field of Pioneer Parenting. She helps Christian parents plow fresh spiritual ground, especially those seeking to break destructive family patterns. Her message guides parents who don’t want to duplicate the home where they were raised or didn’t have positive parenting role models growing up.
An accomplished writer, Mary’s parenting books include Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture, Building the Christian Family You Never Had, and Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God. Her real-to-life novels inspire people to turn trials into triumphs: Watching the Tree Limbs (2007 Christy Award finalist, ACFW Book of the Year 2nd Place) and Wishing on Dandelions (2007 Retailer’s Choice Award finalist).
Mary is a frequent speaker at women’s retreats and parenting seminars, addressing audiences in both Europe and the United States. National media regularly seek Mary’s candid ability to connect with their listeners. Her radio appearances include FamilyLife Today, Moody Midday Connection, and U.S.A. Radio network. She also has articles published in Marriage Partnership, In Touch, and HomeLife.
As pioneer parents, Mary and her husband Patrick live in Texas with their three children. They recently returned from breaking new spiritual ground in Southern France where they planted a church.
Learn more about Mary at http://blog.myfamilysecrets.org/.
I'll be honest. This was a hard, hard book to read. It is not a feel-good happy book. It's gritty and raw in places. It hurts. It is sad.
I finished it one evening and all I felt was angry. I was angry at the situations and events presented in the book, because I know that things like this might have actually happened to someone.
(And in truth, I was a little upset with Mary! But because I've read some of her other books and I've followed her blog now for a couple of years, I feel as if I know a bit of her heart. And she would not do this just for sensationalism's sake, or just to sell books. She's telling the stories God has given her to tell.)
I felt so terrible for Jed and Sissy. I loved them and my mama heart wanted them to come and live with me in my loving ministry home. To tell them not all preachers hit their children and wives.
On the plus side: The imagery is absolutely amazing. Her gritty descriptions of summer in Texas made me actually thirsty--and I was reading this during a February below-zero cold snap and snow fest in the northern plains!
I also adored the characters of Bald Muriel and Hixon. They were truly the body of Christ, the "Jesus with skin on" for Jed and for Sissy. I also loved how Mary wove in the beauty of working together in the body of Christ, church differences aside. The more I grow up (and at 39 I'm not done yet!), the more I realize this is what Jesus had in mind for His Church.
As you can see, I'm torn on this book. I really am! It's a tough read. It made me sad. It hurt my heart. Yet it is a beautifully-written book, full of characters capable of evoking a strong emotional response and vivid imagery.
PS: I did tell Mary, in a Facebook message, that I was angry after reading her book. She was gracious in accepting my initial response. (Thanks, Mary!)
GIVEAWAY: For some reason, I received extra copies of this novel from the publisher. I'm going to keep one and give one away here, and one away on another blog. So, if you'd like to enter my little contest, leave me a comment with a way to get hold of you (either a blog link or disguised email address) and I'll choose a winner later this week.
The Daisy Chain Contest:
Participate in our 2 Truths and A Lie Contest!
A major theme through Daisy Chain is secrets. The rules are:
1) By Friday, March 13th, write a blog post or Facebook note that includes two truths about yourself and one lie. Don’t identify which is which, but encourage your visitors to guess in the comments section.
2) If you feel so inclined, tag a few people and encourage others to play along as well.
3) Please reference this tour and Mary’s book, Daisy Chain.
4) Bloggers, put a link to your post into Mr. Linky on the Blog Tour Spot Daisy Chain Tour post: http://www.blogtourspot.com/2009/03/daisy-chain-blog-tour/. If you are using Facebook, leave a message on the wall of the Daisy Chain Tour Event. All other participants can leave a comment on the Blog Tour Spot Daisy Chain Tour post (above). IMPORTANT: Only those posts and notes entered through Mr. Linky, the tour post, or the Facebook event will be considered in the contest.
5) On Monday, March 16th, reveal which fact was a lie. Mary will determine the contest winner later that week.
The prize? Signed (and kissed!) copies of Watching the Tree Limbs, Wishing on Dandelions, and Daisy Chain, as well as bragging rights of being the winner.
Other Relevant Links:
Mary DeMuth’s Facebook Profile:
Follow Mary DeMuth on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mdemuth