Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A Slow Burn Review

A Slow Burn is the second in the Defiance Texas trilogy, written by Mary DeMuth.

This is a belated book review, and I feel I should tell you why. This is, again, another tough book to read. It was difficult emotionally to get through this book, and while I allowed myself ample time, I found myself avoiding it. Why? Well, let me give you the premise:

She touched Daisy's shoulder. So cold. So hard. So unlike Daisy.

Yet so much like herself it made Emory shudder.

Burying her grief, Emory Chance is determined to find her daughter Daisy's murderer-a man she saw in a flicker of a vision. But when the investigation hits every dead end, her despair escalates. As questions surrounding Daisy's death continue to mount, Emory's safety is shattered by the pursuit of a stranger, and she can't shake the sickening fear that her own choices contributed to Daisy's disappearance. Will she ever experience the peace her heart longs for?

The second book in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy, this suspenseful novel is about courageous love, the burden of regret, and bonds that never break. It is about the beauty and the pain of telling the truth. Most of all, it is about the power of forgiveness and what remains when shame no longer holds us captive.

As I was reading this book, my oldest daughter began planning her 13th birthday party. I look at her in all her graceful-dancer, wavy-haired glory, and I cannot fathom the pain of losing her like Emory lost Daisy. And yet, Mary DeMuth dragged me kicking and screaming (figuratively speaking) into Emory's world and what it would feel like.

It was not a pleasant journey, I must say.

So, the review. This novel is wonderfully crafted and beautifully written. It's a compliment to an author, I believe, when she can, through her prose, evoke such a strong emotional response from the reader. In the first book, I felt anger. (To read my review of the first book of the trilogy, go here.). In the second, I felt sadness and grief and infinite loss. My heart is still heavy.

I don't feel as if I can talk much more about the novel without giving away significant plot points, which is the number one sin among book reviewers. It's Emory's story, and Hixon's too. And I'll leave it at that.

Many of the reviews and endorsements of both Daisy Chain and A Slow Burn have thrown in the word "redemption." Those reviewers found redemption in these two novels, and that's fine. Perhaps my understanding of redemption is different from theirs. I don't take the word redemption lightly at all, and frankly, I don't see redemption. Not yet, anyway. I'll give Mary the benefit of the doubt and look forward to the third book, which according to the teaser, appears to be from Ouisie Pepper's point of view.

Mary is known both for her moving fiction and her nonfiction parenting books. She's one of those rare authors who can write both and write them well.

To purchase on Amazon, please click here.

Special thanks to Zondervan for the review copy of this novel. I appreciate it.


Mary DeMuth said...

Thanks so much for your honest review!

Aggie Villanueva said...

Everywhere I go I read about A Slow Burn. I'm going to have to buy it!

Carole said...

I hope you keep writing open and honest reviews like this, Pattie. I believe Mary writes the kind of books I would enjoy, although maybe not comfortable reads.