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Monday, September 28, 2009

A Slow Burn Blog Tour

Mary DeMuth's new book, A Slow Burn is an incredible read, people, and I'll give my reasons below.

Here's the back cover copy:

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.

Mary, with typical courage and boldness, tackles some difficult issues in the second book in her Defiance, Texas trilogy. My review, coming from a therapist's perspective, will hopefully shed some light on the psychological power Mary conveys with her words.

Emory Chance could very well be one of my clients (in fact, I've definitely seen her in my office before). Addictions are so difficult to deal with (and some would say to write)...but Mary realistically portrays Emory's sunken state after finding out about her child's death. The passages where Emory is standing over the toilet bowl, hesitating over flushing her "little white pills"...that really happens! The dissonance Emory feels in herself when she remembers her daughter's admonishments to quick "smoking that stuff," so at odds with what her body wants and craves...incredible how it jumps out at you on the page.

Emory wasn't a good parent. She feels guilt, name it. And this will touch the hearts of readers everywhere...because everyone who is a parent can relate (perhaps in smaller or larger ways) to not being the type parent we want to be at least some of the time. There's always room for improvement, and for Emory, that's an understatement. But she comes from such a place of brokenness....her tragic history actually explains her actions in such a believable, tragic way...not to make light of what Emory did or didn't do with her daughter, but to give a backstory that makes you ache for her in understanding.

And parents all over who have lost a child, whether at the cruel hands of someone else or just at the cruel hands of fate, will gravitate toward Emory as she deals with the death of her daughter. The waiting period (about 2 months) before she found out, the shock, hallucinations...these will all speak to parents still grieving. Grief is nothing to be afraid of, and Mary writes it so well. So real. So sad. Her poignant flashbacks from Emory's own childhood and Mama are so well situated throughout the novel, punctuating Emory's current state of emotion with ah-ha type revelations. Excellent. the kind of stuff therapists DREAM would come out in sessions, so thanks, Mary. :)

But this book ends with an incredible message of redemption and restoration and healing. It didn't end the way I wanted, but it was satisfying nonetheless...probably more so the way Mary did it, actually.

So now, with my stellar, 5-star review, I'm sure you're dying to read this book for yourself!

Learn more about Mary at her website (click here). And be sure to visit the Amazon link here to buy a copy for yourself!

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