Monday, September 28, 2009

A Slow Burn

The Author.

I had the pleasure of hearing Mary DeMuth speak at She Speaks 2009, a Proverbs 31 Ministries conference, in August, 2009. Mary was delightfully witty, honest and forthright as she shared with a bunch of neophyte writers how to go about getting published. While the journey to publication is not an easy one, but rather a quite daunting endeavor – writing the book seems far easier by comparison – I appreciated her candor and encouragement.

As one of those neophyte writers, I've followed Mary's blog for a couple of years now. I read Daisy Chain, predecessor to A Slow Burn just a few weeks ago. When she asked for volunteers to preview this book prior to the October 1st release date, my fingers tripped over each other to reply "me, me, yes, me! I'll read it!"

The Book.

Hurting people hurt people. Emory Chance is a hurting, grieving woman. As the pages of her past are turned, we come to understand why this fragile young woman built a wall of granite around her heart, forbidding anyone to come near. Emotional pain and neglect is all she’s known in her life. It is the only standard she’s familiar with - and is all she’s capable of giving out.

But the murder of her young daughter has ripped a gaping hole in her harsh facade and she fears her vulnerability might be exposed for all of tiny Defiance, Texas to see.

Confronted with an uncommon love from an unlikely source, Emory is both compelled and repelled. To give in means giving up her bitterness and opening up her heart. Giving in would open the door to a frightening magnificence beyond her wildest dreams.

Emory’s sordid past can be redeemed. But at what cost?

A Slow Burn is Mary DeMuth’s second in a trilogy set in 1977 in sleepy Defiance, Texas. Part one is titled Daisy Chain, and is a must-read if the reader is at all interested in the full effect of this intricate story line.

The character development in this series is exquisite. Each character is carefully sketched on a blank canvas. As the story unfolds, details of personality and background are revealed, adding depth and richness to the portraiture, ultimately becoming someone you know.

DeMuth writes with authority, making it apparent that her characters and situations are very near and real to her heart. Indeed, people very much like Daisy, Emory, Jed and Hixon must be in her circle of influence.

Much to my dismay, I discovered shards of my own life entwined in these pages. The first two books in this trilogy have given me pause, stirring in me a compulsion to examine my own life seeking evidence of intentional kindness, grace and mercy extended. I anxiously await the third and final chapter.
This is a tough book to read. Not one of those cute, warm, fuzzy reads where everyone lives happily ever after and you shut the book and fall sleep with a smile on your face. This is a real, raw look at the underbelly of hidden sin. But while exposing the sin, the author points to the message of hope and redemption freely available to whosoever will through Christ. This story is an exceptional visual of just how deep, wide, high and long is God’s mercy and grace, demonstrating that no one is ever outside of His reach.

This is not just good fiction. This is hauntingly familiar, life changing storytelling.

Keep the tissue box handy.

The Tour.

Check out Mary's website.

Visit others on this blog tour for the debut of A Slow Burn by Mary DeMuth.


  1. A Slow Burn is now added to my read list! Thanks for the reference sister! Love ya!

  2. Thanks so much for your review. And, hooray for Steph who's put it on her TBR list!