Book Review: Daisy Chain

Last summer at SheSpeaks I had the opportunity to not only sit at the feet of Mary DeMuth in a class, but I had the opportunity to receive her novel "Daisy Chain" -- a signed copy! -- for agreeing to read it and tell you what I thought about it! Well, how hard is that?

Sadly, when I returned from the conference, our family turned around and left on vacation and by the time I got back the book had gotten put.... who knows where and forgotten. A few weeks ago I signed up to receive the next book in that series -- again, FOR FREE!!, if I would just tell you what I thought about it -- so I decided that I should know what I thought of the first one!

I dug it out for my trip to Louisiana at Christmas. Truth in advertising: when I went to Mary's class, I received another free copy that I gave to Ashley to read while I was also reading. She stayed ahead of me the whole time. She is so funny. Ashley is my child who, EVERY YEAR, tries to convince us that it is family tradition to open Christmas presents on Christmas Eve. It isn't, but it has now become tradition for her to try to convince us that it is.

Ashley couldn't stand that I didn't know all she did about what was going on in the book. "Where are you now? Can you believe that guy? I don't like this guy at all..." We were both enthralled and could hardly wait for the next page/ chapter to unfold.

"Daisy Chain" is set in Defiance, Texas. The main character is a 14 year old boy, Jed, who I now love dearly and want to adopt. Jed's best friend, Daisy, goes missing in the first few chapters of the book, leaving Jed with plenty of guilt and to face his father's abusive fury. There are so many quality characters in this book that you will find yourself in at least one of them. I love when a book -- or even TV show or movie, honestly -- is like real life in that it not only establishes one or two characters, but an entire community. That is what "Daisy Chain" did -- we got to know quite a bit of Defiance -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. And the lovely. Just like your town has.

Years ago, I asked my former Children's Literature teacher for book recommendations for Ashley -- specifically if there were any Christian books she would recommend. She shook her head sadly and said, "Like adult Christian fiction, most of it is just so bad..." And as I thought about what little I had tried to read, I realized she was so very, very right. Mary DeMuth is finally taking that label off of Christian fiction and giving us quality fiction to read with real characters struggling with real life and real Christianity.

I HIGHLY recommend Daisy Chain. It has some difficult subjects in it, but nothing I would describe as graphic or gruesome. As I said, I let my 14 year old daughter read it, who is an avid reader and has read many mature books. It gave us opportunity to discuss people who are real in their Christianity and those who are not and where we plan to land on that spectrum. I even called Denise and said, "You have to use this for book club!" Yeah, you need to read it!

As a matter of fact, as mentioned, I even have one to give away. Daisy Chain is set in stifling summer. Texas is currently frozen solid. So, think to summer. Tell me about what you would do this weekend if it were the end of July or beginning of August. OR tell me about your favorite summer shoes (there are several things in "Daisy Chain" that make me think about summertime and what it does to our feet). Each person that comments before Sunday, January 10 at 6 p.m. will be entered in the drawing for the book. (I'll use a fancy random drawing like so).


Tiffany said...

If it were summer, I'd be laying in a pool, good juicy book in hand, on a hot pink floatie, with a cherry lime sprite from Sonic in the cup holder of my floatie. I'd have some summer tunes coming through my iPod speakers on the porch and I'd have no clouds to block the sun.

I'd also be barefoot all summer long because really, are there any shoes suitable for summer more than your barefeet?

Mary DeMuth said...

Thank you so much for reviewing the book. I'm tickled that your 14 year old liked it too!

Lori Zimbardi said...

Well, I am a huge Mary fan and have Daisy Chain so I am disqualifying myself but I read your post so I thought I should at least comment and play along for fun. My favorite thing about summer is flip flops. There is nothing better then slipping them on and feeling free. Flip flops with everything, dresses and jeans, doesn't matter. I love them.

Christian said...

If it were summer, I'd spend this weekend laying by the pool. In the background would be the sweet sounds of my kids playing in the water. We would all be enjoying the carefree feelings that go along with being out of school. While they entertained each other, I would enjoy a nice long book and a never-ending glass of iced tea.

As far as footwear is concerned, I do my best to wear my flip-flops year round if I can get away with it. This week it has been a little tough. :-)

Of course if Coby were home, all of this would go out the window and we'd probably head to the beach for the weekend and enjoying having Daddy with us!

Ok, enough dreaming. Bring on summertime!

Donna Ware said...

Summer-I dream of it often. Sleeping later, no school, wearing sandals, no school, being with my friends, no school, walks with my hubby, no school. You get the idea!

Paula said...

Hmmm.... if this weekend were warm and sunny, I would start by taking a long walk outside to refocus and refresh my mind. I would then spend time creating a delicious meal, cooked on the grill, of course, to share with friends!

Jana said...

This book sounds great. I need to read it and if appropriate, add it to my Children's Lit. syllabus next fall--always on the look-out for good books.

If it were summer . . .
My legs would be shaved, I'd be drinking lots of Sonic tea, my kiddos would be outside with me soaking up the summer sun and just belly-laughing, and the days would stretch on into the horizon.

Linda said...

If it were summer, I'd be looking for a good book to read... ;)

Donna said...

If it were summer, I'd be at the pool with the kids with a Sonic happy hour diet DP.

Design by Deluxe Designs