Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Fix: Life in Defiance

Okay, this week's Friday Fix is geared toward fixing summer boredom. And you just might get the added bonus of more insight and reflection into your own relationship with Jesus. Following is a book review for a new release--the final installment in a powerful trilogy. Read on for a summertime fix!

Book Review: Life in Defiance by Mary E. DeMuth

Secrets. Ouisie Pepper has her share of them: there's the bottle of alcohol tucked away in a vase, the paintings she hides, the baptism that wasn't, the violence in her home, and the still-at-large killer of her son's best friend that she's reluctant to expose. And Ouisie's greatest longing--freedom.

Mary DeMuth has done it again with her final installment of the Defiance, Texas trilogy.

In Daisy Chain, the first in the series, the disappearance of 13-year-old Daisy Chance torments her best friend, Jed, and haunts her mother, Emory. In the second title of the trilogy, A Slow Burn, Emory comes to terms with her daughter's murder and her own regret at not being a better mother.

The third book, Life in Defiance, finds Ouisie, Jed's mother, battling her own mothering issues, as well as trying to become the perfect wife to tame her pastor-husband's rage. With each humiliating act he inflicts on her, Ouisie questions what she's doing wrong and determines to win his love again. Out of desperation she turns to a spiritual "how to" book on becoming the woman God wants her to be.

Then there's the matter of the murderer still on the loose. Daisy's killer is identified once and for all in a juicy twist that brings a surprising revelation, culmination--and strangely--liberation, for Ouisie Pepper.

DeMuth's ability to create powerful images propels the provocative story into a movie lover's dream. I was pulled so strongly into some scenes that even when life forced me to put the book down, I would carry them in my mind, reliving Ouisie's vivid and sordid reality and feeling empathy for her self-berating. Doesn't every mom feel like she falls short? I found myself relating to her constant thirst for something more.

And found myself rejoicing with her when she finds it.

Life in Defiance was released on May 11, 2010, and is available locally at The Open Door or online. If you're looking to beef up your summer reading list, I highly recommend the entire Defiance, Texas Trilogy. You'll mourn loss, root for love and forgiveness, and discover that secrets can be gloriously freeing when unveiled and given to Christ.

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