What happens when your best friend goes missing?
The abrupt disappearance of young Daisy Chance from a small Texas town in 1973 spins three lives out of control—Jed, whose guilt over not protecting his friend Daisy strangles him; Emory Chance, who blames her own choices for her daughter’s demise; and Ouisie Pepper, who is plagued by headaches while pierced by the shattered pieces of a family in crisis.
In this first book in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy, fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper has a sickening secret: He’s convinced it’s his fault his best friend Daisy went missing. Jed’s pain sends him on a quest for answers to mysteries woven through the fabric of his own life and the lives of the families of Defiance, Texas.
When he finally confronts the terrible truths he’s been denying all his life, Jed must choose between rebellion and love, anger and freedom. Daisy Chain is an achingly beautiful southern coming-of-age story crafted by a bright new literary talent. It offers a haunting yet hopeful backdrop for human depravity and beauty, for terrible secrets and God’s surprising redemption.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School—Fourteen-year-old Jed is the son of an admired and respected preacher in Defiance, TX. His younger sister, Sissy, soulfully longs for a dog and, with a timid lisp, references Anne of Green Gables and The Velveteen Rabbit. His artistic mother writes daily notes and affirmations on the petals of stolen flowers. What the congregation doesn’t realize, however, is that Jed’s father is a violent, abusive, and controlling force who permeates his family’s sense of self and safety. To further complicate Jed’s formidable hardships, his friend Daisy Marie Chance has just disappeared from their small town after he neglected to walk her home. What follows are Jed’s Sisyphean struggles to set things straight: protect his mother and Sissy, stand up to his tyrannical father, and find Daisy. His only—and possibly dishonest—companions are Daisy’s “loose” and hardened mother, a quirky prophet, and an ex-cult member dying of cancer. Slightly troublesome here is the use of colloquialisms that start to sound too quaint in their frequent overuse. Further, there are a plethora of loose ends and a few awkward time lapses—but this is the first book in a proposed trilogy. Despite these challenges, the intrigue of Daisy Chain will have definite appeal to teen readers of Christian fiction, especially to boys who will appreciate Jed’s perspective and attempts to rectify his faith with real life.—Shannon Peterson, Kitsap Regional Library, WA
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Daisy Chain is a hauntingly beautiful novel in which innocence gives way to the unspeakable one awful summer in Defiance, Texas. Mary DeMuth’s storytelling has never been stronger, nor the stakes more desperate. This is one story that will linger long, long after the last page is read. — Sharon K. Souza, Author of Lying on Sunday and Every Good and Perfect Gift