Book Review :: A Slow Burn, by Mary DeMuth

“In a town that thrived on spicy news, she’d kept the spice capped. And for what? So she could sprinkle it on her friend like a weapon?” p.230

A Slow Burn is the newly released book 2 in the Defiance Texas Trilogy by Mary DeMuth. The opportunity to read A Slow Burn for review was one that I cautiously accepted the last day it was offered. I’m a bit skeptical about Christian fiction. I know that there are wonderful exceptions(I’ve read them), but I’ve also read too many mass-produced, poorly-written, sappy and predictable Christian novels. I was thrilled to discover that A Slow Burn is none of the above.

It is not light reading for the faint of heart, however, but for those who are willing to live with the complicated characters of Defiance, Texas, as they question a God who would allow them to stumble and crawl through the most painful and messy darkness. It is for those who can see past the pain and sin and misery to the light and hope and redemption on the horizon. Edgy, but discreet, Mary’s well-crafted stories are compelling, mysterious and unpredictable. A Slow Burn is the story of hopelessness overcome by long-suffering and sacrificial love.

Though many will not recognize themselves in the citizens of Defiance to who readers are introduced or in the experiences where we are taken, we can surely catch a glimpse of something in our own lives that resonates with the suffering, the fear, the regret, the shame, or the grief, and the desperate need of mercy and grace and forgiveness for us and for those whose lives we intersect. A Slow Burn forces us to face sin and sorrow in us and others, reveal truth in love, and move forward in Christ’s redeeming love.

The murder of Emory’s thirteen year old daughter Daisy remains unsolved, and difficult relationships are yet to be resolved, but A Slow Burn comes to a satisfying conclusion, and a respite in which to anticipate book 3 in the Defiance Texas Trilogy.

About Mary DeMuth

An accomplished writer, Mary’s parenting books include Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture, Building the Christian Family You Never Had, and Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God. Her real-to-life novels inspire people to turn trials into triumphs: Watching the Tree Limbs (2007 Christy Award finalist, ACFW Book of the Year 2nd Place) and Wishing on Dandelions (2007 Retailer’s Choice Award finalist).

Mary is a frequent speaker at women’s retreats and parenting seminars, addressing audiences in both Europe and the United States. National media regularly seek her candid ability to connect with listeners. Her radio appearances include FamilyLife Today, Moody Midday Connection, and U.S.A. Radio network. She has articles published in Marriage Partnership, In Touch, and HomeLife.

Mary and her husband Patrick live in Texas with their three children.

Learn more about Mary at

“…this cornbread is the bread of God. More than daily bread, it’s his grace. Not just sustenance, but perfect flavor, too. Isn’t that just like God? He gives us what we need, then surprises us with flavor.” p. 67

A list of bloggers participating in A Slow Burn Blog Tour:
Admissions of a Suburban Philosopher
All are welcome here
A Musing Mom Speaks
A Sandy Path Book Reviews
A Writer’s Journey
Adventures of the Duncan Six
AP Free Writing 101
Arkansas Dreams
Aspire2 Blog
Awesome God…Ordinary Girl
Be Your Best Mom
Beams of Light Ministries
Bell Whistle Moon
Blog Tour Spot
Bluebonnet in the Snow
Book Nook Club
Caregiving and Beyond
Carla’s Writing Cafe
Carly Bird’s Home
Carma’s Window
Cheaper by the Half Dozen
Cindy’s Stamping and Reviews
Critty Joy
Declaring His Marvelous Work
Drive Home Productions
Elizabeth Bussey
Fiction for the Restless Reader
Five Bazillion and One
Fresh Brewed Writer
Gatorskunz and Mudcats
Heading Home
His Reading List
i don’t believe in grammar
J’s Spot
Joy in the Journey
Karen R. Evans
Kristin Early
Latte with Me
Literary Fangirl Book Reviews
Merrie Destefano
Mocha with Linda
Moments with MarLo
Musings by Lynn
Musings of Edwina
My Alabaster Box
My Life Message
Net’s Book Notes
Niki Nowell
One Desert Rose
Paper Bridges
Passionate for the Glory of God
Pollywog Creek
Ranunculus Turtle
Real Hurts, Real Hope
Refresh My Soul
Scraps and Snippets
Sheila Deeth
Sherri Woodbridge
Snapshot’s Photoblog
Surviving the Chaos
The 160-acre Woods
The Gospel Writer
The Harrison Kaleidoscope
The Heart of Writing
The Stubborn Servant
The View from Here
This That and The Other
To Be Beautiful
Unreasonable Grace
Walking Daily
Where Romance Meets Therapy
Word Vessel
Write 2 Ignite
Write on the Knows
Writer’s Wanderings
Writing to the heart of the matter

Photos: The North Texas sky ablaze in the setting sun, May 2009; Early morning light creeps across a frost-burnt Pollywog Creek field, February 2009


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