I can’t remember the last time I finished a book in less than twenty-four hours, but that was the case with Mary DeMuth’s latest in the Defiance Texas Trilogy, Life in Defiance. This was a hard book to read, but the characters’ quest for Truth kept me searching along with them until the end. It was an uncomfortable read, in that it deals with the sad story of a battered woman, sadder even that she is a pastor’s wife. But saddest (and probably why I struggled with the story) is that the pastor-husband in the story reminded me of people I knew years ago who manipulated scripture for their own purposes, and wielded the power of their position for the sake of their reputation. Later horrendous familial abuse was uncovered, but not before much damage had been done. Somehow, Mary manages to keep the candle of light and hope burning throughout the story, light which leads Ouisie Pepper to the Truth that ultimately sets her free.
As usual, Mary deMuth does not disappoint. She is more than merely a masterful storyteller or weaver of words. She has an unparalleled depth of insight into human nature, a gift which leads her to create honest and compelling characters who grow and change throughout the story. Having lived her own set of painful experiences (I blogged about her memoir, Thin Places, here), Mary has truly allowed God to build something beautiful out of that which was broken, an understanding that she is in turn gifting to hurting women everywhere.
(I received nothing more than a review copy in exchange for posting my review!)