I’ll admit I’m a bit biased. Mary DeMuth is not only one of my critique partners, but she is also a very good friend. For years, I’ve been able to see her books go from idea to first draft to published novel. And while her language has always been beautiful and surprising, what strikes me most in reading A Slow Burn is her growth as a storyteller.
A Slow Burn is the second book in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy. It follows Daisy Chain, in which a young girl goes missing. While Daisy Chain recounts fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper’s struggle to come to grips with Daisy’s disappearance, A Slow Burn delves into Daisy’s mother’s battle with guilt and grief. But lest you think this book is a downer, it is also filled with grace and redemption, sometimes from very surprising places.
As I said, re-reading this book (or rather, reading it in its final, finished form) illuminated Mary’s growth as a storyteller. Not only do her characters live and breath, but each character, each word, each description has meaning that is often revisited throughout the book. The story not only holds together, it forces you as a reader to keep turning the pages. And its final destination does not disappoint. No string is left hanging, no question unanswered—except those that will be revealed in the third and final book!
I’m not the best “book reviewer” in the world, so if you want to see what others are saying about A Slow Burn, check out these blogs.