What am I writing? Still the draft of Claire’s book, and I’m up to chapter 6
What am I reading? I read two books this week, and I am emotionally wrung out. First up was Mary DeMuth’s Daisy Chain. Following Mary on Twitter and getting to know her through her blogs prompted me to pick up the book. It’s garnered fabulous reviews for the story of Jed Pepper, a fourteen-year-old boy swept up in the disappearance of Daisy, his best friend, maybe even his girlfriend. Jed was the last one to see Daisy, and suffers with guilt, remorse, and palpable loneliness. On top of this, Jed’s father, a well-respected pastor, is abusive, and his mother deals with the tyranny through closet alcoholism. The story, the characters, and setting are all extremely well-rendered. What struck me, what will ultimately stay with me, was the way Mary captured the incomprehensible ambivalence Jed wrestles with. He loves his father and wants nothing more than to make him proud, but in the same breath, he despises the man and his hypocrisy. This is a coming of age story. I defined those for Lauren as a story in which a young person has to face the way the world works. Jed becomes a fine young man, and I wish someone would tell him so. Book 2, A Slow Burn is due out in October.
After taking a few days to absorb and recover from Daisy Chain, I moved on to Bonnie Grove’s Talking to the Dead. I also follow Bonnie on Twitter, and not only has her book received great reviews, it has garnered a heap of mentions through the Twitterverse. Interestingly, it arrived with a sticker on the cover- ‘good read guaranteed’. It delivered. In it, Kate Davis becomes a widow at 28, and within days, her husband speaks to her. The rest of the book unfolds the reason why and what it all means. For several days, I read it while I sat in the car waiting for my son to get out of school, but I found out there was a tipping point. Once I hit that point, I had to finish the book… that day… period. A close friend of mine says any book that makes you talk back to it is a good one. Without blowing any plots points, when Kate finally cleaned out Kevin’s closet, I gave her an enthusiastic “Good girl!” (My daughter looked up.) I know it’s ‘just a book’, but the characters are ‘real’ characters. It broke my heart how utterly alone Kate was through this. God help us not walk on by while anyone is in as much pain.
I’m going back to non-fiction next week. I need a break!
Side note- Social media can definitely be an effective marketing tool. It was key in my decision to purchase and read these two books.
What has God taught me? Between the books and my Bible study this week, God has highlighted how much hurt there is in this world, and reminded me of our mandate to be a conduit for His grace and mercy. I get so easily frustrated and discouraged, I lose sight of my amazing Redeemer working in each situation.