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Daisy Chain: A Novel (Defiance Texas Trilogy Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Mary E DeMuth
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing

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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Mary DeMuth’s artistic flair for the sublime and the subtle shines in Daisy Chain. Painfully poignant and realistically redemptive, this is a story to savor and ponder. -- Susan Meissner

Product Details

  • File Size: 525 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0310278368
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (May 26, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002AP9GQC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,054 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect marriage of sorrow and the healing power of faith September 5, 2009
I was beyond pleasantly surprised by this book.

I had never heard of this author, and was a little worried about reading a book under the category of "Religion"

This book is amazing! It marries discovering faith with a real-world painful accident. From the very start you feel the characters and go through the emotions as they are going through them. You want to reach through the pages and hug, cry, laugh, surrender and believe right along with them. All the while bringing to light the power of faith and religion.

Not one sentence in this book feels like a lecture. Instead, it uses an incident which happens in each American community at one point or another, and shows how by letting go of pre-judgements and conceptions, everything can be overcome and healed.

One note I must add is that once you read this book, you have no choice but to continue with the series. Not because of obligation, but because you get so attached to the characters, that you want to be there for them when they continue their journey. Not one character you meet in this book is a throwaway. They are all written for a reason and are integral to making the story what it is. To do that is a rare gift this author has mastered.

This first book in the Trilogy is a sure smash! The second book, "A Slow Burn" is sure to be just as enticing and well written. Please be sure to look out for it as it comes out October 1, 2009.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dancing with Daisy April 14, 2009
By Michelle Wegner

I just finished reading Daisy Chain by Mary Demuth last night. I love a good story, one that grips me and keeps my attention the entire time. This story did that for me and more. It touched parts of me in a very deep way that I hadn't thought about for a long time, causing me to think and reflect deeply on where I am and how I got here.

The way Mary tells this story set in Defiance, Texas in the 70's made me feel like I was there with each and every character she described. I could feel the Texas heat, smell the air, touch Daisy's matted hair, and see her dance and twirl in the wind. Her telling also made me feel Hap's rage and anger in a very real way. Something about the duplicity of his character, a small town preacher by day, and a wife demeaning, child abusing husband/father by night, made my skin crawl.

For real!

I loved this story.

I can't wait for the 2nd and 3rd books come out so I can put my mind to rest and find out what happens in the end...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In A League of Its Own! October 23, 2009
Through the riveting novel "Daisy Chain," Mary E. Demuth has set a new standard for Christian fiction and few writers will ever come close to reaching it. Demuth doesn't want you to walk away from her books simply "reading a good story"... she wants you to "live" them and be transformed by their message.

You may find your heart pounding as Jed Pepper runs to check on Daisy. You will find yourself filled with anger at Jed's father who portrays a heart for God as a preacher, yet is abusive behind closed doors. You'll want to sit down with Jed's mother and let her cry on your shoulder. You might wish you could go to Defiance and rescue Jed and his sister, help look for Daisy, and pray in hope for the brokenness that has consumed the town, but there's no need to. The author introduces you to God's grace in the form of Hixon and Muriel. Demuth leaves no stitch of the story loose or undone. She has weaved a perfect tapestry of the truth of tragedy, yet the assured triumph through God's mercy and grace. Each character is as mysterious and intriguing as our Creator who has made each of us. The author brilliantly keeps you on the edge of your seat while taking you through the realities of a fallen world. She doesn't beat around the bush; she doesn't try to sugar coat pain. "Daisy Chain" will open your heart and your eyes so that you will get a glimpse of what it's like to look at others as God does.

Mary E. Demuth has a God-given talent to write that most could work towards their whole life and never even come close. Each word is carefully chosen and artfully written. You'll be up all night reading "Daisy Chain" and find yourself hoping there is no end to Mary's incredible story telling of Defiance, TX. Lucky for you, the second book in the Texas Trilogy is released and you don't have to wait to read it ("A Slow Burn"). My them both won't want to wait to go down to the book store or the time it will take for shipping!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air but not enough... February 9, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read a fair amount of Christian fiction and have become quite weary of it. The books are usually poorly written with mediocre story lines and always come off as preachy. "Daisy Chain" was a breath of fresh air to Christian fiction. The book was written very well. The author crafted her words carefully and her descriptions were vivid. Jedd was a very likable and endearing hero. The author had the guts to address a sensitive topic and I loved how all of her characters had their doubts and imperfections.

I only gave this book three stars for a couple of reasons. First off, I am a very avid reader. I usually devour a book within a few days. This book was hard for me to get into. It took me about a week to read it and I was bored at times. I'm not even sure if I will read the second one... The storyline plodded methodically along and I found it confusing when the book would randomly jump to 30 year old Jedd. I would have appreciated some kind of warning or transition that the book was going to a different time period. I loved Jedd and Sissy but I had a hard time with the adults in this book. ALL of them were completely dysfunctional and over-the-top. By the middle of the book I just wanted to scream, "Can we have one normal adult please?" I found it hard to connect with them.

Overall, this book was very thought-provoking and well written albeit boring at times.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 26 days ago by Rizalina Batenga
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I am looking forward to reading the next book to see who did it.
Published 1 month ago by j. granny
5.0 out of 5 stars What an excellent book. Although the story is incredibly sad
What an excellent book. Although the story is incredibly sad, the book is well written. The characters are so well developed that one easily feels empathy with their plight. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book, can't wait to read more!!
Published 4 months ago by Emily Ellis
4.0 out of 5 stars looking forward to the sequel
This isn't an easy book to read.The main character's father is a pastor and a violent man behind closed doors but God sends two people into Jed's life ( Hap is the father and Jed... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Libby S
4.0 out of 5 stars Good start to a new series
This book was good. I was kept interested even though the plot drug a little bit. Still was kept interested enough to buy the other books in the series.
Published 15 months ago by Jane Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Daisy Chain was a great fast read....
It kept my interest from the start and I found the characters to be very colorful and captivating and yet realistic.
Published 15 months ago by Lana Hopkins
5.0 out of 5 stars awsome
i cannot put the book down its soo good!!! cant wait to order the other 2! and its used and i couldnt even tell!!! :)
Published 16 months ago by Brittany
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Very sad in places. Hope springs up in unexpected places. I was surprised by some results. Definitely have to read the next one to find out what happens next.
Published 23 months ago by H. Colwell
3.0 out of 5 stars Daisy Chain Review
I purchased this book with the understanding that it would lead into the second book in the Defiance Texas Trilogy, and it did. Read more
Published on October 18, 2012 by PWCEditing
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More About the Author

I am an author and speaker who loves to help readers and audiences live uncaged, freedom-infused lives.

My books include:

Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (Harvest House, 2005),
Building the Christian Family You Never Had (WaterBrook, 2006),
Watching the Tree Limbs, Wishing on Dandelions (NavPress, both novels releasing in 2006),
Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture (Harvest House, 2006),
Daisy Chain, A Slow Burn (Zondervan 2009), Life in Defiance (Zondervan 2010),
Thin Places: A Memoir (Zondervan 2010),
150 Quick Questions to Get Your Kids Talking (Harvest House 2011),
You Can Raise Confident and Courageous Kids (Harvest House, 2001)
The Muir House (Zondervan 2011),
Beautiful Battle (Harvest House 2012),
Around the Word in 60 Seconds (Tyndale, 2012),
Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus (Thomas Nelson 2012).
The Wall Around Your Heart: How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You (Thomas Nelson, 2013)
Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing after Sexual Abuse (Uncaged Publishing 2014)

You can find me primarily at My facebook page is and you can follow me on twitter at

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