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 slow burn 1 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 CommuniKate Critty Joy Declaring His Marvelous Work Drive Home Productions Edgewise Elizabeth Bussey Faith…Creativity…Life Fiction for the Restless Reader Fictionary 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 L’Chaim 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 Restore 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 WhadUsay 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