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Daisy Chain (Defiance, Texas Trilogy #1)
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Daisy Chain

(Defiance, Texas Trilogy #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  814 ratings  ·  116 reviews
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
Paperback, 361 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by Zondervan (first published February 20th 2009)
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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  814 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Apr 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
One reason I like Christian fiction is that the books are usually light happy reads, and everything wraps up with a bow at the end. That may not be indicative of a sophisticated reader, but it is me. I read for entertainment and generally speaking, I choose happy books. Daisy Chain is not a happy book.
Daisy Chain is the story of Daisy, the daughter of a single mother, and her best friend Jed Pepper. They live in the town of Deliverance, Texas and in 1977 they are thirteen years old. He is afrai
Apr 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A small Texas town. A missing teenage girl. A highly dysfunctional family. A pubescent boy with a heart full of pain, a conscience pricked by guilt, and a life packed with trouble.

Where’s Daisy? When Jed Pepper’s best friend disappears, the boy blames himself – for her disappearance and for a myriad of other wrongs in his life. It’s hard to find answers when everyone he knows has a passel of dark secrets and hidden vices. In his search for truth, Jed comes to question God – His existence, His lo
Dawna Bentley
Feb 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna Shepherd
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I heard one time that from the first page, a good writer grabs you by the throat and doesn't let the reader go. Mary DeMuth does this effectively in Daisy Chain. Right from the start when a little girl goes missing, the tension builds. The mystery of her disappearance intertwines with the coming-of-age story about Jed, a 14-year old boy who saw Daisy last. To say Mary writes multi-dimensional characters would be an understatement. No person is ever painted black or white, good or evil, but with ...more
May 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
UGH! So beyond terrible. My sister gave me this book and just raved about it- said that it was SO good and I had to read it immediately.
Probably the worst day of my life. The book's synopsis makes it sound like a great book, full of mystery and suspense. None of that. Basically, it's about two best friends (a boy and a girl) that live in Texas in the 70's. The girl goes missing and the best friend, Jed, is trying to find her (along with the entire town) but THERE IS NEVER any progression as to w
Jill Williamson
Oct 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Review by Gretchen Hoffman

Mary E. DeMuth’s latest book, Daisy Chain, is a coming of age story about fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper. He lives in Defiance, TX in 1977, a time of small towns where parents didn’t have to worry about their children running around. At least they didn’t until young Daisy Chance goes missing.

Not only is Daisy Jed’s best friend, but he was the last one to see her. Jed faces guilt over the disappearance of his friend and struggles with hidden hurts from his seemingly pictur
Jun 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
This was a good book until about 3/4 of the way through. I enjoyed the lyrical prose, but it got to be a bit much when there were at least two comparative phrases per page. I can only read that something was like something else so many times before it gets annoying. Near the end of the book, I counted the word "like" at least 5 times on 2 pages. There are so many other ways to get a point across and I felt that the author gave up near the end - which made me feel like just putting it down and no ...more
Jun 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED this book. In fact I have pre-ordered the second book in the series from amazon due to come out in the fall. The characters are believable and not overly churchy like some Christian fiction. I met Mary recently which made the book even more interesting.
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I won’t continue this trilogy. I feel bad giving an author who obviously has a talented way with words only 2 stars, but this book was almost a dnf for me. I’m not really sure why I did finish, there were so many terribly uncomfortable scenes, and the story progressed so slowly. Probably, if I had not been listening to the audio version I would have quit because actual reading takes more effort than listening, and I wouldn’t have been willing. This was supposed to be a book included in the Chris ...more
I had trouble getting into this story. Not sure what it was that made it difficult for me.
It seemed to move slowly and that may be all it was.

The characters certainly had their flaws. Hap actually gave me the creeps. I knew someone like him years ago and he was not a nice man.

The overall mood of the story seemed quite somber. I guess I was hoping for more, especially towards the end of the book. I was disappointed overall. I'm sure others may find this novel enjoyable. It just wasn't for me.
Sharon Olson
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mary DeMuth is a master storyteller. The characterization and plot of this story pulled me in and compelled me to a deep empathy and compassion for what the characters experienced. It changed me. By the end of the story, I resolved to reserve judgment of people and situations because, really, what we see on the outside is a shell with so much more going on underneath. What might it be like if we all were a little slower to come to conclusions and a lot more compassionate?
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Good mystery

Wow. First fiction I’ve read of Mary DeMuth’s and thought it was very well written. Kept me interested and engaged. Fairly intense mystery with some disturbing themes but not without hope. Finished well although not all squeaky and unrealistic clean. Looking forward to continuing the trilogy as the story unfolds and hopefully fills in the blanks to unanswered questions.
May 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I kept waiting for this book to move, flow, improve and make a storyline. This isn't about child neglect, abuse, poverty, or life generalizations. It's plain depressing, boring, and not worth reading. It's not my habit to get 80% through a book and stop. But I did. Not recommended.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I kept hoping this would get better but it never did. The characters were unlike able and their motivations and emotions never really rang true. It is the 1st of a trilogy but I have no interest in reading the next
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book shortly after reading Before We Were Yours and Where the Crawdads Sing. This book is just as well written as either of those. The story is one of heartache and forgiveness. Wonderful read!
Mar 10, 2018 rated it liked it
My rating would be closer to a 4 as a did enjoy listening to the book and storyline. Worth a read.
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Daisy Chain by Mary E. DeMuth, is an incredibly powerful story.
Wendy Bartman
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, but heart-wrenching. Could not out the book down. These characters are so real to me! Cannot wait to read the next book in this series.
Sandra Guzman
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was so good! It had my feelings all over the place. Can't wait to read next book.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I lost myself in this book - read it in a weekend. It took me a couple pages to grasp what was current and what was flash back but once I did... whew! Fell in love (and righteous indignation!) with the characters. So many emotions felt in this book. I think I understand the world and myself a little better after having read it. Now I've got to find the rest of the series!
Dec 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Daisy Chain is Mary E. DeMuth's masterpiece so far. Where her first two novels were lyrical in style, I found the prose in Daisy Chain to be quietly haunting and sophisticated. While I could hardly put it down, Daisy Chain isn't a book a reader wants to plunge through in one day. This is a book to savor. There is too much to learn and explore for a quick read and I found I wanted to take my time with the characters.

As in her earlier works, DeMuth's characters are youthful with a sort of wisdom
Keiki Hendrix
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"Bright, engaging, often sad and heartbreaking - all woven together with the elements of Christian life. Don't miss out on this one!"

Perhaps I loved this book because I live in the south. Perhaps I loved it because it provoked my memory to my early Christian walk. Perhaps I loved it because it just read like home to me. Whatever the reason, Mary E. DeMuth's `Daisy Chain` is forever etched into my memory as one of my favorite books.

In the summer of his fourteenth year, Jed Pepper's best friend, D
I had to read this. It’s the first book in Mary E. DeMuth’s Defiance Texas trilogy, and I’ve already read and reviewed books two and three. It’s a tribute to the author’s excellent writing and characterization that I was so eager to read the beginning even though I already knew the conclusion of the story’s mystery.

Daisy Chain introduces Daisy Marie Chance, whose disappearance haunts the trilogy. She’s seen through the eyes of fourteen-year-old Jed, almost the boy-next-door—her best friend and t
Carla Stewart
Jun 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Jed Pepper, a 14-year-old preacher’s son, has one thing in common with Daisy Chance—their families are not normal. Aberrant would be a better description. In the opening pages, Daisy disappears, throwing Jed into despair and guilt because he didn’t walk her home from their daily explorations.

With a cast of quirky and troubled characters, the book is about Jed’s search for Daisy while praying for courage to stand up to his father’s rants and frequent abuse.

It’s difficult to read at times with raw
Edwina Cowgill
May 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
When one is a published author, each succeeding published book is expected to be better—greater—than the last one. Mary E. DeMuth has not only exceeded that expectation, she has soared above all expectations in Life in Defiance.

I have read Book One, Daisy Chain, and Book Two, A Slow Burn, in the Defiance Texas Trilogy. Both books were well-written, insightful and thought-provoking. Both books had that “stick-to-your-ribs” quality – the characters, theme and learned lessons stayed with me long af
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Daisy Chain by Mary E. DeMuth was a captivating book that I read while on a recent trip and had plenty of travel time to read.

The book is set in a small Texas town in 1977. The author paints a vivid setting that draws the reader in. While feeling at home in 14-year-old Jed Pepper’s world, you also get the sense that things are not quite right and you’re eager to find out what things aren’t quite as they seem.

The story is told through Jed’s point of view and begins with the disappearance of his b
May 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, abuse
I have this in Kindle and in book format.

First in the Defiance Texas Trilogy

He knew he had to get home to dinner or risk the rage of his father, Hap. Therefore, he didn't walk his friend Daisy home and she's now gone missing. For that Jed blames himself. His father the preacher doesn't waste an opportunity in telling him he's worthless. Hap is physically as well as verbally abusive to his family while being the picture of the perfect saint to his "flock." Just once Jed would like to stand up to
Daisy Chain tells the story of a 14 year old boy's struggles after his best friend, 13 year-old, Daisy disappears. Her last request of him had been for him to walk her home and he had refused to do so because he was late getting home already and feared his father's punishment. He blames himself for her disappearance right after he left her at the ruins of a church. His struggles with her disappearance are portrayed against the problems he faces in his own home with an abusive father who is also ...more
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 fai
Jan 07, 2011 rated it liked it
This book is told from a perspective of fourteen year old Jed Pepper. Jed's father is a highly respected preacher who in his quest to "discipline" his children and keep his wife "submissive" resorts to violence, keeping them in constant fear. On top of that, his best friend Daisy goes missing after he failed to walk her home one evening. Jed feels guilt over Daisy's disappearance and his inability to protect his mother and sister.

The first third of this book, though interesting was rough gettin
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Mary E. DeMuth loves to help readers turn their trials into triumphs. Her 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, 2006), and Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture (Harvest House 2007). A mother of three, Mary lives with her husband Patrick and ...more

Other books in the series

Defiance, Texas Trilogy (3 books)
  • A Slow Burn (Defiance, Texas Trilogy #2)
  • Life in Defiance (Defiance, Texas Trilogy #3)