Life in Defiance
By Mary DeMuth
In my review of the first book of Mary DeMuth’s Defiance Texas Trilogy, I asked the question: why are people in Defiance so defiant? Now I know the answer—secrets. So many secrets…so much pain and grief because of them. And isn’t that just like us?
There lies the beauty of Mary DeMuth’s Life in Defiance. She writes relevant fiction—stories that mean something. In the case of this book, her impeccable writing sucked me right into the inner world of Ouisie Pepper and held me there until all the secrets holding Defiance, Texas, captive could come up for air and dissipate into the breezes of another sweet-smelling Texas spring. I identified with Ouisie and the despair caused by all the secrets she tried to stuff behind the church pew and in her secret stash of booze in the flower vase (although I never drank vanilla extract!). I also cheered for Emory Chance (previously not one of my favorite characters) as she rose out of the proverbial ashes, found redemption and forgiveness, and then was able to offer it sacrificially.
And yes, we find out who killed Daisy Chance. But I’m not going to spoil that one for you. I will say that we get to know him before we know his identity . . . and that was, for me, an unexpected treat as I stayed up later and later pursuing the ending, but wishing the story wouldn’t end.
Too bad Amazon’s highest rating is only a “5.” This book deserves a 6! From the first chapter, which in my estimation qualifies for one of the top 10 best first chapters EVER, to the last, somewhat mysterious sentence, I found not a single flaw. Mary delivered far beyond my high expectations. This trilogy is not to be missed, and I believe that any discerning reader will be changed in some (good) way because of reading these stunning stories.