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 best friend, Daisy Chance. It takes some time to discover if she was kidnapped or ran away. Besides losing his best friend, Jed suffers abuse from his father. Hap’s abuse is sometimes physical, but is mostly psychological as he lectures his wife and children on their responsibilities to be the perfect pastor’s family. Just like Jed, the reader often questions what is right and wrong and who is telling the truth. It is a very powerful element within the compelling mystery plot line.

Some interesting characters emerge in the story: Jed’s lovable little sister who he tries to protect; his mother Ouisie who writes his notes on flower petals; bald Muriel and the mysterious Hixon.

This book was bit more heavy in tone than most books I read, so it was a pleasant surprise how I was compelled to keep reading. I raced through it til I got to the last page. Where I was disappointed to discover a very unsatisfying ending. I did not realize until then that this was book one of the Defiance, Texas, trilogy. I’d recommend getting the whole set at once and plan on reading to the end.

Most reviewers gave this book a positive review. I liked everything except the ending. Especially if you’re interested in family secrets and overcoming a painful past, this book would appeal to you.

I got this book on my Kindle when it was offered free. The price has now increased to $10.99.

Click here to purchase Daisy Chain: A Novel (Kindle Edition)