Sunday, November 05, 2006

Wishing on Dandelions

It doesn't happen often. I've told you earlier that I was enjoying this book by Mary DeMuth. Today I finished it and I am still thinking about the themes.

Wishing on Dandelions is the second installment in Maranatha's story and picks up about seven years after the first book, Watching the Tree Limbs. Maranatha is now 17 and trying to find out how to live and love in a way that honors God. The only trouble is she feels guilty about her uncle's stroke, angry about the invasion of her new step-aunt, upset that people may know and be telling her secret, and anxious about love and whether she will ever feel free to love someone. She feels marked by the sexual abuse she endured as a child. There is also an under-thread of racial reconciliation. Mary explores these topics with poignancy and authenticity. Burl seems like any other small Texas town -- caught somewhere in its past. When Maranatha has to testify at a trial, her future and past collide.

Maranatha is a three-dimensional character with inner strength she doesn't recognize and enough flaws to make her human. She is surrounded by people who are fleshed out enough to make them seem like people I know.

Mary's way with words is amazing. She describes the setting with vivid words, yet doesn’t overwrite.

This book is probably best classified as women’s fiction because of the residual issues of Maranatha’s childhood sexual abuse. Mary handles this topic in a way that doesn’t demean the depth of the issue.

I highly recommend the book to you.

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