Mary DeMuth's Watching the Tree Limbs is a superbly written novel that captures your heart from the very beginning and doesn't let go until the very end. Nine-year-old Mara loses her childhood soon after moving to the small Texas town of Burl. Many people there already know her, and she can't figure out why. With the help of her new best friend, she begins a journey to finding out who she is and where she belongs. This story deals with sexual abuse and neglect in a touching and tactful manner. I suffered with Mara, but I also rejoiced with her as she finds that she really does belong to someone - her Father, God. You won't want to miss this book!
Burl, Texas has secrets and one of its biggest is the secret of Mara and her past. In this poignant novel, nine-year-old Mara longs to belong to someone, but not to the bully down the street. Watching the Tree Limbs will take readers on a heart-rending journey that will inspire them to stand up for those who can't do so for themselves. With well-drawn characters who readers will care about and intricate threads that weave together perfectly, this novel is one to watch, and definitely to read.
I cannot say enough about Watching the Tree Limbs. Mary DeMuth has a writing style that reaches right into the heart and doesn't let go. The characters, as well as Burl, the East Texas town where the story takes place, became my friends. My heart ached for Mara and all that had happened to her in her short life. I hooted at Camilla, Mara's best friend who had an uncanny knack of rhyming her words like rumor tumor or fakery backery. I loved Zady, the housekeeper who became Mara's surrogate mother and God's instrument to show Mara His love. I picked the book up and couldn't rest until I finished the last sentence.
Watching the Tree Limbs is responsible for the circles under my eyes this week. I just couldnt put it down. This story of this young girl touched me deeply, and even though I knew it was fiction, I rode the roller coaster of emotions with young Mara. It is amazing how true-to-life first time novelist Mary E. DeMuth, portrays Maras reactions to abuse and neglect. I highly recommend you run, not walk to your nearest bookstore (brick and mortar or on-line) and get your copy. Dont be surprised if you have to special order it, but if you do, it will be well worth the wait.
In the tradition of "Secret Life of Bees" or "Peace Like a River", Ms. DeMuth introduces a young character's journey and invites us inside her skin. We feel the heat of the Texas sun, the pain of abuse, the longing for connection and family. Even though the subject matter is truthfully tough, each chapter is infused with grace. The writing is lyrical and hopeful even when confronting brutal realities. The story deepened my compassion for children who suffer in silence and reminded me that although there aren't always easy answers one person's acts of love can make a difference.