When I first heard of Watching the Tree Limbs, I was intrigued but apprehensive. The scope of Christian fiction has been steadily widening over the last several years, covering such previously taboo topics as divorce, drug addiction, homosexuality, and abuse, but its still rare to find a book that treats such subjects with an even hand, not softening the harshness of evil while not wallowing in the misery it brings. I heard some say that they werent interested in this story from the outset because it sounded depressingit deals very openly with childhood rape. Being a survivor of abuse myself, I wanted to see how the author handled it, but was afraid on the other hand of it being too realistic.Well it was not depressing. Tense at moments, heartwrenching much of the timebut so infused with grace and beauty that I could hardly put the book down ... except for the moments when God "breathed" on me so heavily I just needed to stop and soak it in. What an amazing story I could so relate to Mara in the first bookdisreputable parentage, betrayal by someone I should have been able to trust, the fear of telling anyone, the feeling that *I* was somehow responsible as well as defiled ... and yet God reached down and claimed me for His own, as He did Mara.A gorgeous reminder of how far-reaching is the redeeming hand of our Savior.
I was moved by the title to begin with, and wondered how that came to be. Once I began the journey into Watching the Tree Limbs, and Maranatha's life, I knew I could never turn back. DeMuth opens your heart to the tragic life of a little girl with no one to love her, and many who hurt her. But as lost as she is, she is never alone, and she is able to find God in the nooks and crannies of her life.Watching the Tree Limbs is a journey you will not soon forget into all the why's of our faith, and the pain life can bring. I found myself re-discovering answers to my own questions, and can't wait to read book #2 in this series, Wishing on Dandelions
Way to go, Demuth! You've taken away a whole Saturday from me. All I wanted to do was to begin this book, so I picked it up yesterday around 2:00. I finished the thing around 6:00.Crimoney! I'm a pastor. I'm supposed to spend my Saturday preparing for Sunday. I was just going to read a chapter or two to pass some time. Now I've neglected my wife, my kids and the church!Folks, I just couldn't put this thing down. It's a good read on a tough and uncomfy subject. Every good story has a good villain and an underdog in need of justice. Such is the case with this one. My heart's cry for resolution, salvation and justice would not let me drop this book 'til I'd polished it off.Hats off to Mary DeMuth. She knows how to make a book not only mysterious but meaningful. The subtle reference to the book of Ruth near the end of the story is masterful.Gotta go. The honey-do list has grown.
In the pages of Watching the Tree Limbs, Mary DeMuth threads mystery throughout the book. Who is nine-year old Mara? Why wont the people in her life answer her many questions to her satisfaction? And why does she always feel so out of place?Marys well-developed and multi-faceted main character will tug at your heart, while the actions of people in Maras life make you want to reach into the pages to pull Mara into your arms to save her. But you cant. So, even though the first chapter leaves you heartbroken and horrified, you must read on. Surely redemption can be found.With a sure hand, DeMuth guides her reader through several touchy issues with acute sensitivity. When you conclude the book, youll be saddened to leave Mara. I wanted to continue to read to see where Maras path in life would lead. To my delight, Mary DeMuth has graced us with a few pages from her follow-up novel, Wishing on Dandelions, set to release late 2006.I picked up this book intending to read a couple chapters before bedtime. I read about a third before I knew it. I have no doubt youll do the same. An engrossing and inspiring read. Highly recommended.