Monday, February 8, 2010

Thin Places by Mary DeMuth

Thin Places – Mary’s Story

My True Story
By Mary DeMuth
When I started my writing journey toward publication, I thought I’d always be a novelist. My agent at the time suggested I write parenting books, something I balked at for quite some time. I was a storyteller after all. And because of my upbringing, I suffered from deep wells of insecurity in my parenting. And yet, I sold three parenting books. I wrote them from a position of weakness, and I prayed other parents with struggles similar to mine would be encouraged that they’re not alone. One facet strung its way through all my books: story.
I can’t help but tell stories, whether they be fiction or nonfiction. As I brainstormed with my next agent and my editor about who I wanted to be when I grew up, we all came back to story. I am a storyteller. We decided it would be best for me to place my primary focus on novel writing, but keep the storytelling alive in nonfiction.

Two years ago, I sensed the need, urge, and desire to write a memoir. I’d come a long way in my healing journey, enough that I could write it without bitterness, with a view toward God’s intervention. Thankfully, my vision for a memoir fit well within the story idea, and Zondervan took a risk and bought the book.

I wrote the book much like I’d write a novel, with an inciting incident, some flashbacks, a rising action and a late climax. Of course, as memoirs go, I had more freedom to explore and meander through the story, but I kept the book mostly in scenes, written in first person present tense to create intimacy and immediacy with the reader.

It was difficult to create me as the main character, to place the potential reader into my own head, to play it out in a way that would woo the reader to turn the page. In doing that, I learned even more about myself, how I viewed the world (sometimes in a warped way!), and what possible impact my journey might have on fellow strugglers.

Though I knew well the landscape, setting, and characters of my life, it proved difficult to give myself permission to truly delve in deeper, to re-feel my pain, angst, joy, frustration, anticipation, and worry. Once I let myself go there, the memoir progressed. And my editor helped me shape the book more chronologically, something for which I’m deeply thankful.

The end result is story: mine. It’s the story of a little girl who faced sexual abuse, neglect, drug-using parents, fear, death of a parent, and a host of other malevolence. And yet it’s a hope-filled story, where the bright light of God’s climactic redemption outshines the dark places. It’s a story of God’s nearness when I thought I’d nearly lose my mind and will to live. How grateful I am for the beautiful love of Jesus, how dearly He chose frail me to shame the wise. It’s really His story after all.

About the author:
Mary DeMuth
Author and speaker Mary DeMuth helps people turn their trials to triumph. Her books include Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God; Building the Christian Family You Never Had; Watching the Tree Limbs; Wishing on Dandelions; Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture and the first two books in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy: Daisy Chain and A Slow Burn.

National media regularly seek Mary’s candid ability to connect with their listeners. Her radio appearances include FamilyLife Today, Moody Midday Connection, Point of View and U.S.A. Radio Network and is frequently featured on Chuck Colson’s BreakPoint. She has published articles in In Touch, HomeLife, Writer’s Digest and The Writer.

Mary lives with her husband Patrick and their three children in Texas. Learn more about Mary at

My review:
I don't usually read memoirs but I really like Mary DeMuth and I wanted to learn about her story (because I knew there was one).  I am so glad I decided to find out more and read the book.  It's not just a story about a little girl who faced unmentionable horrors.  It's the story of how one little girl just knew something was missing in her life and she found what she was missing in Jesus.  Mary recalls how Jesus healed her through each ordeal and trial.  She shows us first hand His redemptive and restoring love for His children.  No matter how far away from Him you think you are, He's just a call, cry, moan or prayer away.

Thank you, Mary, for opening up your story and sharing how we can see God in the Thin Places.  May God bless you for sharing yourself and for answering His call to write.

You'll want to buy this book!  Go here to buy it.
Mary DeMuth sent me a copy of this book to review.  Thank you!


Andrea said...

Blessings, andrea

Mary DeMuth said...

I so appreciate your posting a review. And your blog is lovely!

Unknown said...

Thank you Andrea for stopping by and always leaving me a comment! You are appreciated.

Thank you, Mary, for stopping by and your kind words. You already know how much your books have meant to me and how much I enjoy your writing (I'm starting to feel a little stalkerish....must back off!).