Review of Mary E. DeMuth's "Thin Places: A Memoir"

>> Monday, February 15, 2010

Some troubled souls search a lifetime for empathy, desperately needing to be understood. Of those "some," some will hope for healing as well. Mary DeMuth's memoir, Thin Places, succeeds in meeting a need toward that end. Its pages are lined with tragic memories, but laced even more so with healing faith and grace.

I expected to understand Mary's "story" when I read this book, but that description does not go far enough. I feel like I know her heart. It's that real. I love the fact that it is written in the present tense, because it is as if I'm experiencing each captured moment with her, asking the same questions, coming to the same hope-filled conclusions. My book is dog-eared to death, highlighted throughout with statements I know I'll read over and over again. Statements such as these:

"At times I get stuck in that crib, wallowing in my rightness to be angry. I wear the word victim like a badge of honor—my own purple heart...Age grants me a surprise blessing: I understand true life doesn’t happen when I constantly gaze backwards, mulling over all the injustices others have done or I have done to others. Life is a tiptoeing anticipating of the future.”
“I am no longer fifteen years old, penning death poetry, grieving fathers. I’m blessedly alive to feel the wind on my face, to experience the achingly beautiful words of my children, to see Jesus in the cracks and fissures of my life. At one time I want to die; but with my Savior inside me, today I want to live.”
“We chase dead ends. We try to piece together the picture of our past like master puzzle doers. But some pieces are forever missing, and the remaining picture stares back at us, jagged, unfinished...The older I get, the more I see that Jesus wants me to trust Him for the missing pieces...He is more than capable of handling all my questions, and someday He will make things right.”
Yes, I cried. I swallowed hard. I put the book down at certain points and prayed through parts of my own tragic past. It wasn't a quick read for me. But it was therapy. In almost every chapter, the Lord took Mary's pen and scribbled truths to ponder on my heart and mind.

When I closed the back cover, I took a deep breath and praised God for such a magnificent work of ministry. Thank you, Mary DeMuth, for your transparency, gut honesty and humility, thus delivering "glimpses of eternity" into the thin places of your past...and mine too.

***Leave a comment here by March 1st,
and you'll be eligible to win a copy...

Update: Congratulations to Margaret from The Silly Goose Society for winning the giveaway! Thanks to all who entered.


Sarah Martin February 15, 2010 at 2:44 PM  

Don't know if its too late, by I would love to enter the giveaway!

mandiegirl February 15, 2010 at 2:55 PM  

I've heard so much good about this book- I'd love to win!

elaine @ peace for the journey February 15, 2010 at 3:01 PM  

Seems like I missed the February 1st deadline, but I sure would love to read this work of Mary's. She is an authentic treasure on this road of grace and peace.

I'm so glad it ministered to your heart as it did.


LauraLee Shaw February 15, 2010 at 3:06 PM  

Sarah and Elaine, You didn't miss it. I accidentally posted the wrong date. My brain is fried. ;) Thanks!

Anonymous,  February 15, 2010 at 3:11 PM  

This sounds like an excellent read!
Sunny (Hi Laura!)

Sita February 15, 2010 at 3:24 PM  

Sounds like a must-read for me too..please enter my name in the draw. Thanks Laura!

Babylukesmom,  February 15, 2010 at 3:32 PM  

I want to read this book so bad! I wanted a copy for Val . day but did not get it!
I pray I win a copy ! Thank you!!!

Margaret February 15, 2010 at 3:38 PM  

I would love to read this book and be touched deeply as you have been. I've been numb too long.

Bless you for sharing the blessing.

Mary DeMuth February 15, 2010 at 4:26 PM  

Thanks so much for reading the book, reviewing it, and offering it to someone here. I pray it blesses many.

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side February 15, 2010 at 6:13 PM  

I don't need a copy (reviewed it myself), but I wanted to say that your review touched me deeply.

Jenn Joshua February 15, 2010 at 6:47 PM  

Mary is a fabulous and inspiring woman -- I am so blessed by her work!

Thanks for entering me!

jo.attalife February 16, 2010 at 1:02 AM  

I am in the middle of something big right now. I don't know where to turn, what to think... I'm not confused (I know what God wants me to do), but my thoughts and heart are in turmoil. I need all the help I can get. I tried to join a Christian book review program for a book that looked helpful, but am disqualified because I live in the Philippines. Still, I'm joining this giveaway in hopes that I'll win. The quotes you cited are really, really speaking to me right now. As I said, I need all the help I can get. Thank you.

Sherry February 16, 2010 at 7:44 AM  

There's a saying I've come to adopt. Our greatest joys are often a direct result of our greatest trials and pain. So often I've found myself on the windsield of life. Smashed against the glass and wondering how the heck I ended up there when five minutes ago I was flying a steady course. Pain has taught me something. I'm nothing without God.

Julie The Surrendered Scribe February 16, 2010 at 7:47 AM  

This book is so on my radar, I've heard excellent things. I'm interested!

Love ya Lauralee!


Lisa Buffaloe February 17, 2010 at 9:23 AM  

Can't wait to read Mary's book! I'd love to win a copy.

Mary, thank you for your transparency and allowing God to walk you through your healing. You are a blessing!

Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith February 17, 2010 at 4:50 PM  

Lol...okay going to take a chance and try for an opportunity to win. This is a step to take the incentive to read the book-sounds too good to pass up.

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