Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Muir House {Book Review}

Mary DeMuth’s most recent novel The Muir House begins with a tragedy in the midst of a mystery in a fashion sure to drop any reader right into Will Muir’s life. We enter Willa’s story in Seattle with a denied marriage proposal and a devastating house fire, then follow her to her childhood home in Rockwall, Texas where she is seeking answers to long-held questions about a missing year of her life.

Once again DeMuth has crafted a stirring narrative lived out by complex characters. True to life, even the antagonists have redeeming moments and the protagonist makes emotional mistakes.  With elegant and detailed prose we walk with Willa as she searches for the truth about her childhood and proper southern family. Phrases like these help the reader to empathize with Willa, “The weight of the memory covered her like a wet afghan, and although the sun winked warmth on her, she shivered on the earth.”

The Muir House is hefty and rich enough to meet a tough critic’s literary needs, yet makes a great read for the summer. If you’re new to Mary DeMuth, visit her lovely website and read my review of her memoir Thin Places.

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