If you are looking for a book that stirs your emotions and keeps you up until the wee hours of the morning, then I highly recommend Wishing on Dandelions by Mary DeMuth. WOD is the sequel to DeMuth’s debut novel, Watching the Tree Limbs. Although it took me a little longer to be drawn into this second book, it surpasses the first. WTTL focuses on redemption, and as a natural progression, WOD focuses on learning how to accept God’s love and growing deeper in understanding our redemption.
I found this story heavier that the first book, despite the fact that the main traumatic events occur to Maranatha in WTTL. For me, I identified on a deeper level with the struggle to fully grasp and accept that God loves me despite all my faults. While I enjoyed the first book, I connected more with the second. I appreciated the new characters Mary introduced as well. Some of them I liked immediately, and only wished to know them more. Some of them had to grow on me, but the more glimpses I got into their hearts, the more I wanted to know about their back stories. Still others I appreciated for the reality of their humanity. One character in particular I really thought was going to have a change of heart after he heard Maranatha’s story, but he didn’t. In fact, the depth of the judgment in his soul only became more evident. At first I was appalled, but then quickly realized that people like that do exist and therefore have an appropriate – even necessary – place in a novel like this.
One of the many things I enjoy about Mary’s writing is that while she is a Christian author who discusses Christian values and issues, her books do not feel “Christian.” Do you follow me here? Writing a great story is what comes first for Mary, not writing a Christian story that she hopes is great. Of course, Jesus pours out onto her page, but that’s because He’s so pervasive in her life, not because she has an agenda to write about Him. I applaud her for writing reality, writing authentically and writing with excellence. It’s no wonder she’s nominated for a Christy Award.