Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Daisy Chain

I think that you can tell a lot about a person by their ringtones. I have different ringtones for different family members, and each one has a significance for me. For Jesse, it's Jason Mraz's I'm Yours. Doogie and Molly have the same song: Madness' Our House. For all three numbers my mom uses, I play Elton John's Your Song; she used to sing it to me as a lullaby when I was a kid. For everyone else, my phone plays Closer to Fine by The Indigo Girls. Jesse has I Like to Move It by Real to Reel (he couldn't get the Madagascar version) for the two older kids. When a call goes to voicemail, it plays Never There by Cake. The song he has set up for me is a bit embarrassing, especially because I'm not sure who he's referring to with it, me or him (LOL!): I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred. For everyone else, it plays What I Got by Sublime. So perhaps you could infer by our songs that I am still striving to become better than I am, and that Jesse is happy with the love in his life.

Doogie's ringtone is the same for everyone: Journey's Don't Stop Believin' which is apropos, especially if you read last Wednesday's post. Molly has Love Story by Taylor Swift as her main ringtone. Her boyfriend's tone is You and Me by Lifehouse. I would love for someone to explain the logic behind her song for me: Oh Canada. I don't get that at all. But at least that's better than my father-in-law's ringtone. He initially downloaded an elk call for his ringtone, but it sounded so bloodcurdling, that my mother-in-law put her foot down and said he could not use it. So instead he got...a turkey call. It does suit him though; he is a big hunter. My mother's ringtone seems just a bit odd for her. Mom is a fairly quiet, unobtrusive person, always looking to make other people feel comfortable and loved. And yet, her ringtone is an obnoxious voice that at first quietly says Message but the longer you go without answering, the louder the voice gets until it ends in an angry shriek. So what does your ringtone say about you?

Daisy Chain
by Mary DeMuth is the rare story that draws the reader so tightly inside the carefully constructed story that it's hard to shake it off and return to the real world. Jed Pepper and Daisy Chance have been best friends since she determined it so when she was seven and he was nine. Five years later, they cling to their friendship to hide from the dark secrets of their families, but everything changes when Jed doesn't walk Daisy home one night and she disappears. Daisy's absence haunts Jed and the entire town of Defiance, Texas in 1977, so he determines to follow the clues and track down his best friend and the one person in his life that he could count on. His father, Hap, is the town's smiling and compassionate pastor until he shuts the door to his home. Then he becomes a vicious abuser to both his wife and children. Jed is caught of the cusp of manhood and wants desperately to defend and protect his sister and mother the way he wasn't able to take care of Daisy. Jed's coming of age is the core story of this haunting story. I become so caught up in the story, I kept turning to my husband to share with him what was going on in poor Jed's life, forgetting for the moment that he wasn't a real person, just an amazingly life-life character. DeMuth has a true talent for capturing moments in poignant detail, as well as writing believable dialogue. I was a bit stunned by the ending until I discovered that this is just the first in a trilogy about Defiance; I certainly hope that DeMuth hurries to put out the next book. I can't wait to find out what happens to the Pepper family.

I didn't make it to see Howard today. After my doctor's appointment, I was so drained physically and mentally, I just came right home to bed. My doctor told me that he has exhausted all of his resources in treating my pain, and he's not quite sure what to do next. Not exactly good news.