It was with trepidation that I picked up Mary DeMuth’s Thin Places as I rarely enjoy reading biographies. I find it of no interest to read about narcissistic self promoting individuals, rarely having accomplished much note worthy, and frequently settling what would best be described as highly personal family matters in a very public manner; and not seldom leaving me wondering what is truth and what is simply exaggeration for the sake of publicity and an attempt to achieve victim status. Had the author been anyone but Mary DeMuth I probably would not have given the book a second look, but since I have enjoyed every book Mary has authored I wanted to give this one the benefit of the doubt. I am so glad I did, what a treasure This Place is.
Mary is a fantastic writer, and her way with words and language is amazing. The reader cannot help but feeling pulled in to the pages, smelling, and hearing, seeing and feeling as if the words came alive – it is live theater on a page. Few authors can achieve this feat but Mary mastered it; one of the many reasons her books are such a pleasure to read – it involves all senses.
Mary shares her early life and struggles with the reader in a beautiful, caring, yet sensitive manner. There is no self aggrandizement, no exaggeration for the sake of hype and fame, no name calling to hurt and offend. At times, I think she is even a bit too nice to those who hurt her, allowing her deep faith in the forgiveness and grace of Jesus Christ to shine through.
She details her experiences in a way that helps the reader relate to the pain, suffering and offense; for hers unfortunately is not an unusual story and I suspect many are we the readers who have similar stories buried in the depth of our hearts and minds. She uncovers the truth, exposes the pain for all to see and demonstrates the far reaching impact and consequences in the present of offenses of yesteryear. For those who have walked in her shoes she puts words to feelings, pains, and struggles in a way that validates the reader. For those fortunate enough to have experienced a safer childhood, her descriptions will help put words to the pain so that as one encounters someone with a difficult past one may be able to better comprehend the immensity of the pain and offer a shoulder to cry on, a ear to listen and a mouth to pray for the sufferer.
Mary talks freely about her life, her challenges and her every day struggles as a young girl, teenager, college student, wife, mother and friend. Her writing is so vivid, her description so telling and her honesty so real; at times it felt as if she had written about me, and my challenges – I finally realized I was not alone in thinking these thoughts, acting in these ways or feeling like I feel. Her words were like a soothing balm on open wounds in my heart and soul. Mary offers hope to the hopeless, and points her readers to the one and only one who can heal the wounds of men - our Lord and Savior.
There is only one problem with this book – it is so good it is impossible to put down; causing me to stay up way too late at night!