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Thin Places: A Memoir

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Mary E. DeMuth

Fiction (Watching the Tree Limbs) and nonfiction (Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture) author DeMuth revisits supremely challenging and emotionally transformative junctures in her life as she reveals the childhood sexual brutalities of which … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Mary E. DeMuth
Publisher: Zondervan
1 review about Thin Places: A Memoir

Dark places, thin enough to let in the light

  • Feb 8, 2010
Rating:
+3
I don't know how I got so lucky, but a pre-release copy of Mary DeMuth's Thin Places arrived in the mail, together with a request that maybe I could read and review it and join in with the "social media tour." So this is me, joining in.

Thin Places is billed as a memoir, which isn't really my kind of thing. But I already knew (from reading A Slow Burn) that Mary DeMuth is a really excellent writer. She has the knack of writing about seriously sad and difficult topics with a lightness that's more to do with creating light than making light of anything. With words as beautifully constructed as her stories, she pulled me straight into the second book of a series and kept me so entranced that I wished it wouldn't end. But a memoir?

The "thin places" of this book's title are made from those times when the world around us grows thin, where glimpses of heaven slip in through those cracks in the clouds. And the author leads her readers fairly quickly to the sort of thin place that we might not wish to go--except, of course, so many of us have been there, been nearly there, or been comforters to others who've been there.

As in her novels, Mary writes about deep and painful subjects. But her writing has a beauty that allows even the most agonizing tale to let in the light. She shows how God takes those cruel memories and paints eternal glory and forgiveness into their fabric, transforming that which we'd rather forget into a source of curious blessing.

There were parts of this memoir that resonated with me, and left me eagerly looking for God's light in my life. I too have chased after signs, delighting in those days when it seemed like God really spoke to me, and mourning their loss when I should be rejoicing in the fact that God gave, God takes, God is sovereign, and God might give again. I too have lived with my inner critic declaring I'm never good enough. I too...

But Mary's not me, and in some sections I just felt frustrated with circumstances that dictate I can't be more like her. The cynic in me asks, but what if this, or what if that lets Mary down. But I know that as God is in all of Mary's thin places now, He's here for me too, not making the tough places smooth, but making them thin, if I'll just let Him in.

Thin Places is more than a memoir, and more than a teaching moment. It's a series of essays, built on the author's memories, and bound by their message of God's faithfulness. It's a call to readers to see things differently, to recognize healing, and to look for God breaking in through an ordinary day. It's a beautiful book, and however it was that I got lucky enough to receive it, I'm really glad I've read it.

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