Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Muir House by Mary DeMuth

Book Description: 'You'll find home one day. Sure as sweet tea on a hot afternoon.' Words from Willa Muir's sketchy childhood haunt her dreams and color her days with longing, regret, and fear. What do the words mean? Willa is far from sure. When Hale Landon places a ring on her finger, Willa panics, feeling she can't possibly say yes when so much in her past is a mystery. Bent on sorting out her history, Willa returns to Rockwall, Texas, to the Muir House Bed and Breakfast, a former funeral home. But the old place holds her empty memory close to itself. Willa's mother utters unintelligible clues from her deathbed, and the caretaker of the house keeps coveted answers carefully protected. Throw in an old flame, and Willa careens farther away from ever knowing the truth. Set in a growing suburb of Texas, The Muir House explores trauma, healing, love new and old, and the life-changing choices people make to keep their reputations intact.

My Review:  I enjoy reading books that take place close to home.  The story seems "more real" and I know what the author is talking about as the descriptions of the roads, temperature and local culture are described.  The Muir House by Mary DeMuth takes place in a thriving Texas town about three hours from my home.  We've been shopping at Rockwall and so with this said . . . The Muir House "jumped out of the pages" for me.
The story that Mary creates is realistic and wonderful!  At first, when Willa Muir keeps "hearing" the words "You'll find home one day",  it seems that Willa has a mystery on her hands.  What do those words mean?  and what is the ring she keeps seeing in her memory?  
Willa remembers "things" about her past clearly and precisely but yet she has virtually no memory of her four-year old year.  This bothers her immensely!
As life would have it~Willa is "forced" to return to her home in Rockwall, Texas and to her mother.  The way Mary writes about the mother/daughter relationship is so defining and true.
I truly loved Hale, Willa's boyfriend.  Hale is one of those people who is strong enough to let Willa go and find out the truth without feeling threatened in his relationship with her.  Hale is a true man and hero!
The page before chapter one begins has the verse, "It takes wisdom to build a house, and understanding to set it on a firm foundation;  It takes knowledge to furnish its rooms with fine furniture and beautiful draperies."  Proverbs 24: 3-4 (The Message).  This story is about a house but yet what does a house offer unless it reigns as a home?  
Willa has a longing to find her real place in life . . . her home!  
This is a fantastic read!  I simply couldn't put this book down.  Willa, her mom, Hale, Mrs. Skye (aka.  Genie), Speck, and Rebbie are all well rounded characters!  
"Walking" with Willa through her home and her turmoil is summed up best on page 20, chapter 3, "They say a woman's wealth, her true identity, rests in the richness of relationships, but "they" have it all wrong.  What a woman really needs, what truly defines her, is four solid walls.  A house with good bones, a yard sprinkled in the summertime, a creaking porch swing, overflowing window boxes.  Castled there, she safeguards her secrets, particularly if those mysteries lie concealed in cardboard boxes in the attic." 
I loved this read!  If you enjoy home decorating integrated with family relationships, romance and friends then don't miss this fantastic read!
*This book was provided for review by Zondervan and the author*
About the author:

I'm a freelance writer and novelist living in Texas with my husband of nineteen years and my three wonderful children.
I have been writing since 1992, first as a newsletter editor, then as a freelance writer, followed by a fiction and nonfiction author. My articles have appeared in Marriage Partnership, In Touch, HomeLife, Discipleship Journal, Pray!, Bon Appetit, Kindred Spirit, The Writer, and Writer's Digest. For two years I penned a lifestyle column for Star Community Newspapers in Dallas (circulation 100,000). My books include Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (Harvest House, 2005), Building the Christian Family You Never Had (WaterBrook, 2006), Watching the Tree Limbs, Wishing on Dandelions (NavPress, both novels releasing in 2006), Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture (Harvest House, 2006), Daisy Chain, A Slow Burn (Zondervan 2009), Life in Defiance (Zondervan 2010), Thin Places: A Memoir (Zondervan 2010), 150 Quick Questions to Get Your Kids Talking (Harvest House 2011), You Can Raise Confident and Courageous Kids (Harvest House, 2001) and The Muir House (Zondervan 2011).
I'm more than my books. I love to cook, try my hand (body!) at triathlons, have a nose ring, and am passionate about singing.
I love to help people overcome a difficult past and blog about it five times a week at My facebook page is and you can follow me on twitter at

1 comment:

  1. At first I put Muir House on my wish list, but then I saw all the positive reviews and the words "hard to put down", "page turner", so I put it on my kindle. :)