Wow. If you have not read Watching the Tree Limbs by Mary DeMuth, get thee to a bookstore! This book portrays the emotional pain and spiritual journey of an unwanted nine year old orphan. Unwanted, that is, except for a teenage boy. Mara watches the tree limbs as this teenage boy rapes her numerous times, threatening her life and the lives of those she loves. Spurred by the death of Aunt Elma, Mara’s caretaker, Mara searches for her family and for a place to belong. The language and colloquialisms employed by the author drew me in to the East Texas childhood of Mara, to her painful experiences, her friendship with Camilla, and her only child compensations and attic adventures. The characters are a mix of hope, victims of darkness, and old fashioned selfishness, creating an ensemble of empathetic, flawed, yet lovable East Texas folks. Through the evil of the book, Mary DeMuth weaves healing and redemption. I look forward to getting my hands on her next book in the series, Wishing on Dandelions, coming out in September.