Posts Tagged ‘Mary DeMuth’

The Muir House Book Tour

I am taking part in “The Muir House Book Tour” this month. It began on November 14th since then a variety of bloggers are posting their thoughts after reading Mary DeMuth’s novel The Muir House. The tour runs through December 15th. The full list of tour participants is available here.

The Muir House is the story of Willa Muir, a interior designer whose life is turned upside down by an engagement proposal, a sudden fire and a nagging feeling that she can’t move forward in her life until she can accurately remember portions of her childhood that she can’t remember. As she searches for the truth about her past, Willa revisits her home town of Rockwall, Texas and the people from her past who still populate the town.  Can Willa find the strength to trust, find love and move forward with her life?

Mary DeMuth effectively creates a sense of suspense throughout the novels 322 pages. Each chapter effectively answers questions in such a way that you have two or three new questions. And I found the resolution of the story to be satisfying and the themes challenging as well. The story is full of interesting and flawed characters. Willa has an idealized view of how important knowledge is. She seems to think that information is what she lacks. But through the course of the story I think she finds that informed relationships are what she needs.

The setting of the story helps illuminate some of the recurring themes of the novel. During her visit, Willa stays in her childhood home. It was once a funeral home but is now a bed and breakfast with themed rooms highlighting famous walls from around the world. Willa, her parents, Genie and others all deal with the walls they have up in their relationships. They wall people out to avoid hurt. But I like what Willa’s friend Rheus tells her “…some folks close doors they wish they hadn’t.” This is true of a lot of characters in this story. Reading the book reminded me to be open to risk relationships with people even when it may be emotionally challenging sometimes. It reminded me of the way of forgiveness.

Everyone is broken in some way and we all have walls of some kind that we put up in our lives to shut out hurt. But what good things get shut out along with the bad? Thinking about this reminds me of what C.S. Lewis said:

“Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation.”

I think everyone can find the love Jesus offers which allows them to appropriately give and receive love to others. On my better days, I go to God when I fear I might lose someone close to me and anyone can go there. That’s the amazingly personal and extensive love of Jesus. I found reading The Muir House was a good and challenging reminder to hold tight to Christ and remain open in the relationships around me.


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