The Promise of Jesse Woods / by Chris Fabry. 1.29.2018

Tyndale ISBN 9781414387772

Adult Rating: 5

Chris Fabry has created a compelling coming-of-age story, set both in 1972 and 1984.

When Matt Plumley hears of his childhood friend’s upcoming marriage, he is pulled back to his hometown of Dogwood, West Virginia, in an attempt to change her mind and thwart the wedding. Memories abound of his growing up there as a pastor’s kid and his two very unlikely friends, Jesse Woods and Dickie Darrel Lee Hancock. Although Matt has not seen Jesse in years, he feels he still loves her and that she is making a big mistake in marrying Earl Turley.

The author takes the reader back and forth between the two time periods, providing the back story to the relationship between these three: the things they did together, the places they hung out, and the secrets they kept.

Matt ends up learning more about himself during his time home in Dogwood than he actually changes the course of history for his friends.

The book includes discussion questions and, as always, Fabry’s writing is superb. Readers will be caught up in the story almost as if it were their own. Matt’s Christian faith is evident in the story and a Christian worldview is apparent.

Highly recommended.

Ceil Carey, CLJ