A deeply moving book from Chris Fabry: "The Promise of Jesse Woods"

about the book...

The summer of 1972 was the most pivotal of Matt Plumley’s childhood. While his beloved Pirates battle for back-to-back World Series titles, Matt’s family moves from Pittsburgh to Dogwood, West Virginia, where his father steps into the pulpit of a church under the thumb of town leader Basil Blackwood. A fish out of water, Matt is relieved to forge a fast bond with two unlikely friends: Dickie Darrel Lee Hancock, a mixed-race boy, and Jesse Woods, a tough-as-nails girl with a sister on her hip and no dad in sight.

As the trio traipses the hills and hollers, Matt begins to fall for Jesse, and their promises to each other draw him deeper into her terrifying reality. One night, the wrath of the Blackwoods and the secrets of Jesse’s family collide, and Matt joins Jesse in a rescue that saves one life and ends another . . . and severs the bond of their friendship.

Years later, Matt is pulled back to Dogwood and to memories of that momentous summer by news of Jesse’s upcoming wedding. He could never shake the feeling that there was more to the story of that fateful night, and he’s determined to learn the truth behind the only promise Jesse Woods ever broke.

my review...

Once again, Chris Fabry has offered up a poignant, moving novel with his latest release, "The Promise of Jesse Woods". Flashing back and forth between past and present, Fabry drew me deep into the lives of Matt, Jesse and Dickie. There are many books that I've read where these alternating story lines simply don't work - but this is not one of them. Rather, each viewpoint contributes to the other and makes for some addictive reading as I could barely put the book down in my quest to see how things would unfold. I was mesmerised by Jesse's plight as she has to be big sister and mom and friend all rolled into one, and I can't imagine having to deal with the heart-wrenching events that she does. Now, I have to say that I was rooting for a particular ending to this story, one that didn't exactly happen. But by the time I turned the final page, the ending did indeed feel right in its realism. That said, you know how some stories just leave you with an ache on this inside? "The Promise of Jesse Woods" is one of those stories. Fabry has succeeded at creating characters that are as real as you and I, and you will hurt and cry and rejoice right alongside of them. Even better, real faith in Jesus permeates this book, and makes it all the better for it.

I truly encourage you to pick up a copy of this wonderful novel for yourself, and immerse yourself in this excellent story of Matt and Jesse. You will be so glad that you did! 5 out of 5 stars.

An egalley has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Tyndale, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

about the author...

Chris FabryChris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live! on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth Finding,Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs. A 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.

Chris' novels, which include DogwoodJune BugAlmost HeavenNot in the HeartBorders of the HeartEvery Waking Moment, and his latest release, The Promise of Jesse Woods, have won three Christy Awards, an ECPA Christian Book Award, and Christianity Today's Book Award of Merit, but it's his lyrical prose and tales of redemption that keep readers returning for more.

He has also published more than 65 other books, including nonfiction, film novelizations, and novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteriesand The Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. RPM is his latest series for kids and explores the exciting world of NASCAR.

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