In The Promise of Jesse Woods Chris Fabry once again takes us back to Dogwood, West Virginia. A town we have visited along with Chris 3 other times. A little town that is not perfect, but will remind you of home if you grew up in a small town anywhere in the USA.
During the summer of 1972 Matt Plumley’s life changed forever. His father took a pastoral position in the little town that he grew up in. It meant leaving behind Pittsburgh and Matt’s beloved Pirates. It also meant new friends, new school and figuring out the lay of the land.
The first person Matt meets is Jesse Woods and the rest they say is history. Jesse, Dickie and Matt become pretty inseparable for the summer. They ride their bikes all over the mountains, they explore, the have campouts, they are just kids. Each with a different type of “baggage” to carry, but together, life is tolerable.
12 years later, Matt returns to Dogwood after finding out why Jesse is about to break a promise she made to him years ago. The only promise Jesse ever broke.
Chris’ books always make it to my TBR pile of books and are usually pretty high on the list as they are all so good. There is something about Chris’ writing style that makes me comfortable. I would say that he writes with a Mayberry feel to it. A place we all want to go home to.
Another aspect of Chris’ writing that is remarkable, his stories never seem to end up where you think they are going to end up. They are not major twists or turns that get them pointed in a different way, it his characters. They are very human and people we can identify with. Characters that have flaws, do things they are not proud of, and are people we ourselves are.
Do yourself a favor, if you haven’t read any of Chris’ books, grab one, get started and find yourself at home in Dogwood West Virginia.