Saturday, July 16, 2016

Book Review: The Promise of Jesse Woods

Publisher's Description

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.
This book goes back and forth between 1972 and 1984.  It is all from Matt's point of view.  He goes back to Dogwood to try and change Jesse's mind about getting married.   So it jumps around to past and "present".  It was a fine read.  I personally liked the parts in the past better than the "present".  This book is about peoples mistakes, and pretty much finding forgiveness and believing in God.  Though I do wish the healings and changes were a bit more radical and evident. 
I like the way Chris Fabry writes.  The way he describes things and such.  There were also some reference to things like, To Kill a Mockingbird (Matt tried to read it to Dickie and Jesse, but ended up reading it himself), Star Trek, and some other things. 
The most boring parts was when they were talking about baseball. I'm not a sports girl, so it didn't interest me at all.  I was glad when those few parts were over.  Other than that it was an interesting read.
This is a very mature read.  Bad things happen and are sad.  So be prepared.  The pace was pretty good for this book.  I liked the characters, how different the all were.  It was a fine book, but one I don't plan on rereading anytime soon.

3 out of 5

*I received this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Hmm...interesting...I may have to keep on the look out for this one ;)