The Promise of Jesse Woods

Reviewed by: Ceil Carey, ECLA co-president and long time book discussion leader


Title: The promise of Jesse Woods

Author: Chris Fabry

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Publication Date: 2016

Format: Paperback

Length: 432 pages


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 had 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 us back and forth between the two time periods, giving us the back story to the relationship between these three: the things they did together, the places they hung out and the secrets they kept.

No spoilers for the ending of the book but Matt does learn 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 and you are caught up in the story almost as if it was your own.  Matt’s Christian faith is evident in the story and a Christian worldview is apparent. Highly recommended.



Rating (1 to 5)


Suggested Audience

Adult fiction readers and particularly fans of Chris Fabry.

Christian Impact

Trusting God to direct your life and seeking His will for your life are major themes in The promise of Jesse Woods.

Used by kind permission of Christian Library Journal.

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The Promise of Jesse Woods

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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