"The Promise of Jesse Woods" reads much like a memoir, alternating between the main character's present time and his first childhood summer spent at a new home with new friends. The people he meets along the way drive the compelling novel forward, even with its laidback pace. In the present, Matthew returns home to stop the woman he loves from marrying another man. In the past, he meets a young girl and boy from the wrong side of town. Injustice rears its ugly head, and the reader quickly becomes engulfed and enraged. The book wraps up nicely, strongly implying a theme of redemption. The concluding remarks on Matt's need for a real savior - Jesus - feel a bit forced, and one can't help feeling slightly disappointed in the character resolution. But ultimately it is author Chris Fabry's gift for immersing readers in the rich and vibrant story that prevails. One can't help but feel that Fabry knows his characters backwards and forwards.
*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.