The Promise of Jesse Woods, by Chris Fabry, is a wonderful story. It tells of a young teenage boy whose family moves from Pittsburgh to Dogwood, West Virginia in 1972, of the difficulties he encounters when he makes friends with two unlikely people.
Matt Plumley’s first friends when his family moves to Dogwood are Dickie Darrel Lee Hancock, a mixed-race boy, and Jesse Woods, a girl from an extremely poor family. Matt’s father, the new preacher in town, along with his mother, tries to discourage the friendship, but Matt has already bonded with Dickie and Jesse. As Matt and Jesse fall in love with each other, he discovers that she is committed to keeping any promises she makes. In his attempts to help her with some very difficult life situations, Matt finds himself suddenly without her friendship. Several years later, Dickie contacts Matt to tell him of Jesse’s upcoming wedding and challenges Matt to return to Dogwood and face his feelings. As Matt does just that, he discovers the truth of a promise Jesse made that changed their lives forever.
This was an interesting story. It touched upon racial and economic issues. It also explored the importance of keeping one’s promises as well as knowing when to break them. I found the issues related to living in a preacher’s family especially interesting.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.