In the small town of Dogwood, West Virginia, Karin has buried her shattered dreams by settling for a faithful husband whose emotional distance from her deep passions and conflicts leaves her isolated. Loaded with guilt, she tries to raise three small children and “do life” the best she can. Will returns to Dogwood intent on pursuing the only woman he has ever loved–only to find there is far more standing in his way than lost years in prison. The secrets of Will and Karin’s past begin to emerge through Danny Boyd, a young boy who wishes he hadn’t survived the tragedy that knit those two together as well as tore them apart. The trigger that will lay their pain bare and force them to face it rather than flee is the unlikely figure of Ruthie Bowles, a withered, wiry old woman who leads Karin so deep into her anger against God that it forces unexpected consequences.
Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live! on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth Finding, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs. A 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.
Chris’ novels, which include Dogwood, June Bug, Almost Heaven, Not in the Heart, and his latest release, Borders of the Heart, have won two Christy Awards and an ECPA Christian Book Award, but it’s his lyrical prose and tales of redemption that keep readers returning for more.
He has also published more than 65 other books, including nonfiction and novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and The Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. RPM is his latest series for kids and explores the exciting world of NASCAR.
Chris Fabry is one of my favorite authors. The first book I read by him, Almost Heaven, was fantastic. The next 2, Not in The Heart and Borders of The Heart, confirmed his place in my favorite author list. All three of those novels I would not hesitate to recommend to other readers. But Dogwood? It is a must read!
Will Hatfield is just released from prison, having spent 12 years there for vehicular homicide. The town of Dogwood doesn’t want him back, including some members of his own family. But the farm where he grew up is part of him, and he can’t imagine any other place to live. His old girlfriend Karin is there, and her feelings for Will have not diminished despite her marriage and children. But the past has impacted the present so much, that their lives will never be the same.
Told through the eyes of various characters — Will, Karin, Billy Ray (Karin’s brother) and Danny Boyd (brother of the two girls killed by Will) — the story develops at a slow pace with the reader only getting glimpses of the whole story. And what a story it is, filled with sacrificial love, forgiveness, and illusions. There is also evil in this small town that seeks to assert itself. The book will catch you by surprise, although there are plenty of clues along the way if you take the time to see them.
As I said, this is a must read and I am certain that you will be moved, stunned and changed by Dogwood.
Very Highly Recommended.
Dogwood is Page Turners’ January selection. I purchased a copy from Amazon.