The Promise of Jesse Woods *****
by Chris Fabry
Overview: A preacher's boy moves with his family to a small town in Florida in the '70s. He is a misfit and is befriended by two other misfits...a poor girl from a bad family and a colored boy. The first summer in this new town is a life-changing one for Matt or "PB" for "Preacher Boy."
The story is written in flashbacks. Matt is now grown and is returning to his hometown to finally deal with some unresolved things from his childhood with those two, dear friends.
Positive elements: very well-written and fast paced, great picture of friendship against all odds, forgiveness and reconciliation, importance of family
Negative elements: attempted rape, bullying, death, murder, deception, drunkenness...however, nothing is graphic
Conclusion: I have read some of Chris Fabry's other novels. This one is best by far. I truly enjoyed reading this sweet story of friendship and first love. I wished the book ended differently, but overall, it was a very enjoyable read. There was such a great mixture of suspense and mystery as the story unfolded. Usually I can guess where a story is going from the get go. This one had me surprised over and over again. I truly didn't know how it would end until the very last page. A joy to read. I would recommend it to anyone as a delightful summer read.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.