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 introduces readers to the fictional town of Dogwood, West Virginia, in his first novel for adults, Dogwood. The book released in August 2008 and was awarded the 2009 Christy Award in the Contemporary Standalone category. Visit the Christy Award Archives for a list of the 2009 winners and finalists.
I wrote a story about the small town I'm from in West Virginia, changing the name to Dogwood. There are some really great people in small towns. But small towns have long memories and in this locale, the people have a hard time forgiving Will Hatfield for what he did. Still he returns, 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.
Karin has buried her shattered dreams by settling for a faithful husband whose emotional distance leaves her isolated. Loaded with guilt, she tries to raise three children and survive the best she can.
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. But the trigger that will lay bare their past and force them to face it is the unlikely figure of Ruthie Bowles, a withered, wiry old woman whose prying and persistence forces unexpected consequences.
I really love the story of Dogwood and hope you will as well.
"Once the story starts cooking, [Dogwood] is difficult to put down, what with Fabry's surprising plot resolution and themes of forgiveness, sacrificial love, and suffering."
— Publishers Weekly
"Fabry . . . has written an unusual and emotional tale with a startling twist."
"Fabry's first novel for adults builds tension and momentum until you're compelled to keep reading to learn the secrets that have so greatly impacted the residents of Dogwood. Ultimately a story of love and forgiveness, [Dogwood] should appeal to a wide audience. Highly recommended."
—CBA Retailer + Resources
"Fabry's debut adult novel is filled with twists that will leave readers speechless."
—Romantic Times, 4-star review
"Fabry's plot is intricate and involved with more twists than a backwoods country road. [Dogwood] is a page-turner that keeps the reader guessing until the end."
"Dogwood turned out to be something I wasn't expecting at all . . . a book about deep secrets, the effort it takes to heal catastrophic hurts, and a thriller with an excellent plot climax."
"Chris Fabry's debut adult novel, Dogwood, is a mosaic of humanity, God's grace, and the power of love. Solidly literary fiction with deep, flawed characters and beautiful prose, Dogwood also contains a mystery within the story that adds tension and a deepening plot. . . . Fabry is a wordsmith and quite a storyteller."
"Fabry's [The Promise of Jesse Woods] could have been too heavy due to the subject matter and the tumultuousness of the time period, but his superior writing skills make it more of a nostalgic, sweet tale. . . . This is a fast-paced read with many endearing characters."
— ROMANTIC TIMES, 4-Star Review
"An involving novel with enough plot twists and dramatic tension to keep readers turning the pages."
— BOOKLIST on June Bug
"Ultimately a story of love and forgiveness, [Dogwood] should appeal to a wide audience."
— CBA RETAILERS + RESOURCES
"Fabry has built a rewarding story; it's hard to imagine inspirational fiction done better than this."
— WORLD MAGAZINE on Not in the Heart
"This absorbing novel should further boost Fabry's reputation as one of the most talented authors in Christian fiction."
— CBA RETAILERS + RESOURCES on Not in the Heart
"[June Bug] is a stunning success, and readers will find themselves responding with enthusiastic inner applause."
— PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"A book about deep secrets, the effort it takes to heal catastrophic hurts, and a thriller with an excellent plot climax."
— 1340MAGBOOKS.COM on Dogwood
"Precise details of places and experiences immediately set you in the story, and the complex, likable characters give June Bug the enduring quality of a classic."
"The rural South comes to life, with themes of forgiveness and second chances as highlights. The characters are both deeply flawed and immensely relatable, making this another hit for Fabry."
— LIBRARY JOURNAL on A Piece of the Moon
"[Every Waking Moment] has authentic characters, a compelling narrative, and a complex exploration of the brokenness and hope of human life."
— Susannah Clements, department chair of literature, Regent University