I'm giving away a copy of Dogwood by Chris Fabry. It's a powerful story, and if you read my review and tell me what intrigues you about this book, I'll put your name in for the giveaway. I'll pick a winner on Wednesday. Don't forget to leave me a way to contact you if you win. And if all you say is "sounds great, enter me" that isn't enough to get you into the contest so think before you respond. :)
About the book:
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.
What an amazing story! While there were several different characters and viewpoints, for the most part they were distinct enough where I could keep track of them. At any rate, this story was a page turner. I loved how the author dropped little clues on a trail which led to the culmination of the story. While not perfect or super-spiritual, the ending was still gratifying despite the tragic undertones. For the majority of the story, you aren't quite sure what the whole issue is with Karin, but begin to suspect a little bit more as the story moves along. It's so bittersweet, yet surprising. And beautiful.
This story left me wanting to mull over the the details even after I finished it. Kind of like I did with the movie "Summersby" starring Jodi Foster and Richard Gear. Yet Dogwood didn't leave me with a "bummer" feeling like some novels have. In fact, I grew more fond of Will as the story progressed, despite what had allegedly occurred before he went to prison. And kind of like in the movie "Dead Man Walking," I wanted to obsess over what could have happened differently to prevent the incident in the first place. My heart ached for him.
Then as the truth slowly came out, a tragic sense of loss hit me deep inside, but it mingled with rejoicing as things were revealed. There were some intense moments in the story when I thought for sure it was over for Will. The suspense was killing me as was his unrequited love and longing for Karin. The scenes that went back to that tragic year were particularly powerful. The emotion was totally gripping, and it was so precious to get to know Will's heart so much that he felt like a real person to me.
I can see this movie becoming a Hollywood feature film. In fact, it was so well done I felt like I was living in Dogwood as I read the story. Rarely does a novel strike such a deep chord in me like this one had. This story is not only well worth reading, but sharing with friends, too. It would make a fabulous book club selection because it was so thought-provoking and edgy. And I SO love edgy because I love anything that makes me think and feel things on a deeper level.
Dogwood was published by Tyndale and released in August 2008.