Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Review: Dogwood by Chris Fabry

DogwoodUsually when I finish a book, I write the review, and, if I'm inclined, go and see what other people thought.  Today I read other reviews before I started this one.  Why?  Because I loved reading this book, but I really didn't like the ending, and I was curious if anyone else felt the same way.  Looking at the very few available negative reviews, I'd say that if folks didn't like this book, the ending is why.

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.

The book is told in the first person, with the main characters narrating different chapters, which are headed by their names.  It is an interesting literary device, and in this case very effective.  I read Fabry's second book, June Bug last summer so I was glad when my friend Renee gave me Dogwood,  Dogwood got a lot of four and five star reviews; I guess some folks found the ending to be original, but to me it was forced and actually left me wondering what really DID happen in one scene.  The book is classified as Christian fiction, and while the themes of self-sacrifice, forgiveness and redemption are Christian, but plot is not overtly so.  Grade B-

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