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Dogwood [Kindle Edition]

Chris Fabry
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2009 Christy Award winner!
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.

Editorial Reviews


"Chris Fabry has woven these people's lives and this story together in a facinating way, the imagery is powerful and thought provoking." -- Psalm

"Dogwood will captivate you from cover to cover!" -- Reader

"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." -- AnE Vibe

"Prolific children's book author Fabry's debut adult novel is filled with twists that will leave readers speechless" -- Romantic Times

"an emotional tale with a startling twist." -- Library Journal

From the Publisher

From Karen Watson, Tyndale Acquisitions Director
"Chris is an insightful and honest observer of people and the human condition. At the outset, Dogwood appears to be a simple story about flawed people. But Chris has imagined a poetic and surprising story about the cost of hidden secrets. This story delivers an emotional jolt that will get fiction lovers talking and we're thrilled to be publishing it."

Product Details

  • File Size: 1206 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1436164796
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 23, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,488 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars heart wrenching character driven tale August 7, 2008
It has been twelve years since Will Hatfield was sentenced to Clarkeston Federal prison, but he is about to be released in two months. He has a great desire to see the family farm in Dogwood, West Virginia and Karin the only woman h ever loved. When he went to prison, she never answered his letters as she made a new life for herself in a passionless marriage with three children she adores.

When Will comes home, he is not greeted like the prodigal son as most locals believe he should have spent his life in prison for his crimes; even his brother would be happier if he left. The family has been dragged through the sewage due to Will's DUI vehicular homicide of two innocent girls. He is attacked at the place he used to work and the town tries to take the farm away from him due to eminent domain. Karin is coming to learn the truth ABOUT THE SACRIFICE Will made for her.

On the surface DOGWOOD seems like a straight line story with Danny the brother of the dead sisters receiving counseling because he blames himself for their deaths. Karin tries to be happy in her situation while Will shows patience as he waits for Karin to realize the truth. None of the peoples' stories are quite what they appear as the revelations are quite shocking. Chris Fabry has written a heart wrenching character driven tale as each of the key players feels guilt while praying for redemption and a fresh start.

Harriet Klausner
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written August 13, 2008
I picked up Dogwood yesterday, and pretty much didn't (couldn't) put it down until I finished this afternoon.

Fabry's writing had me from the first page. I love his wit - not too in-your-face; just enough to keep me smiling throughout. His use of metaphor is flawless. His character development was rich. His theological content was deep without being preachy. And His twists caught me at the end.

Honestly, it isn't the type of book I typically read. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it cover-to-cover. There was a depth, a sweetness, and (for lack of a better term) a melancholy that drew me in and wouldn't let go. Fabulous book!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dogwood Truly Powerful August 17, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is sad that anyone would read Dogwood by Chris Fabry and refer to it as a Christian novel and that therefore they found it hard to read. Individuals with that reaction are very much the same people that the story talks about, the members of the Christian church that rejects the returning convict without knowing the whole story or members of a community who do not want foreign elements coming back like a cancer, ignoring the cancers right before their very eyes. If that is an indictment of the readers, I must apologize because Will Hatfield, Chris Fabry's protagonist, does not recent the anger he encounters, but rather understands and empathizes with it, while at the same time refusing to accept it. This novel, unlike so many previous "Christian novels" deals with the real world in real world terms that some might find offensive. I did not. Quite the contrary. I found Fabrey's way of handling the realities of life honest and at times lyric, which is what makes it something special.
This is a story of love, of faith, of true sacrifice. It may indeed be pushing it a bit to put this novel on the level of allegory, yet there are parallels between Will Hatfield and Tom Joad, Steinbeck's hero from The Grapes of Wrath. I found it hard to put this novel down, and when I finally got to the weekend and didn't have to put it down, I didn't! I am very proud to see Tyndale publish a novel of this magnitude. I am exceptionally impressed with Chris Fabry's first attempt at an "adult" novel, and I look forward to many more. Anyone wanting a dynamic, powerful, moving novel to read has to pick up Dogwood and read it on its own terms. I am sure that you will not be disappointed.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique storyline makes for good reading... August 15, 2008
I have to be careful in my review not to give too much away... this is a good book with lots of twists and turns that are best enjoyed curled up in bed frantically turning pages toward the end as everything starts to come out and be explained in a frenzy...

Dogwood has 3 parts to it. The first part was a little confusing for me - each chapter throughout the book is written from the viewpoint of one of four people. It took me awhile to grasp that and get them all straightened out in my mind. The other confusing thing was that the tragedy that is the center of everything is kept secret for pretty much the whole first part and I couldn't figure out why it was such a secret. Also the town of Dogwood shows itself to have no forgiveness for an accident and I wasn't sure out where the maliciousness came from, I mean being upset is one thing but sheer hatred is another.

Those minor things aside - this was a great book! I figured a few of the twists and turns out before the end, but Chris managed to blow my mind with the last chapter. Overall I was very impressed with this book - I loved the mentorship between Ruthie and Karin - we all need someone in our lives like Ruthie but so few of us have that. And all I can say about one of my other favorite parts is that Chris does a great job of showing the love of the Saviour in this book - you'll have to read it to fully understand what I mean.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I liked this book.
Published 4 months ago by Kimberly VanMeter
5.0 out of 5 stars The writing style of this author is just wonderful. I want to keep...
WOW! The writing style of this author is just wonderful. I want to keep reading until the end. The way he writes is stories keeps you until the end and I never see what is... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Britni Ewing
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good, no issues
Published 5 months ago by Billie T.
5.0 out of 5 stars Now this is a story
My favorite book ever (in my 55 years) Thank you Chris!
Published 6 months ago by mamaC
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprises
There is a sense of attachment between the main characters that niggles at you throughout the book but not until the end do you have that aha moment.
Published 7 months ago by plt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read! Chris Fabry has become one of my favorite authors.
Published 7 months ago by Bess McGuire
3.0 out of 5 stars A different type
Dogwood was a different type of book. I sometimes had a hard time following the story line as each chapter focused on a different character and a different time period. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Laura Payne
5.0 out of 5 stars A wild ride
You wouldn't know, looking at the peaceful mountain road on the cover, that "Dogwood" is a wild ride of a read. Figure on some sharp plot turns. Read more
Published 11 months ago by CP2E
3.0 out of 5 stars It was great until the end...
This is the third Chris Fabry book I've read. It was a real page turner until the end...I also wasn't too satisfied with the ending of June Bug either. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Noelea D'Antonio
5.0 out of 5 stars Why I read it
It was really good and I like anything by Chris Fabry, especially June Bug. It was well written and kept my attention and made me want to go back and finish it. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Esther Gray
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More About the Author

What if this is as good as life gets? Are you okay with that?

This question has haunted me over the past few years. Several years ago we moved to the desert for health reasons. Looking for recovery in a dry and thirsty land. And I realized my soul was more thirsty than anything.

Every Waking Moment is my effort to take some of the pain and loss of life and sift it through the life of a young woman who's been marginalized in society, working among people who are marginalized (the elderly). This character, Treha, has an extraordinary gift that few observe because she's "different."

Like most of my tales, it's a love story, a mystery, part thriller--but mostly a character sketch of lonely people looking for hope. And it's my intent that you find hope and meaning for your own life through Treha's journey.


I was born in West Virginia in 1961. I read a lot, but not very fast, and wrote poems, songs, and transcribed Marx Brothers movies and memorized dialogue.

In 1984 I met Jerry Jenkins at Moody Bible Institute. He offered to help me learn to write and I took him up on the offer. In 1998, Jerry and Dr. Tim LaHaye hired me to help write the Left Behind: The Kids series. After that I worked on several other series for children and then published my first adult novel in 2008. It took more than six years to write Dogwood and find a publisher. It received a 2009 Christy Award.

My next novel, June Bug, drew its themes from the classic Victor Hugo tale, Les Miserables. Then, Almost Heaven released and also won a Christy Award, as well as the 2011 Christian Book Award for Fiction.

Not in the Heart is another riveting, suspenseful, and yet relational story. A mystery within a mystery within an addiction. I dedicate it to all who have someone in their life who is addicted. This story also received a Christy award.

Borders of the Heart is my nod toward some of the great western writers--Cormac McCarthy and Larry McMurtry. It's a love story, a painful story of loss, a mystery, and an edge-of-your-seat thriller. I hope you enjoy the ride through Tucson and the surrounding area as much as I did.

In the past year I've also had the opportunity to craft novels based on film screenplays. The motion picture The Song released in September 2014, with my novel developed from Richard L. Ramsey's screenplay following later that year. I'm currently working on the novelization of War Room, the upcoming film produced by the Kendrick brothers (Courageous, Fireproof). Both film and novel are scheduled for release in summer 2015.

I graduated from the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. I have been married to Andrea since 1982. We have nine children. In October of 2008 our family evacuated our house in Colorado, leaving behind all our belongings because of a toxic mold situation. Since then we have been living near Tucson, Arizona, working on recovering our health after the mold exposure.

Stop by my website at to learn more about my writing and radio endeavors, and be sure to sign up for my online newsletter, the FABRYGRAM. I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter, or you can email me at

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