Wind Of The Spirit
Caroline Friday

Caroline Friday is a novelist and award winning screenwriter with eleven screenplays. Her adaptation of No Place for a Lady, by Maggie Brendan, has been optioned by Starz Media for distribution on the Hallmark Channel. In addition, her script, Angels on Earth, placed second-runner up in the 2008 Kairos Screenwriting Competition sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. She recently completed her first novel, The River Flows, based on her script by the same name. She currently serves as attorney, co-founder and EVP of Sixth Day Media, LLC, a faith-based and family film finance and production company headquartered near Atlanta. Caroline has a Business Administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a Juris Doctor in Law (JD) and an (MBA) from Wake Forest University. Affiliations include Women in Film, American Christian Fiction Writers, the American Bar Association, and the Illinois State Bar Association. Caroline is also a Stephen Minister and a Bible study teacher. She resides in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband, Bill, three children, Anna, Braxton, and Rachel, and yellow lab Dodga. She can be found at


by Chris Fabry

Being a Southern gal from eastern North Carolina where dogwoods bloom every spring with prolific intensity (it is also the state flower), I was immediately interested in Chris Fabry’s story of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, and redemption based on the title alone. Lest anyone protest that a reader pick up a book based on a simple word like dogwood, think about how we movie lovers chose the films we see. Sure, star power carries great weight (I’ll probably see every movie starring Russell Crowe), but so does title, whether we realize it or not.

Just as expected, I was swept into the smells and surroundings of the small West Virginia town of Dogwood—not the South, I know, but similar in many respects. A great mystery surrounds a decades-old tragedy that still generates gossip and whisperings, as well as enough deep -seated hatred and unforgiveness to bring out a murderous spirit in even the best of men. We know the secret involves the lives of Karin, an unhappy pastor’s wife raising three children, and her girlhood love, Will Hatfield, who languishes in a federal prison for committing the mysterious tragedy: a hit-and-run that caused the gruesome death of two little girls. Ironically, Danny Boyd, the brother of the victims, has taken on most of the guilt for the accident, while Will seems to live day to day in peace. His only dream is to return to Dogwood one day and renew his love with Karin. Add a wise old lady to the mix, who is bound and determined to make Karin confront her past and reconcile with Will, and you have the makings for a terrific Lifetime or Hallmark movie.

While the mystery surrounding the death of the little girls keeps the reader turning the pages, it is the deep love Will has for Karin that drives the story, and most certainly drives the movie. Put any handsome actor and beautiful actress in the lead roles and the movie will be a hit with viewers. Like The Notebook and Titanic, the story is what sells; it is a true, sacrificial romance that has universal appeal because it mirrors Christ’s love for His own. These types of stories can thaw even the coldest feminist heart (and I should know—I used to have one!).

Told in flashbacks, the relationship between Will and Karin started

when they were very young, at a time when the souls became intwined long before sexual attraction emerged. These scenes bring the story alive for the reader and viewer. Being taken back in time to see the face of the smart but dirty country boy who intentionally misspells a word in a spelling bee so Karin could win warms the heart. And yet, at the same time, the scent of injustice fills the nostrils when Karin learns the truth but says nothing. The damsel in me fell in love with the notion that a boy could lay claim to a girl at such a tender age, particularly a girl who seemed unappreciative and in a social class beyond his reach. But here is where the story of the savior is told: It is the plight of a love that diligently pursues with a gentleness bent on conquest, no matter the obstacle or cost.

As the story moves into their teen years, Will’s devotion to Karin blooms into a romantic love until finally he is lured into a night of sin that changes their lives forever. My heart broke at the destruction of the innocent, well-meaning boy, all because of his unconditional love for a girl who couldn’t decide whether she truly loved him. How could this happen, and better yet, why would this happen? Even if Karin did change her heart toward Will after his release from prison, how could they live happily ever after when she is a married woman? These are the questions anyone watching the movie might ask as they cradle a box of tissues in their lap, ignoring even the most persistent cell phone ring.

If you think you might have unraveled the secret from what I’ve written here, think again. As with any good mystery, just when you have it all worked out in your mind, WHAM! the storyteller does an amazing switcharoo that you couldn’t have seen coming even if you were wearing the most powerful set of binoculars. And Chris Fabry does just that. While tempted to give the twist away, I will remain silent, other than to say the ending will leave you sitting on the sofa long after the movie is over, with jaw hanging open, running the story over and over in your mind. But rest assured, it won’t take too long for the jaw to slide into a smile as you dab your eyes with your soggy tissue and say with a resounding and firm, “Yes! YES!”