James David Jordan,
Something That Lasts
(Integrity, 2006)

Author James David Jordan is a Dallas, Texas, attorney. He doesn't make his living as a writer. His first novel, Something That Lasts, was a labor of love, a work that took a full eight years to complete. Jordan freely admits that with his novel he wanted to "confront this prevalent fallacy which methodically lulls viewers into thinking that adultery is normal and -- perhaps even more dangerously -- harmless."

The novel does, in fact, open with an act of adultery, one committed by an upstanding preacher who deeply values his family. The remainder of the plot centers around the decades-long fall-out from this indiscretion.

The closest parallel to Jordan's novel is the plot of a Lifetime Original movie. Jordan has a great message, but it is packaged in a supremely melodramatic form. We have a preacher who commits adultery, followed by a public suicide in church, then a wife with a life-threatening illness, not to mention the son who almost dies trying to save his puppy in a raging storm, a near-deadly car crash, father-son estrangement and more. The novel spans decades (three generations) in the lives of the Parst family, through the highs, lows and strained relationships.

In the end, Jordan successfully conveys his message that faith can buoy a family through tough times. Faith can serve as something that lasts.

This is a book for fans of Adriani Trigiani and Sue Monk Kidd. Pick up Kidd's The Mermaid Chair if you liked this novel.

by Jessica Lux-Baumann
24 June 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.