Ted Balik's public disclosure of an affair between his wife and the O'Fallon Bible Church pastor changes everything for Reverend David Parst and his family, plunging them into a struggle with God and one another that will span generations.
Reverend David Parst leads a seemingly picture-perfect life, but even his thriving church, outstanding reputation, and loving wife Sarah and son Jack, arent enough to keep him from stepping into an enticing, though deadly, trap. One Sunday afternoon, David realizes too late the consequences of playing with fire. Everything hed built his life on, every success, every loving relationship, is cut out of his life. And his life isnt the only one thats broken. Will Davids family ever forgive him and accept him back? Should they?
Something That Lasts by James David Jordan is a somber book, dealing with the issues of adultery, suicide, death, and, finally, the hopeful rays of forgiveness. As David rebuilds his life in a small Texas town, Sarah tries to cope with the trials of single motherhood while young Jack nurtures his hatred toward his father and bitterness toward God, until that anger starts to define him. Ten years pass. Then twenty. The gap between father and son is now too wide to see across.
Sometimes it isnt until one reaches rock bottom, when hes convinced hes lost everything, that he finds a small ounce of hope. Jordan has crafted a book that shows, not tells, and paints David, Jack, and Sarah with colors that we can interpret and relate to. In almost every scene, readers are not only right there in the room, but also inside each characters head, seeing what he or she sees, feeling what is felt, and tasting the pain as if it is all happening to close friends.
Though most of the book flows seamlessly, a few of the scenes, including the climactic church scene, which is a little over-the-top, do too good of a job at portraying how tough life is for the Parsts. By the end of the book, almost everything bad that could have happened to them, indeed, has happened. This took away some of the realism, but strong character development more than made up for it.
The time jumps are handled as smoothly as possible, but can still disorient the reader. Though it takes a few pages to get back into the story and adjust to all the changes and new characters, Jordan weaves past and present so well that he can get back into the story from the first page and not lose the reader.
The ending isnt one of happily-ever-after. Years are wasted that can never be reclaimed, and decisions are made that can never be reversed. But we see, more than anything, that God has to be involved for true healing to take place, and when the characters finally see His hand at work, its a moment for celebration.
With Something That Lasts, James David Jordan takes his first step as a novelist, and its a very natural, very powerful stride. His ability to set real-life struggles in a seemingly realistic world and, most importantly, to pave the way directly to the Answer to those struggles, makes him an author well want to hear from more. Elizabeth G. Goldsmith, Christian Book Previews.com
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