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A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor Kindle Edition

27 customer reviews

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Length: 288 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Inspired by a journal her fiancé wrote to their infant son while stationed as a sergeant in Iraq, New York Times editor Canedy tenderly recreates the couple's love story and decision to have a baby before he died. Canedy, an army brat herself, vowed to stay away from military men, but at 33, she was attracted to the shy, newly divorced artist and first sergeant Charles Monroe King, whom she met in the home of her parents in Radcliff, Ky., even if not quite like the intellectual men she typically dated back in New York. Over several years, their relationship developed despite their busy, separate lives, and when Charles was ordered to duty in Iraq in 2005, they discussed marriage and decided to conceive a child. Charles could not get back for baby Jordan's delivery, and the sergeant spent only two weeks with his baby son before returning to duty—he was killed in 2006. Canedy's account of Charles's last visit with his wife and child is heartbreaking. Unflinching and thorough, Canedy offers a sense of shared grief with other families whose loved ones have died in the war. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

It would be difficult to anyone to resist being affected by the events recalled in A Journal for Jordan, and critics were no exception. A Journal for Jordan"is impossible to read without a sense of bitter knowledge that this principled man fell at the behest of leaders less guided by honor," noted the New York Times. In addition to being moved by this true story, reviewers praised specific aspects of Canedy's writing, which gave the book depth and authenticity. They particularly admired her heartfelt but unsentimental descriptions of both her relationship with her fiance and the process of her grief. Taken together, these factors led reviewers to assess A Journal for Jordan as more than an inspiring tale about fathers and sons; indeed, it is a story about a remarkable woman as well.
Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Rick Shaq Goldstein on January 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a touching true story of two very different people who were probably not ideal for each other when they met... yet eventually fell in love... planned a family... planned a marriage... planned a life together... with some of these plans being fulfilled... while others... will remain heartbreakingly... unfulfilled for all eternity. The author is New York Times journalist Dana Canedy who shares her innermost thoughts and feelings... that encompass not only her falling in love with First Sergeant Charles King... but also is honest in the fact that this happened... *despite* the fact... that she was her own worst enemy in the early going... convincing herself in any way possible that Charles was not the right man for her... So she put up personal roadblocks... that ranged from saying she'd never be involved with a military man... because of her Father... she didn't want to become a victimized wife... like her Mother... she even convinced herself that Charles didn't have a good enough vocabulary to be around her cohorts at work. Yet through it all... she couldn't deny that Charles treated her better than she'd ever been treated. He treated her like his queen.

Charles was the epitome of a good hard working man... with pride in what he did... the goals of always working harder than the next guy. As a drill instructor he took the lives of his men... on and off the battlefield seriously... he felt he had to be a stern taskmaster when needed... and also had to be a concerned Father figure when the situation called for it. Charles had multiple tours in battle and they decided to try to "create" a baby when he came home on leave between battle assignments. Miraculously, even though Dana was forty-years-old... they accomplished their goal. Before Charles went back to war...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A. Lanoha on January 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'd like to say that this book is by far the BEST book i've ever read in my life. Granted, I hate to read. I have the attention span of a peanut and no book ever seems to 'suck me in'. HOWEVER this book had me from page 1 and I couldn't put it down. I read the whole book in one sitting. The way Dana wrote this book made me feel as if i was right there witnessing things as they unfolded. The further I got in the book, the further I got into my own little world where nothing else mattered but finishing this book. This book isn't just another sad story about a man losing his life in Iraq, it was a story about love and family. I have already told everyone I know about this book and I refused to let anyone borrow it because i'm keeping it for life!! Totally worth reading!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lilac Lily on March 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I listened to the audio book edition of "A Journal for Jordan" and I enjoyed it very much. From the first couple of words I was drawn in by the warmth and strength of Dana's voice.

I felt as if I was listening to a good friend telling me her personal story. And what a moving story it was. Dana Canedy recounts the unfolding love story between her and First Sergeant Charles Monroe King. She tells us about their days of courtship, their plans to marry and the conception of their son Jordan. And finally, she shares the pain that Charles untimely death in Iraq caused her and all of his family.

Thankfully Charles left behind a journal for his infant son, which he had started during his deployment. His journal entries build the foundation for the book. In them, he counsels his son on everything from dating to becoming a respectable human being. Throughout the book you can just feel the love that the author, her fiancé and their son shared. And you can't help but join in the mourning of their fallen soldier. I was at times crying so hard that I had to take a break from listening. Yet at other times the author made me laugh out loud with some of her witty observations.

Canedy's way with words is marvelous. And I think she created a gift for Jordan that he will forever treasure. If only every child of a fallen soldier could have a book like this.
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21 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Just my opinion on March 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Although this book was well written and a wonderful story, it was not what I expected. I thought the book would contain much more "advise" from a father to a son and so I bought the book as a gift to my own sons, who are fatherless. I thought they would benefit from it. However, although there was a little bit of that fatherly advise contained within its pages, it was more of a love story with personnal family pictures; something my sons will probably never read. I did quite a bit of research before I bought the book to try and determine if it would serve the purpose for which I was buying it. I think my research was VERY MISLEADING! I wish I had done a little more research than I did before I spent the money. Everyone has their own love story to tell, this one is touching and beautiful, however, I wasn't really interested in reading about it. So, if your buying this book in hopes that you can give a fatherless boy some insight on "the measure of an honorable man", you'll be disappointed. There really isn't much of that in it.
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Format: Hardcover
Dana Canedy was raised as an Army brat and certainly had no interest in living her adult life subject to the uncertainties and moves that all military families must endure. She was a journalist deeply involved in her career at The New York Times when she first met Charles during a visit with her parents in Kentucky.

Charles was still healing from a divorce, and Dana had recently ended a relationship. Neither of them was ready to begin dating again. But many phone calls took place, and soon the soldier was visiting the writer in the big city. Their long-distance relationship had some rough patches, but they were together whenever their schedules allowed. A few years passed, and their relationship deepened and strengthened. They planned to marry after Charles completed his tour of duty in Iraq. Dana became pregnant, and the baby was due in March 2006.

Dana gave Charles a journal of sorts --- not a blank book --- but one with a question at the top of each page to prompt the prospective father to write to his unborn child. Charles busied himself filling up its pages, often substituting his own questions so that he could explain certain things to Jordan. He wanted Jordan to know him. Possibly he felt he might not live to see his son. Surely that thought entered Dana's mind as well.

Charles carried an ultrasound image of the unborn baby with him in Iraq. Though he promised to return to New York for Jordan's birth, when the time neared he stayed with his company of young, combat-inexperienced soldiers. He told Dana they really needed him and would not leave. Dana also needed Charles, but she soldiered on in her own way and gave birth to a beautiful, healthy son without Charles at her side.
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