Automotive Deals BOTYSFKT Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Pink Floyd Fire TV Stick Health, Household and Grocery Back to School Ruby jewelry Amazon Cash Back Offer harmonquest_s1 harmonquest_s1 harmonquest_s1  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Water Sports
Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful portrayal of ordinary people dealing with extraordinary pain, August 29, 2005
This review is from: The Jordan Tracks (Paperback)
Steven W. Wise sets The Jordan Tracks in the small town of California, just southwest of Columbia, Missouri. It's a part of the heartland that Wise knows well; he and his wife live on a wooded farm about ten miles north of Columbia. The novel, his fifth (including three originally published by Thomas Nelson), is peppered with references that readers in the Show-Me State will appreciate. (I've lived in Saint Louis long enough to know who wore #6 for the Cardinals, but as a native Chicagoan I'm still sore about the Brock-for-Broglio deal.)

The Jordan Tracks takes place in the fall of 1968 and follows the struggle of Ernie and Christa Bates as they anxiously await the return of their son, Aaron, from his tour of duty in Viet Nam. As with so many plans in this life, the "welcome home" pig-pickin' is put on permanent hold when the Bates are informed that Aaron has been killed.

Christa is solid in her walk with Christ, as was Aaron. Knowing that she'll be reunited with him someday helps to ease the pain, but not so with Ernie. Burdened with guilt from a terrible deed in his childhood, Ernie has never accepted the existence of a loving God. The death of his only son sends Ernie into a shell, unable even to attend Aaron's funeral. He seems barely alive, like a sputtering candle about to flicker out. Forces are at work on Ernie, just beyond the limits of perception, and Christa fights to pull her husband back from the abyss before he allows himself to be swallowed by eternal darkness.

Steven Wise paints a colorful backdrop against which plays the struggle for Ernie Bates' soul. Some may find the dialogue and the characters a bit rustic for their tastes, even corny; to them I politely suggest getting out of the city and taking a good look around. The Jordan Tracks is about ordinary people dealing with extraordinary hurt, and there are an awful lot of folks just like that out here in Flyover Country.

The friendship between Ernie and his co-workers at the local turkey processing plant, Harley Raines and "Fudd" Ledbetter, rings true. (It's obvious that Wise has some turkey processing experience in his work history.) Wise also does a fine job of developing even the secondary characters into personalities I believed and cared about. The plot moves along at a leisurely pace, but that's all right; I really enjoyed getting to know these folks.

Wise is to be commended for avoiding the stock Hollywood happy ending. While The Jordan Tracks ends on a hopeful note, strings are left hanging as strings often do in real life. God promises no tidy resolutions to all of our problems, at least not in this world.

My only criticisms of The Jordan Tracks stem, I think, from the author's choice to self-publish. There are a couple of instances where the word "drug" is used instead of "dragged". This would have been acceptable in dialogue, but it seemed out of place in a novel that is, as a whole, very well written.

A few typos can be forgiven, but one other error stuck out just a bit: Identifying the inspiration for "Fudd" Ledbetter's nickname as a character from a Disney cartoon. Most readers would correctly recognize Elmer Fudd as Bugs Bunny's nemesis in the Warner Brothers cartoons. A second set of eyes would probably have caught that minor mistake.

However, these were minor flaws that didn't distract enough from the story to bother me.

In sum, The Jordan Tracks is an engaging story of average, small town people dealing with world-sized grief. It's not for the reader who wants explosions, monsters, or exotic locations. But The Jordan Tracks may move you in ways that so-called thrillers simply can't.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details

Item

4.4 out of 5 stars (5 customer reviews)


3 star
0%

2 star
0%

1 star
0%

$17.50
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Charleston, Illinois, USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 98,842