Reverend David Parst leads a seemingly picture-perfect life, but even his thriving church, outstanding reputation, and loving wife Sarah and son Jack, arenít 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 heíd built his life on, every success, every loving relationship, is cut out of his life. And his life isnít the only one thatís broken. Will Davidís 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 isnít until one reaches rock bottom, when heís convinced heís 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 characterís 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 isnít 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, itís a moment for celebration.
With Something That Lasts, James David Jordan takes his first step as a novelist, and itís 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 weíll want to hear from more. Ė Elizabeth G. Goldsmith, Christian Book Previews.com
When Ted Balik rises from his pew to speak, no one in the crowded sanctuary of the O'Fallon Bible Church can imagine that their peaceful community will be shattered by his shocking disclosure: Reverend David Parst, beloved husband and father and pastor, committed the unthinkable crime. He had an affair with Mrs. Balik. As the church members explode into an uproar, Ted silently grabs a gun out of his pocket, raises it to his temple and pulls the trigger. These few moments of horror plunge the reverend, his wife and their twelve-year-old son into a struggle with God and one another that will span generations - a struggle to find something that lasts beyond the rage, lies and fear.