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A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  546 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
"This book is a gift, and not only to Jordan."–USA Today

In 2005, First Sergeant Charles Monroe King began to write what would become a two-hundred-page journal for his son in case he did not make it home from the war in Iraq. He was killed by a roadside bomb on October 14, 2006. His son, Jordan, was seven months old. A Journal for Jordan is a mother’s letter to her son abo
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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I hate reviewing memoirs. I always feel like such a bitch when I'm critical of them because it seems like I'm criticizing a real person instead of a character and, in this case, because it is about a soldier and his family, it may even seem like I'm not being sufficiently supportive of the troops.

Oh well. I did not like this book. At all.

I read this book because it has been chosen as next year's OneBook selection for my university. That means that all incoming freshmen will read this book and
Nov 10, 2009 AnnaMay rated it it was amazing
I feel so honored to have caught a glimpse of Dana Canedy and her husband's love story and experience with the war in Iraq. As I tearfully finished this treasure, I wished there was a book like this for the 1000+ soldiers who have died since her husband, Charles, in that war. I know they each have a story and we would benefit from knowing it.

I am so indebted to books like this that teach me the value of a person and help me get back to the reality of life. We affect those around us with everythi
Jul 05, 2009 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sara by: Entertainment Weekly & People
Shelves: non-fiction, 2009, memoir
3.5 stars. Having heard about this book in a few magazines, I expected it to be a collection of the writings of Charles King, who wrote a journal for his infant son while in Iraq, then was killed, having spent only two weeks with his son. Well, there are snippets from this "journal for Jordan" in here, but this isn't the main focus of it. I suppose I started reading with different expectations of what the pages would entail.

Instead of just highlighting the journal he wrote for the son, the mom
May 13, 2009 Tracey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Adult nonfiction. Someone else might really love this book, but I didn't. Journalists always think we want to read whatever story they have to tell, and they take their sweet time telling it, too. Sometimes we do want to read it, but I just couldn't bring myself to care about this one (though the mother's letters to her son in regards to his deceased dad probably do make a good story). I had wanted to read more of what the dad had to say (for he also wrote letters to the son--in fact, a whole bo ...more
Sep 08, 2009 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing love story. You know the tragic ending from the outset, which makes reading about the incredible love that the author shared with Master Sargeant Charles King before he was killed in Iraq all the more heart-wrenching. Ultimately, though, I was buoyed by Dana Canedy's amazing courage and by the knowledge that she has a beautiful baby boy to remind her of the love that she and Charles experienced for 10 unforgettable years. As an editor for the NY Times, Canedy definitely knows ...more
Sep 12, 2009 Walter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What a fantastically moving tribute to an incredible person, relationship and legacy. Dana Canedy, a talented journalist, shares so honestly in this memoir that it makes an indelible impression, which is the best possible tribute to her fallen hero fiance, Charles King, and their son, Jordan (for whom, ostensibly, this book is written). This is truly a gift to us all, written so compellingly.

In recounting the story of her life, of that of her now-deceased fiance, of the love that they devel
I saw this book come thru & found myself reading it for a long time... A big NO-NO, but I was caught up. I read the whole book in one day & cried my eyes out. The story is very heart-warming, but also very sad... As a girl from a family where every man was in the military, married to a man whose family is the same way I read a lot into the story that may not be there for people without the experience of dealing w/ the military or the fear you feel when one of your relatives is off servin ...more
Jul 11, 2012 Lindsie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written and very inspirational. My fiance was in the same company and thought of First Srg. King as a father and a guardian angel. He shared some of his funny memories he had with him and he was an amazing man. My fiance wouldnt read the book. He said he was there he didnt need to read it. I read it behind his back to see kind of what he went through and to try to understand. She makes you love this man. Hes truly amazing and the definition of a hero. You feel like his family too. By ...more
Aug 09, 2009 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really tough book to read. The author is pretty open about the man she was married to who died in Iraq. Being a New York Times reporter, she also needed to know exactly how he died for herself and for their son who had only been months old when his father was killed and that was different than waht the Army had originally told her. Heartbreaking in places because her grief is very open.
Jun 30, 2009 Paula rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads
I picked this book up on the off-chance and found that I couldn't put it down. Dana wrote from the heart, and it's an appealing mix of her memories and the journal her fiance wrote for their infant son. Punches aren't pulled; she's as critical of herself as anyone else and what comes across is a loving family, a reminder of why we go to war and a beautiful memoir.
Loida Masalaysay
Aug 23, 2014 Loida Masalaysay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book. I thought it was well written and the story was really heart felt. What they've been through was not easy to take. I love the way she told her and Charles story in her letter to Jordan. It's amazing how you would think at first about the person you would meet is not the person you are compatible with. They have a great story that shows their great character. She was so love and treated more than she could imagine. It was sad that they didn't get a chance to get marri ...more
Eva Leger
3.5 - Hmmmmm... I just finished reading some reviews and one in particular is making me think. A few of the reviewers got the impressions that Canedy was glossing over aspects and/or romanticizing other aspects - I didn't get that impression at all. The book isn't all great (IMO) but that I did not come away with.
I think I'd like Canedy if I met her in person, she seems very well adjusted, very well in tune with herself.
I, like other reviewers, went into this thinking it would be Charles' word
Apr 28, 2009 Tanya rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 18, 2013 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 02, 2009 Alisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This story was heart tugging and wrenching at the same time. I do not know anyone personally that has lost a close one due to being in Iraq. Dana lost her fiancé Charles just 6 months after having their baby. The book moves a bit through their childhood, as well as how they met, courtship, and eventual decision to have a baby (and what a miracle it was) and get married. Even though I knew how the book ended, several parts touched me, especially the love of Charles for Dana and the love of his so ...more
Mar 06, 2009 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a negative view of the military, but I also have no friends or loved ones in the military and can only imagine the terror of having a loved one away at war, or the thoughts and feelings of the individuals directly impacted. The military involves so many people though, not all of whom enlist for purely financial reasons, I'm curious about their decision and thoughts. So, when I read a review of this book, written by a senior NYTimes editor critical of the military and the war that killed h ...more
Mar 14, 2011 Jaime rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book; it moved me to tears several times. But, it was also kinda boring in parts and not really what I was expecting. I expected a story about a dad writing to his son. But this book turned out to be a more of a story of the relationship between Jordan's parents.

Throughout the book there are "Dear Jordan" sections that are clearly written to the son. However, in many of these sections the mother writes about how they (mom and dad) made love, or how he touched her here or there... an
Nov 26, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it
What a heartbreakingly honest and thought provoking memoir in honor of Canedy's late fiance. A Journal for Jordan tells the story of a love that came to be, a father you'd never get to know and a family that wouldn't ever be quite whole again. Canedy is a New York Times editor whose fiance was a first sergant and was over on his last tour of duty in Iraq when his convoy was blown up with an IED and he was killed. She had his son Jordan, whom he only got to meet for two weeks when on leave. Prior ...more
Rio Lam
Jul 02, 2014 Rio Lam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are looking for a dramatic, cheesy novel about love, you won't get what you want reading this book. Dana is telling us her own (true) story and she is a reporter, that's why this book was done in the journalistic style: simple, plain, precise and informative. You might get bored at some point, but if you keep patient, you will get some good lessons.

I'm saying there're good lessons because these are real. A woman in the same world with us has suffered it, not a character. Also, there are s
Sep 02, 2013 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I did not finish this book. I made it through chapter 2. Hearing the author explain how much she respected her father, who physically abused both her mother and herself, and cheated on her mother with a mistress who he kept for years, made it very difficult for me to enjoy the book. The book was supposedly about honor and dignity, but it was hard to see either of those qualities in the family of the author. She had not talked much about her husband, the soldier who died in Iraq, so perhaps he wa ...more
We met Dana Canedy when she visited the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver. You can listen to her talk about "A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor" here:

About this podcast:
Pulitzer Prize-winning editor and journalist Dana Canedy reads from and discusses "A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor." In 2005, Canedy’s husband, First Sergeant Charles Monroe King, began to write a journal for his son in case he did not make it home from the war
Mil Joy
This book brought a whole lot of meaning to the word "love" and "sacrifice". Reading it not only left me in tears, it brought out so many unsaid emotions that I had in me as well. From the first chapter to the end credits I was brought to tears. I could feel her emotions almost as if it happened to me.

Dana Canedy is such a great writer. She knew how to grab a hold of you and keep you there in most of the chapters in the book. Certain chapters to me were a bit slow, but otherwise great. It was ob
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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When Dana Canedy met Chsrles King, she says he wasn't her type at all. "But he had the kindest heart and the kindest spirit of anybody I'd ever met." she says. The two fell in love and decided to have a baby. During Dana's pregnancy, Charles, a soldier, was deployed to Iraq. Six months after Dana gave birth to their son, Jordan, Charles was given two weeks' leave to see his new family.
Unfortunately, that visit would be the only one between Charles and Jordan. Two weeks after Charles returned to
Feb 15, 2009 Lindsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this is not usually the type of book I would pick up, I am glad that I took the chance and tried something different. You don't have to be an army wife to appreciate the honest love story narrated by Dana Canedy. What Dana and Charles share through their seven year courtship and the love they pass on to their son Jordan is uplifting and thought provoking. It has made me think deeply about my own relationships and what I hope to achieve in this life.

Thank you for sharing your story, Dan
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 hear

Feb 03, 2009 Angie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was not the ultimate tear jerker I expected it to be . While it did move me to tears numerous times , the book more frequently left me in awe of this fallen soldier . His morals , values , and beliefs that he shares even after death , through the journal he wrote for his son , are an excellent example to those of us who never even knew him .
Dana Canedy outdid herself with her written words - never has there been a more beautiful portrail written . Her son and all her readers are tru
First Sergeant Charles King was a remarkable man. He was an exemplary soldier, thoughtful son, devoted father and respectful companion. He was a hero on the battlefield as well as off. The insightful journal entries he wrote for his son to guide him in becoming not just a man, but a gentleman were touching. Jordan's mother Dana, King's fiancee, has written an honest, sensitive book about the meaning of love, which may help Jordan know the spirit of his father and remind the rest of the world of ...more
Sep 17, 2012 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The tragedy behind this story is so terrible on so many levels. I mourned the loss of this man as I read. I also felt he deserved to be mourned for, by all of us, he earned it. As a representation of the ongoing repercussions of September 11, it is a reminder that the body count did not stop on that day. So many soldiers have been lost, so many families left behind shattered. There is a sadness when reading this knowing it has played out so many times. This was written so personally and with su
May 26, 2012 Karina rated it really liked it

After taking a Literature of War class, I thought this book would be perfect. I loved the idea that Dana had in mind, to write not only from her perspective but to also include bits of the journal as well. To me it created a nice balance. Although I was taught to focus on the perspective of war in class and what it means to be a "witness" of war, I can certainly understand why Dana chose not to go into vivid detail about her husband's time in Iraq. I felt Dana and Charles relationship was the b
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