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Download A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor Audiobook, by Dana Canedy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (405 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dana Canedy Narrator: Dana Canedy Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2008 ISBN: 9780739358610
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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. Charles King, forty-eight, was killed on October 14, 2006, when an improvised explosive device detonated under his Humvee on an isolated road near Baghdad. His son, Jordan, was seven months old.

A Journal for Jordan is a mother’s letter to her son–fierce in its honesty–about the father he lost before he could even speak. It is also a father’s advice and prayers for the son he will never know.

A father figure to the soldiers under his command, Charles moved naturally into writing to his son. In neat block letters, he counseled him on everything from how to withstand disappointment and deal with adversaries to how to behave on a date. And he also wrote, from his tent, of recovering a young soldier’s body, piece by piece, from a tank–and the importance of honoring that young man’s life. He finished the journal two months before his death while home on a two-week leave, so intoxicated with love for his infant son that he barely slept.

Finally, this is the story of Dana and Charles together–two seemingly mismatched souls who loved each other deeply. She was a Pulitzer Prize—winning editor for the New York Times who struggled with her weight. He was a decorated military officer with a sculpted body who got his news from television. She was impatient, brash, and cynical about love. He was excruciatingly shy and stubborn, and put his military service before anything else. In these pages, we relive with Dana the slow unfolding of their love, their decision to become a family, the chilling news that Charles has been deployed to Iraq, and the birth of their son.

In perhaps the most wrenching chapter in the book, Dana recounts her search for answers about Charles’s death. Unsatisfied with the army’s official version of what happened and determined to uncover the truth, she pored over summaries of battalion operations reports and drew on her well-honed reporting skills to interview the men who were with Charles on his last convoy, his commanding officers, and other key individuals. In the end, she arrived at an account of Charles’s death–and his last days in his battalion–that was more difficult to face than the story she had been told, but that affirmed the decency and courage of this warrior and father.

A Journal for Jordan is a tender introduction, a loving good-bye, a reporter’s inquiry into her soldier’s life, and a heartrending reminder of the human cost of war.


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Powerful… Not all great love stories are ignited by the lightning bolt of love at first glance; this humbler I’m-going-to-talk-myself-into-this-good-man version is believable and real….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. That is no trick O. Henry ending. It is a denouement full of suffering, worthy of Chekhov. Melissa Fay Greene, New York Times
  • A hauntingly beautiful account of a family fractured by war…filled with vivid and heartbreaking details…Canedy's talent at evoking character makes the account of King’s life and death not simply a story about the injustice of war, but a project in resurrection. Canedy allows King to come alive for her son and, to our benefit, for us…Gripping…important. New York Times Book Review
  • It's impossible not to be affected by her story. Entertainment Weekly
  • At once inspiring and ineffably sad . . . Canedy captures the unique magnificence of the man she loved in a way that brings the beginnings of an understanding to the losses that other families bear. Denver Post
  • This tragic story of love and war reminds all Americans that we are fortunate to have people like Sgt. Charles King, willing to die for our country. Dana Canedy bears witness to the enduring power of love, to Sgt. King's heroism and his unfailing devotion to his family and his men. Caroline Kennedy
  • "This book is a living, breathing legacy. It's full of wonderful treasures offered by a unique and spirited father, whose loving words of wisdom to his infant son are a rite of passage that will transform us all. It is written with serene grace: part memoir, part love story, all heart. James McBride, author of The Color of Water
  • Canedy's memoir speaks to military families everywhere…By openly and honestly revealing her side of their highly emotional story as well, by detailing the effects of his death on her and subsequent interactions with government brass about burial and benefits, for example…she gives the project a greater significance, making it especially relevant for and meaningful to countless others in similar situations. San Francisco Chronicle
  • “Dana Canedy's moving memoir has captured my heart and won't let it go. Courageous in its honesty and at times unsettling, it draws us deep into the soul of a woman in love, the pain of her loss and the unpardonable theft of hopes and dreams, lives and futures stolen by war. With an exquisite voice, Canedy recounts moments of intense emotion that haunt us long after savoring the last lines. I didn't want it to end. Susan L. Taylor, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Essence, and founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement

  • This book is a gift, and not only to Jordan. USA Today
  • Heartfelt…Canedy used her skills as a reporter to dig beneath the official story of King's death…These investigative passages are gripping…King died a hero's death, but Canedy's embrace of life is a kind of heroism, too. Cleveland Plain Dealer
  • Gut-wrenching… Canedy writes with the objective eye of a hard-line reporter yet manages to convey the complexities of the love between her and her fiance as well as the deep loss she feels in his absence. It's impossible to imagine what her pain is like, but she does a beautiful job of allowing us to come close. Washington Post

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 2/12/2014

    " What a great lasting memory for a son to have of his father. Heartfelt and sweet throughout. I liked this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elise | 2/11/2014

    " As soon as I read the description of the book I was drawn in. Canedy did a wonderful job of the telling enough of the story from everyone's point of view and put excerpts from the journal in at just the right time. I like that it was not just the journal, but rather her telling the story of their lives. The voice in her writing is perfect. I could feel the sorrow and the happiness she went through and was unable to put it down until I finished the last word. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clare | 2/6/2014

    " Great book! I actually put it down for about 6 months because I didn't want to read the final chapters knowing how sad they would be, I'm so glad I finally did! Canedy did a great job honoring him but I was still able to read without stopping to wipe my eyes every paragraph (just about every third :)). A very good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley Rangel | 1/25/2014

    " What a beautiful family they made spending what little time they had together and what a tragedy that Charles is no longer alive. The ravages of war are heartbreaking. Such a touching memoir of a couple that firmly believed in honor, respect and love. I'm glad that I got to know a little bit about the people who were and are Charles, Dana and Jordan through the pages of this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 1/22/2014

    " A book that truly makes one appreciate the sacrifices soldiers and their families make for our country. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sammi Elliott | 1/21/2014

    " This was an ok book. Took a bit to keep going in it. It really makes you think about what the men and women who defend our country sacrifice to do that job well and ensure our safety. My heart breaks for all the children who will grow up without mothers or fathers. I am glad the mother and author of this book did not put the whole journal that Jordan's dad wrote for him into the book. That would have just taken away from the fact it was something from father to son. This was a book by a mother telling her son about his father. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindsie | 1/18/2014

    " 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 the end of the book i couldnt function. I cried.... a lot ..and I gave my fiance a long hug. She is an amazingly strong women. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 1/17/2014

    " Dana Caneday writes to her son Jordan about the father he lost to war before he could speak. It tells of their courtship and hardships they faced. Then America'a war on terrorism was declared and First Sergent King was deployed. While there, he wrote a journal for his son telling of his experiences and how to grow up to be a gentleman just in case he never made it home to tell Jordan these things himself. Definitely a tear-jerker. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellie Revert | 1/15/2014

    " This came highly recommended, and I would agree with that. These wars are wreaking such havoc in so many lives. The author shows why one should grab wonderful opportunities in the toughest of times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison O'Brien | 1/10/2014

    " This was an amazing book. It was a real tear jerker. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Macy | 1/4/2014

    " I swore I wouldn't cry, but I did. This is a very good story about a very brave man. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeralyn lovell | 12/21/2013

    " A tear jerker about a woman's jouney through joy and grief, loving a soldier who was sent to Iraq and was killed. They had a child together who was a joy to all. His father wrote advice for life in a journal for him. A true story. Very nice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra | 12/16/2013

    " Beautiful and Poignant story of a father's journal to his son before he died in Iraq. Very touching. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 12/5/2013

    " Keep your Kleenex nearby. Read this on Jim's kindle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 10/17/2013

    " Very moving and captivating story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Valerie | 7/9/2013

    " I am glad I read this book! I liked it, but it was hard to read knowing the outcome. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shana | 4/27/2013

    " It may be a few years before Jordan will want to read about his mothers more intimate recollections. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 12/20/2012

    " A heart-wrenching account of a man and a woman's journey and the tragic end. A tear jerker. I highly recommend, but caution anyone who has military family. It may be too difficult to read. It is honest, painful, joyful, and most of all . . . real. I am glad I read this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vix | 6/11/2012

    " OMG, I just finished this book at lunch and was straight up crying in the conference room. Truly a beautiful love story. It made me want to be a better person, a better girlfriend, a better Christian, a better everything. Wow. Wonderfully well-written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cariann | 4/18/2012

    " one of the best books i have ever read! you will need a whole box of kleenex when you read this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tami | 3/20/2012

    " I did not cry until the end. It gave me a look at life as a military wife. And let me tell you I had no idea if the father is not present at the time of birth his name can not be on the birth certificate. So what happens to all these mothers who give birth when a father is deployed??? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deirdre | 2/18/2012

    " bawled my eyes out reading this, it was so good and heart breaking though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 10/19/2011

    " I really liked this book although I'm not quite sure why. Knowing the ending should have been reason enough for me to dislike this book :) I think what I liked best was her writing style. Maybe it was so much like my own? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb | 8/16/2011

    " Bring several boxes of tissues. Very touching and very good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alicia | 1/11/2011

    " Sweet and sad story of love, loss, and new life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Valerie | 8/16/2010

    " I am glad I read this book! I liked it, but it was hard to read knowing the outcome. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gabriela | 8/6/2010

    " I read this book in 2 days, such a beautiful heartbreaking story. A must read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cariann | 5/18/2010

    " one of the best books i have ever read! you will need a whole box of kleenex when you read this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Theresa | 5/7/2010

    " Man wrote a journal for his newborn son while he was stationed in Iraq - in case he didn't make it home. Husband died when baby was six months old. Wife took the journal and wrote this book. Just started it but it is very sweet.
    Read the last few chapters with a box of kleenex! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 4/1/2010

    " Keep your Kleenex nearby. Read this on Jim's kindle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 3/12/2010

    " I only gave this 3 stars because I would have liked to have seen more from the dad to his son. She included more stories about her and her husbands past and then meeting. I can understand though, if she wanted to keep most of the journal entries private for her son. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeralyn | 1/7/2010

    " A tear jerker about a woman's jouney through joy and grief, loving a soldier who was sent to Iraq and was killed. They had a child together who was a joy to all. His father wrote advice for life in a journal for him. A true story. Very nice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 12/10/2009

    " A book that truly makes one appreciate the sacrifices soldiers and their families make for our country. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steph | 12/1/2009

    " I loved this book. I think it would be a great idea for all soldiers to keep a journal for their families. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 11/20/2009

    " I think every mom should read this book. It made me so thankful to have a good man in my life and here for my son to grow up with. We shouldn't take such men for granted. This story almost made me cry in a couple places, which says a lot because I don't cry easily. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mgrother | 11/20/2009

    " I thought the introduction and last two or three chapters of this book were touching and heartbreaking. In between was solid, but slow going and did not hold anything for me. Having lost a family friend in Iraq, I'd hoped for more from this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amber | 11/4/2009

    " Everyone that has or knows a soldier fighting now or ever or even for someone that has lost someone should read this book.

    It was very easy to read. I read it in one sitting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jordan | 11/2/2009

    " prepare to cry. but so worth the tears. beautiful. i loved it. and not just cause my name is jordan. "

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About the Author

Dana Canedy is a senior editor at the New York Times, where she has been a journalist for twelve years. In 2001, she was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for “How Race Is Lived in America,” a series on race relations in the United States. Raised near Fort Knox, she lives in New York City with her son, Jordan.