Sunday, March 14, 2010

Crossing Jhordan's River by Kendra Norman-Bellamy

book cover

Crossing Jhordan's River
by Kendra Norman-Bellamy

Trade Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Moody Publishers
First Released: 2005

Source: Bought from

Book Description, My Take:
As a boy, Jhordan watched in horror as his mother told him that she loved him and then took her own life. As a young man, his first wife left him for a rich man while still claiming to love him...but, for her, love just wasn't enough.

Now handsome Jhordan Adams is a firefighter married to beautiful Kelli, a woman who clearly loves both him and his daughter from his first marriage. He loves Kelli more than he wants to. What if she leaves him, too? His solution is to pull away from her to guard his heart against the potential pain.

Kelli can't understand the distance that her husband Jhordan has put between them. It's been less than a year since they got married! The only explanation she can come up with for his absences from their home and reluctance to get physically intimate is that she's not enough somehow and that he's being unfaithful to her. Deeply hurt, she starts spending time with a handsome divorce lawyer who's more than willing to listen to her woes.

Will Jhordan and Kelli cross the river of pain in their marriage before it divides them forever?

Crossing Jhordan's River was an interesting Christian general fiction book. The topic of the novel and how it was handled will probably appeal to both men and women. There was a good amount of suspense, especially near the end, and the pacing was very good. The world-building was okay.

The characters were likable and had realistic struggles and reactions. Initially, the character's motivations were stated extremely clearly, and I tend to prefer a bit more subtly. However, the author did back off in the second half and let the reader figure things out for themselves.

The characters were Christian and did attend church and pray (though usually the details of the sermons, prayers, etc., where left to the reader's imaginations). Characters handed out plenty of good marriage advice to Kelli and Jhordan, but the novel wasn't preachy in the sense of "you need to get religion, folks!"

There was married sex, but it wasn't graphic. There was no bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this novel as good, clean reading.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
Kelli sat up and looked at the space beside her. The pillow was neatly in its place, and the covers were too tidy to have been slept on or under. By now, she should be accustomed to the routine, but it never got any easier. At this point in her life, she didn't expect to be sleeping alone.

By anyone's definition, she was still a newlywed. It had been less than a year since she and Jhordan Adams had tied the knot, and it didn't take a rocket scientist to know that they had a problem. At twenty-nine, it was her first marriage. Jhordan was only a year older than she, but the marriage was his second.

During their yearlong courtship, he'd been nothing short of a gentleman. The tall, handsome man with the strong features of Tyson Beckford and the deep chocolate skin of Wesley Snipes walked into her church one Sunday morning and took a seat right next to her. Not once during the entire service did Kelli's heart stop pounding.

In a matter of months, she was madly in love, and she knew he felt the same. Jhordan was distant at first and almost seemed to fight his growing affections for her, but fate won the battle. After marrying him, Kelli moved from her one-bedroom apartment in Jackson, Mississippi, to the two-bedroom apartment he rented in the tourist-attraction city of Biloxi. The move was a good one. It placed her closer to her church and her parents.

Kelli had no idea what was wrong. Wesley and Mary Jenkins had raised her to be a very respectable lady. Her parents had been married for nearly forty years--forty good years--and she knew how a woman should treat her husband, but apparently she wasn't doing something right.

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