Do you believe that certain exceptional people have supernatural powers? Healing powers? This novel might just convince you. It will certainly convince you that people who manifest such a gift are likely to be idolized, looked upon with suspicion, considered agents of the devil, exploited and otherwise tormented.
Petra Simmons and her younger brother Andy help an attractive young woman who seems disoriented and down on her luck; they try to be of assistance. The woman, they discover, has recently returned to her family after having been missing for three years. She does not feel comfortable with her family, and she has no memory. What she does have is the ability to heal by touching the ill, the crippled or the wounded. The speed of recovery for these individuals seems to be influenced by their ethical dimensions. Good folks are more susceptible to her healing power than mean-spirited ones.
The woman, who is named Jordan, is befriended by Petra, who provides Jordan with shelter and friendship. They form a strong bond.
Jordan has a special relationship with birds and other animals. They are sensitive to her special nature and, quite literally, flock to be near her. Before long, Andy falls in love with her.
Jordan’s memory stays blank for a long time, but her sense of her individuality is strong on many levels. She is driven to use her gift. She is also, at first, something of an innocent — but the ways in which she is perceived and treated test her good nature.
Her presence in Boca Raton, along with bits of fact and tons of rumor, go viral on the social media. People fight for a chance to see her or, better yet, be healed by her.
Others would rather denigrate her gift and her motives. Still others, often those already powerful and wealthy, would like to find ways to control her and take advantage of her for their own purposes.
Petra and Andy, along with Petra’s boyfriend Bob, a well-connected man named Oscar and a small handful of other people form a cadre of those who work to support and protect Jordan while assisting in her self-imposed healing mission.
They must struggle to fend off those with exploitative motives: sensation-hungry journalists, scheming politicians,
Jordan wannabees (like Jordan’s own sister) and the tycoons who see her as someone they must help in order to gain her gratitude as they distort her purpose.
So, yes, the world is not ready for a phenomenon like Jordan. Fights break out, Jordan sightings turn into traffic jams, the Boca Raton infrastructure becomes compromised and unsafe. Things get so confusing that it’s hard to tell which armed military units are governmental and which are private — and if it even matters.
Author Victoria Landis has a splendid imagination, and her incremental building of the idyllic city’s crisis has a magnetic hold. She also demonstrates impressive, captivating descriptive powers. Her main characters are well individualized, and her handling of dialogue is generally effective.
However, the very skills Ms. Landis is so good at sometimes are overdone. There is a bit too much dialogue, too much descriptive detail. It’s as if she doesn’t trust readers enough to leave space for them to use their own imaginations.
These remain minor issues, as most readers will be swept up into following the author’s powerful premise and her insights into human nature, both on individual and collective levels. “Jordan” the book is both highly provocative and highly relevant to our times.
About the author
Artist, humorist, and novelist Victoria Landis lives in Key Largo after residing in Boca Raton for several years. She is a long-time member of the Mystery Writers of America and has co-chaired the annual SleuthFest Writers’ Conference. Her other titles are “A Little Bit of Sideways,” “Blinke It Away” and “Alias: Mitzi and Mack.” Find out more about her at www.victorialandis.com. ¦
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