Gordon in the News: last updated 10/20/2006

Gordon Professor Authors First of Planned Trilogy of Fiction

September 29, 2006            

Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA-Communication Arts Professor Jo Kadlecek, a Beverly resident, recently launched a fiction trilogy. The first in the series, A Mile from Sunday, explores beliefs and faith in a pluralistic society through the eyes of narrator Jonna Lightfoot McLaughlin, a young religion reporter.

Jonna's character, fresh out of college, has made it all the way to being the number one religion reporter for the number two newspaper in Denver, Colorado. Jonna, daughter of spiritually experimental hippies, is in search of good news and a good man, but is having a hard time finding either. She thinks that "religion ought to be good for us, like oatmeal and exercise," but all the news she finds points the other way. As she uncovers scandal and controversy, she is forced to confront questions of identity and discovers more about her own beliefs.

Jonna is led into the quest of exposing a potentially corrupt church and a pastor whose secret endangers his members. A Mile from Sunday follows Jonna through her adventure and seeks to encourage conversation about religion. Kadlecek said, "Jonna encourages us to have dialogues with other people that might believe differently and to respect those beliefs without having to compromise our own."

Kadlecek explains that, "though this is a wonderfully diverse culture, it's often polarized. People too often point at others and say us versus them-politically, spiritually, ideologically. Jonna's character wants to bridge that gap and bring people together. Her story gives people a little bit more confidence to engage in discussions."

 "I was jetlagged having just come back from Australia, and I couldn't sleep. The character popped into my head and the idea for a trilogy just kept me up," explained the author. "It was the idea of having a character to navigate us through the pluralism of today's society. She's quirky, real, flawed, messed up, but she's sincere and smart."

The second book in the trilogy, A Quarter After Tuesday, is expected to be released in the spring of 2007 where Jonna is offered a job in New Orleans (pre-Katrina) and her beliefs are further challenged.

Jo Kadlecek, a former journalist, has written ten books, two of which are novels. She often teaches at retreats, conferences and writing workshops, and worked as a freelance writer for 14 years. Recently, Jo Kadlecek joined the Gordon College faculty as Assistant Professor of Communication Arts.

A Mile from Sunday, to be released October 1, 2006, is published by NavPress. For information on Jo Kadlecek, contact the Office of College Communications at 978.867.4236 or visit http://www.lamppostmedia.net

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Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The college offers majors in 36 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges


A Mile From Sunday
Author Jo Kadlecek