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Looking at Kirk Fordice in a way we've never seen before

“We End in Joy” by Angela Fordice Jordan is published by University Press of Mississippi ($25, hardcover).

It’s always good to promote a Mississippi author writing about a Mississippi subject in a book published by a Mississippi publisher.

We End in Joy is a personal memoir of the late Gov. Kirk Fordice by his only daughter, Angela Fordice Jordan. I must say I didn’t know the Fordices had a daughter. Somehow learning that and seeing the book with intimate family photos humanizes Kirk Fordice, a man who seemed brash, pugnacious and not all that loveable. There are 25 family photos in the book.

Jordan was a 35-year-old mother of three daughters, a woman with a politically liberal bent, when against all odds her conservative Republican father was elected governor of Mississippi in 1991. Suddenly, the whole Fordice family found itself under the glaring lights of public life throughout Fordice’s two terms as governor and in the scandal that led to the end of the couple’s longstanding marriage.

This memoir offers a unique perspective on public life. It is an intimate account of life on the edges of the limelight by the daughter of a highly controversial Southern governor and his widely beloved first lady. Jordan writes it honestly, directly, sometimes poignantly and often funny to give a glimpse into a complex family and its painfully public fall from grace.

Sid Salter, journalist-in-residence at Mississippi State University, says Jordan’s frankly astonishing book about her family’s odyssey in Mississippi politics is at the core of an honest portrait of a complicated family. “The book offers keen insights into former Gov. Fordice’s driven, outsized personal and political style, but it is the focus on Pat Fordice’s pivotal role as matriarch of the Fordice clan that is most rewarding and intriguing,” he said. “Angela makes the reader share her hard walk through the valley of humiliation and anguish, yet that sad journey ends at a curious destination of redemption and hope.”

Jordan is a freelance writer who lives in Waynesville, N.C., with her husband, Bob.

About Lynn Lofton

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