Canadian author Jack Langedijk received his BFA in Montreal at Concordia University and his MFA at York University in Toronto and has taught acting and directing at Concordia University and Ryerson University in Toronto. Jack’s gift is his humanistic enthusiasm and he shares his passion for life in workshops in leadership and listening and hearing to the spectrum of audiences that embrace children at the elementary school level through families and even corporations, an interest that resulted in his founding QUEST-I’m-ON, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to create and foster healthy relationships within schools, workplaces and homes. In ‘because’, his debut novel, he weaves personal lessons with a fictional setting that articulates and instills fresh strategies for social issues such as teen bullying. Yet dealing with such topics his overall message is the power we have to overcome obstacles and achieve our dreams and goals.
Reading Jack’s first novel the first response is one of surprise that a man who has not published before writes so succinctly and professionally and passionately. His language is at all times appropriate to his characters and the people who he has created as characters are so three-dimensional they seem like familiar friends.
The synopsis by the author is a fine one: “I’m not supposed to be here!” The tragic accident on Mount Everest changes everything for Roberto Sanchez, a loving 48-year-old husband to Monique, and father to Jenny. As a professional mountain climber and motivational speaker, he had reached the summit of many mountains and helped others reach theirs. Now facing the toughest climb of his life, Roberto is troubled by his own ideals and morals. As his family life tumbles through turbulent events, he is no longer the giver of service but the recipient – a shift that instills anger and pushes away the people he loves most. When Jenny receives her father’s private journal – the one he promised as her inheritance, once he was dead – it is a race against time for her to get to him…before it’s too late.”
Superb writing and a thoughtful story make this a book that deserves no[t] only a wide reading audience but seems molded for a film. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, September 15