I couldn’t put this book down. The lessons learned and taught in this story are deeply profound, insightful and inspiring. All readers will be able to relate in their own way, ask questions personal to their own lives and experiences, and reveal their own truths. Highly recommended read.
See Deacs’s Review on Amazon
Loved this book! It is a page turner and very inspiring! I would recommend it to anyone wanting to read an uplifting story of courage and hope!
See L. Orlando’s Review on Amazon
“Because” is an uplifting read. I simply can’t express my feelings about this book in a nutshell. It causes multiple emotions to stir up in the mind and persistently tries to connect you with the thoughts that lie at the core of this greatly inspiring story. I guess I should start with the title. It immediately makes you think unlike some titles which are very self-explanatory. I was curious about it when I started reading the book but I arrived at some kind of an answer only after completing the read. It surely leaves plenty of room for thought and I will not reveal my conclusions here as that might hinder another person’s venture to find the underlying meaning. However, I felt I had to mention the title as I believe it is another positive aspect of this impeccable novel. The story we have here is the story of a person who is robbed of his ability to do what he desires to do. It is the story of someone who wants to keep fighting and who does so with incredible strength and will power. As we read, we confront the different emotional conflicts faced by Roberto. Each time, he impresses us. He is not an infallible hero but he is a hero who takes on life’s challenges very boldly, setting an example for others. This brave protagonist wins a place for himself in our hearts with his never-say-die spirit and passion for helping those that require it. Needless to say, he drives the course of this novel which, in my opinion, is a perfectly executed work.
Moving on to other things, the writing is captivating. Of course, it takes a brilliant writer to give shape to such a strong protagonist. Langedijk has done a commendable job not only with the portrayal of his protagonist, but also with the beautiful description of nature and its influence on human feelings. There are many people who cope with newer struggles everyday like Roberto in this novel. This is a book which is very close to reality and is not in the least far fetched. That being said, I’d like to finish off this review with one last comment–go ahead and read this book if you’re being let down by seemingly never-ending frustrations; if not, read it anyway. This is one of those rare books that truly inspire. If you’re still asking yourself why you should read this–because it will help you believe in yourself, yes, that’s how I am going to reply to that question!
See Saradia’s Review on Amazon.com or The Page-Hungry Bookworm
I have read hundreds and hundreds of books, and this has become one of my favorites. Robert has two passions in life: helping teenagers overcome personal challenges, most of them self-induced, and climbing mountains. He comes up with an ingenious plan to combine both into one and then tragedy strikes. As I came to the last third of the book, the suspense was so powerful, that I couldn’t wait to learn if Robert could provide help for himself as he had done for countless others. Coincidentally, Robert was also faced with helping employees of three companies that were merging into one to face those challenges, the exact same situation that I have in my life. The author used his life experience and great ability to write to help me overcome my personal doubts regarding this situation. In fact, I am going to pass this book around to my fellow employees to inspire them to overcome our current situation. Thank you, Mr. Langedijk. One thing I found hard to believe: That this is his debut novel. What a gifted novelist. Can’t wait for more.
See Tom’s review on Amazon.com
HALL OF FAME – TOP 100 REVIEWER – VINE VOICE
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
See Grady’s review on Amazon
This was the best book I have read in a while, and I read constantly. It was so enjoyable to read about a man who helped so many young people. His honesty in revealing his own failures was like a motivational speech from the heart.
See Catherine’s review on Amazon
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book I did not want to put down. I almost feel that I should immediately start reading it again to fully absorb all the incredible insights and deep spiritual teachings. Thank you Jack A. Langedijk for an amazing read.
See Churchill’s review on Amazon
Just this Thursday I received from Kirkus Reviews a review of my book. Kirkus Reviews is one of the iconic book reviewing publications and it caters primarily to industry influencers such as publishers, agents, film producers, librarians and booksellers. Getting an unbiased and professional review from Kirkus gives credibility to an author’s work and considering that Kirkus has the reputation of being “harsh”, I think its review of because is pretty gentle. What do you think?
A caring counselor with all the answers is sent into a tailspin after a tragic climbing accident on Mount Everest.
When Roberto Sanchez is first introduced, he’s a surly, bitter shell of a man, unable to cope with the horrible loss of his legs—the grim result of surviving a sudden avalanche on the world’s highest mountain. Each day the man wheels into his therapist’s office, he appears darker and more despondent than the day before. His loving wife, Monique, and steadfast daughter, Jenny, are at wit’s end, fearing that although Roberto has survived death, he remains stubbornly locked in the icy clutches of a life-sapping grief. Only when his journal is cracked open, and stories of his many encounters with at-risk kids emerge, is Roberto’s true identity revealed. Despite the nihilism that seeped into his battered and traumatized heart, Roberto was one of the most upbeat and insightful human beings anyone would ever want to meet. Through his work, Roberto practically single-handedly rescued scores of marginalized children from the depths of the bleakest despair. Langedijk’s dialogue-heavy narrative comes alive during these often profoundly moving and genuinely touching vignettes. For instance, Kong, an overweight loner mentored by Roberto, moonlights as an anonymous online angel for other depressed kids like himself while also meticulously describing his efforts to connect in the real world. “I don’t know if you remember,” he tells Roberto, “but purple, purple is where someone says hi or even waves or nods. Well, I don’t know if you noticed but when I first did this I never had any purple, but now every day—purple….Purple!” If that doesn’t loosen a tear, there’s the story in Roberto’s journal of a cheerful doorman named Aaron, who started life as boy-soldier in Joseph Kony’s ghastly Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. Aaron isn’t actually one of Roberto’s young clients, but like Kong and the rest of Roberto’s former charges, he helps the maimed counselor reclaim his passion for life. Langedijk has lots to say about courage, compassion, redemption, and self-worth. Although those life lessons are more compelling than the actual drama unfolding around Roberto’s post-Everest experience, they more than make the journey with him worthwhile.
This book is amazing. I loved the three kids (Nancy, Phillip, and Troy) and Robert’s character development was written really well. It’s a book of hope; a great read when you’re feeling a little down. I loved how the author used songs, and it was really great because I recognized most of the songs (if not all.) I also liked the balance between the present, the past, and Robert’s journal. I didn’t find it confusing at all and thought it was written brilliantly. One thing about this book is that there’s a lot of dialogue, which I absolutely loved because books (especially “inspirational” ones like this one) usually have lots of preachy description but this one isn’t like that at all! This is a story, not a self-help book. But I do believe it can help people. I really do.
Overall, if you need a book to read–READ THIS ONE!!!!!!!!!
See Candy’s Review on Goodreads
This book was an interesting read. I originally wanted to read it because of the combination of mountaineering and faith, but it turned out to be so much more. The flipping back & forth between present & past events at first seemed distracting, but it was a very effective way to show how the life-changing events affected Robert’s life and his idea of his value. It made me think more deeply about how we value people, including ourselves. Having someone else who had suffered tragedy, accepted it, and moved on without hiding it share how he had overcome his challenges, thus helping Robert face his new life was a great touch.
I cannot recommend this book enough.
See Tom’s Review on Goodreads
This book was recommended to me a few weeks ago and is now in my list of favorite books ever. I was on an emotional roller coaster the entire time I was reading it. Because I read this incredible book I know that many of the questions and challenges that face us each and every day will be much easier to deal with now having read this. Can I? And I can, will be two small words that will come to mind now each and every day. I look forward to reading another book by Jack Langedijk soon.
See Lesley’s review on Goodreads
I was given a copy of this book quite some time ago, but life got busy and I sat it aside and never got back to it. I’m kicking myself now, having read it this past week. I thought perhaps I would write a review, given that I can’t stop thinking about the character’s circumstances and how, to a small degree, some of his challenges mirrored mine. I have pondered and reflected on the story, which, for me, is the mark of a great book – the ideas, characters, and circumstances stay with me long after I’ve closed the final page. Because is that kind of a book.
As other reviewers have noted, the tale is a roller coaster of emotions. It pulled me in and held me captive from the first to last page. I found deep meaning to not only his enduring spirit and desire to overcome, but in his hours of despair – he spoke to me. I will one day pick this book up again – the writer has transformed me for a day, and beyond.
I would recommend this to anyone facing challenges that are binding their spirit or slowing their course along life’s path. There is real healing in the pages of this timeless story. I’m glad I took the time to let it impact and change me.
See Dennis’ Review on Amazon