Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2020
A companion to his 2017 "Surface Tension", "Cracked Surface" continues the unpeeling of a life maimed by emotional and sexual abuse. Like the earlier book, parts of "Cracked Surface" are troubling to read but the story is eloquently told; Lander is an excellent story-teller and propels his story through convincing dialogues. It has the sense of a second book in a trilogy, and if so I look forward to the next volume. Highly recommended.
Cracked Surface is a fascinating read. It pulls you into the confusing, traumatic world of David Matthew, a young teen who has every aspect of his life twisted and controlled by forces and people beyond his control. It pulls you into the agony of an older David in college trying to untangle the mess and figure out who he really is. Cracked Surface is not an easy book to read because of the abuse it describes, often in detail, but if you want to see below the surface of what systemic abuse looks like, take a deep breath and dive in. You will come out chilled to the core but hopefully with your eyes wide open to the underbelly of the sports world that needs to be exposed.
Dianne Darr Couts, author of Things Fell Apart, but the Center Held and From Island Lad to Honoured States of the Bahamas: A Brief Biography of the Honourable James Oswald Ingraham.
I just finished your book and WOW, the pain, abuse, and indignity you went thru is unbelievable. Sooooo many things left untold for so long. Will be waiting on the next book. You are truly loved and an inspiration to all.
John-Michael - just wanted to let you know I finished the book this morning. Once I started, I could barely put it down. You are amazing! I am so proud of you. Your story is so heartbreaking and reaffirming at the same time. So many moments I just wanted to hug that young man and say "don't worry - you'll be OK." Thank you for sharing this with the world you brave, beautiful man. I am so honored to know you. (and I can't wait for number 3!) xo! KM
Last night I finished "Cracked Surface." This book touched me and I wanted to write a brief review but couldn't find the words to begin. This morning I found myself revisiting events in my past that I fight to push away every time they are recalled. Feelings that I haven't been able to let go of that continue to haunt me and distort my self confidence, self worth and make me feel undeserving. I know that my parents loved me and yet (at 66 yrs old) I still feel betrayed and wounded by their actions and words. Your story/journey reminds me that hiding these feelings only serves to perpetuate the pain and self doubt that can never truly be 'hidden' from ourselves. I am grateful after reading this book to be considering my secrets, how they contributed to my continuing insecurities and negative self image, and how I continue to avoid conflict at all costs. I don't currently have the strength or plan to do anything more than put them back into hiding until the next time. Perhaps I will find more strength in your next book and be compelled to aggressively pursue some healing of my own.
I am so inspired by your total commitment to share your journey and help others who have experienced "bullying", been taken advantage of, and unnecessarily abused. I am one of your cheerleaders, John-Michael. You, my friend, are a friend to all and a hero to many. I'm ready for book #3. Love & Hugs