Where does one find hope in the midst of profound suffering? Tony Backman aches to know. A blues-harmonica-playing child psychologist at a residential treatment center in Santa Rosa, California, Tony specializes in narrative therapy. His story-based technique empowers abused teenagers to reimagine their lives through myths and folktales and so restore their vitality.
Such vitality, however, eludes Tony in his own life. Mired in depression, he longs for his fractured family and fends off childhood flashbacks too painful to face. Tony’s mentor recommends classical underworld myths as a roadmap for the spiritual journey toward healing and hope, but Tony is too drained for the undertaking.
Until Carey Foster enters his life.
Carey is a golden-voiced eleven-year-old choral soloist at a local Catholic boys’ home. Brought to Tony’s treatment center with his wrists sliced, Carey cowers mutely with his secrets in the center’s locked ward, a flicking middle finger his only beacon. Carey’s healing depends on Tony’s ability to navigate the labyrinth of deception and cryptic self-disclosure that conceals the soul’s darkest secrets. It also depends upon Tony’s willingness to navigate the labyrinth of love and disappointment lodged in his own soul.
At once a psychological study of how trauma is healed; a hero’s journey through the underworld of abuse, betrayal, and shattered faith; and a theological thriller in search of a credible and sustaining Sacred in the midst of unspeakable suffering, The God of Shattered Glass reveals that stories do indeed heal, and that the way to God is not up, but down.
Here are some reviews and endorsements“This novel is a breath-taking, soul-searing, and truth-telling experience. When you allow Frank Rogers to take you into the lives of child psychologist Tony Backman and the boy Carey Foster—after a few sentences, you will be in Rogers’ masterful grip—then you will enter straight into the depths of the human condition . . . I urge all serious readers to put on a diving mask and plunge into The God of Shattered Glass. This is a story that dares those who seek and teach truth to look into its mirror.”
—Carol Lakey Hess
author of Caretakers of our Common House: Women’s Development in Communities of Faith
“Would that more of us theologians could write in this vein . . . It is one thing to assert that God is utterly compassionate toward every creature and calls us to a like compassion. It is quite another to draw us through the depths of hell and hatred to a realization of that compassion, even for ourselves. Frank Rogers’ novel existentially deconstructs the cosmic patriarchy that so distorts the thinking of believers and unbelievers alike—and all the false expectations it has conjured up.”
—John B. Cobb Jr.
author of For the Common Good and Christ in a Pluralistic Age
“As somebody who has spent over thirty years working with troubled youth, I found Frank Roger’s The God of Shattered Glass a revelation. He not only knows the boys in residential homes, he knows the world that created them. Equally important his narrator, Tony, a psychologist, who tries to save a boy who has been abused, comes alive as a passionate person who is willing to ‘dine with demons,’ and reveal his hopes and fears. This book illuminates a much neglected corner of our world and shows how it is connected to the rest of us.”
—Daniel Judah Sklar
playwright and author of Playmaking: Children Writing and Performing Their Own Plays