The Reason, by William Sirls

book coverWhen facing the impossible, will you believe?

Storm clouds gather over a small Michigan town. As thunder shakes the sky, the lights inside St. Thomas Church flicker . . . and then go out.

All is black until a thick bolt of lightning slices the sky, striking the church’s large wooden cross—leaving it ablaze and splintered in two.

When the storm ends—the search for answers begins.

James Lindy, the church’s blind minister, wonders how his small congregation can repair the cross and keep their faith in the midst of adversity. And he hears the words “only believe.”

Macey Lewis, the town’s brilliant young oncologist, is drawn to Alex, a young boy who’s recently been diagnosed with an aggressive leukemia. She puts her hope in modern medicine—yet is challenged to “only believe.”

And Alex’s single mom, who has given everything she can to her boy, is pleading with God to know the reason this is happening . . . to save her son. But she only hears silence and wonders how she can possibly “only believe.”

The Reason is a milestone debut novel, opening with a thunderbolt and never letting up as it introduces us to everyday characters who are wrestling with the questions: Where is God when bad things happen? And does God ignore the prayers of the faithful? The answer each character receives will astound readers while offering an unforgettable call to hope, to change, to . . . only believe.

This is a story with a history. William Sirls began writing this book several years ago, but rewrote it after spending time in prison for wire fraud and money laundering. He intended to self-publish through WestBow Press, but God had other ideas.  WestBow Press is the self-publishing arm of Thomas Nelson and, due to the amazing reader response it received, the division passed the book to its partner. The rest, as they say, is history.

I’m brave enough to admit that I didn’t want to like this book. I tend to avoid anything that gets hyped. Maybe it’s because I fear it won’t measure up to expectations. Then there was the whole, ‘child with cancer’ plot that hit a little too close to home. But I couldn’t help it; barely a quarter of the way through, I fell in love with this book. And when I cried at a pivotal moment, I knew there was no going back!

Sirls’s characters are flawed creatures. They are people with whom I can relate. No one has it all together in life. They try to do good, but fear they are too far gone. How can they be loved with all they’ve done? And how can God love them with all they’ve endured? They are desperate to cling to the control they have over their lives. But then Kenneth, a carpenter, enters their lives and they are forced to rethink everything they knew. To say much more would give too much away. What I can say is that this is a poignant novel that you’ll be thinking about long after you turn the final page.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Publication Date: 04 September 2012

Page Count: 416

Author’s Website   Publisher’s Product Page

Amazon   Barnes and Noble

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for my free copy of The Reason, which I received in exchange for an honest review.


4 thoughts on “The Reason, by William Sirls

  1. I enjoyed this book as well. I agree, the characters were a highlight: very authentic and real. I love when stories give you spiritual insights into the very things you’re struggling with. The Reason made me really think about some deep questions—why does God seem to answer some prayers but not others, what is the nature of healing, why do bad things happen to good people? Anyone wrestling with their faith, trying to “only believe,” should read this book.

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