Welcome to southeast Michigan and the small town of Carlson where faith, hope, and struggle are defined by the different faces of those who live there.
An addict that sits at a bar to forget. A mother whose five-year-old boy has leukemia. Two doctors. An atheist haunted by his past and a brilliant young oncologist that places all her hope in the power of modern medicine. A blind pastor whose son hasn’t spoken a single word in thirty-eight years.
But the minister sees by faith. He knows there are answers and believes that someone who cares is watching—someone with a greater purpose. Yet there is something he doesn’t know… that none of them know.
In the midst of the ordinary and the devastating, there is a reason these lives will be changed forever.
Lightning is about to strike.
The Reason opens with a thunderbolt and never lets up as it introduces us to everyday characters who are wrestling with questions: Where is God when bad things happen? 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, and to believe.
Once upon a time I reviewed William Sirls’ amazing debut novel and shared a small bit of its road to publication. Fast forward to 2016: The Reason has been turned into a movie starring Louis Gossett, Jr. and will be released next year. Consequently, Sirls has revised his novel and it’s this version I’m now reviewing.
If you’ve already read The Reason, you’ll want to read this new edition. There are changes, some of which are small and some of which are… not. I prefer the original cover because I think it’s more dramatic, even though I understand why this copy has an apple on it. As much as I loved The Reason back in 2012, I’d not read it since so it wasn’t just the cover that made it feel like I was reading a new book.
The Reason is a powerful read about what happens when God’s plans collide with our hopes and dreams. We’re taught that He wants the best for us, but we wonder how that can be when bad things happen in our lives. Why must we endure our loved ones battle with cancer? Why does He heal some people but not others? What is the definition of healing, anyway? Readers will fall in love with the characters and, as a result, your heartstrings will be tugged with what happens in the course of the story. You’ll find familiarity in the questions they ask of the mysterious carpenter who shows up to assist on a volunteer project. The clues are there, if you know how to look for them, but you have to read almost to the very end to get the answer. You’ll need the Kleenex box in the meantime.
As I mentioned at the start of this review, the movie comes out in 2017. If you pre-order The Reason novel (it comes out on 12 July), you can enter to win an all-expenses paid trip to the movie’s premiere. Details are on The Reason website.
Thank you to William Sirls for my complimentary Advanced Reader Copy of The Reason, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
Publisher: BroadStreet Publishing
Publication Date: 12 July 2016
Page Count: 416