Review: The Reason by William Sirls

Title: The Reason
Author: William Sirls
Publication Date: September 4th, 2012
Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
Genre: Christian Fiction
Pages: 405
Source: Paperback from Publisher


Synopsis (from Goodreads): 
When 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 skillfully written first novel with the narrative voice, knack for dialogue, and plot movement of a veteran author." --"Publishers Weekly”


Born on April 3, 1964 in Detroit, Michigan, to a construction worker and a homemaker, William Sirls grewup as the youngest of six children. Active in both sports and imagination, he aspired primarily to become either a professional golfer or attorney. Realizing he didn’t have the talent or the grades for those careers, he shifted gears and went in another direction.

Over the course of his life, he has experienced both great highs and tremendous lows— some born of chance, some born of choice. Years before the publication of his first novel, he worked 60 hour weeks as a senior vice president at one of the nation’s largest investment firms, somehow finding time to read three to four books per week and to rough out ideas for different stories of his own.
In early 2004, while visiting his oldest daughter at a Detroit hospital, he came across a young cancer patient that was being pulled in a little red wagon by his parents. At the time, Sirls had no idea that he was looking at three characters that would appear more than eight years later in The Reason.

He was incarcerated in 2007 for wire fraud and money laundering. While in prison, Sirls learned a great deal more than he ever bargained for.

Life lessons involving faith, grace, patience, and forgiveness are evident in The Reason.
He is the father of two and makes his home in southern Michigan.

“Prison is one of those things I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but at the same time there are few things I would trade that experience for … From a spiritual standpoint, it gave me the opportunity to slow down and realize what is important. As my faith grew, I became anxious to share the things I learned, so I figured what better way to do that than to rewrite my manuscript in a way that was a lot less magical and a lot more spiritual.” 

First I would like to note that I'm extremely happy that this book takes place in my home state of Michigan. They are far and few between, but every time I pick one up I automatically feel connected to the story.

This book is not for the faint of heart. It is rich in instruction, inspiration, and development; not only for the characters involved, but the reader as well. You will find yourself engrossed within the story, and even if the information and dialogue is all content your already claim to know, it will be a refresher for you and perhaps communicated in a new light. If it is all new to you, then you will enjoy the journey of learning and growing as you may have some unanswered questions brought to light.

The only thing I can complain about this book is that at times it could be predictable. However, there were still plenty of twists and anyone can relate to at least one of the characters, so I was kept interested and tied to the story.

Believer or unbeliever, Sirls passion for one main theme is evident: simply believing. To believe in miracles and the unexpected. To believe that no matter what you are going through, there is always a reason even if it may not be evident at the time. It is a nice reminder, and we are given a fresh perspective into life. We are not simply here by accident, but there is a reason for everything, and above all, reason to believe that.

I really enjoyed this book. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten a chance to pick up a copy of the second book, The Sinner's Garden, but I really hope to soon. This is a great book with a lot of depth and I can't wait to read the next one.

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