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The Reason: A Novel
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The Reason: A Novel

4.5 108
by William Sirls
 

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WHAT DOES GOD LOOK LIKE?

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

Overview


WHAT DOES GOD LOOK LIKE?

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 devastat- ing, 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. 

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A skillfully written first novel with the narrative voice, knack for dialogue, and plot movement of a veteran author.”
—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY 

“The thrumming question of faith—how can there be a good God in a world so full of pain beats at the core of the book. A page turner that is not easy to put down. By the end of The Reason, you will understand that question in an entirely new way.

Kay Campbell, The Huntsville Times

“Sirls sets the narrative hook deep with intriguing characters and a multi-layered plot that asks you to ‘only believe’ when everything else tells you not to. Prepare to laugh! Prepare to cry! Prepare to be inspired and renewed!”

Gail Welborn, Midwest Book Reviews

“Readers everywhere will identify with these characters’ experiences. An incredible story of second chances and seeing the bright light of Christ shine through in the darkest hour. William is using his own second chance at life to remind us of God’s love. This is a must-read for anyone who needs a reminder of what God asks of us: only believe.”

Pete Wilson, pastor and author of Plan B and Empty Promises
 

The Reason will serve to fortify your faith and reassure you of God’s constant love and incredible power. If you are not yet a believer, this book will open your eyes to the possibilities of God that can manifest in any and every part of our lives.”

Chris Sonksen, lead pastor of South Hills Church, founder of Celera Church Strategy Group, author of In Search of Higher Ground and Handshake
 

The Reason will serve as a reminder that God wants us to do our part, to only believe, and to leave the outcome (good or not) to Him because He, ultimately, always knows what’s best!”

Jacqueline Lynch, associate pastor, Loma Linda University Church
 

“While I love to read, I’m generally not into Christian fiction. The Reason is an exception. It is a gritty story about everyday people who are believable and easy to relate with. It had me both laughing and crying at times as a good book should. I would recommend it to both believers and non-believers alike, but non-believers—be cautioned. You may have to really rethink and question why you don’t believe in the God of the Bible.”

Mark Drew, California Baptist University
 

“Of Mice and Men meets Brian’s Song. The Reason is a powerful story that delivers message after message.”

-Thomas Lane
 

Publishers Weekly
Sirls conceived this, his first novel, before he was imprisoned for wire fraud and money laundering. After his release, he attempted to self-publish a much altered version, and an advance copy landed on a desk at Thomas Nelson, who signed the author to a multibook contract. The novel has a strong spiritual element. When a lightning bolt shatters a decorative cross in the yard of a church in a small town in Michigan, a carpenter shows up to repair it. But the carpenter is no ordinary man, as the church pastor, his odd family, and local medical staff treating his adoptive grandchild for leukemia find out in a series of miraculous events that change them dramatically. Sirls relates a parable about characters who discover where God is when they suffer and when people die. This is a skillfully written first novel with the narrative voice, knack for dialogue, and plot movement of a veteran author. (Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781424551361
Publisher:
BroadStreet Publishing Group, LLC
Publication date:
07/12/2016
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
249,379
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author


Over the course of his life, William Sirls has experienced both great highs and tremendous lows— some born of chance, some born of choice. Once a senior vice president at a major investment firm, he was incarcerated in 2007 for wire fraud and money laundering, where he learned a great deal more than he ever bargained for. Life lessons involving faith, grace, patience, and forgiveness are evident in his writing. He is the father of two and makes his home in southern California. 

Customer Reviews

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The Reason 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 108 reviews.
MitziAB More than 1 year ago
First of all, I will let you know that my review of the novel The Reason is definitely influenced by the place I am in at this time of my life. I have just finished spending two weeks in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital with my mother. The things we as a family witness and experienced during that time and after have caused us to be more aware of the miracles around us than we were before that. Having said that, I really enjoyed The Reason, and would recommend it to everyone. There was one place where one of the characters acknowledges that they know who the carpenter really is, and then shortly afterwards they question him again, which threw me off but other than that, I found the story line flowed seamlessly, the plot and the characters were well devolped and believable. I resonated with Alex's mother as she hopes for a miracle, just as we hoped for a miracle with our mom and realized together with Macey Lewis the oncologist James Lindy the churche's blind minister and the friends of Alex and his mom, in the novel, that truly, no matter how much we try on our own, we must come to the conclusion that God is ultimately in control! What a mighty God we serve! No matter what you have experienced I think this novel will give you fresh hope and courage in God's Love.
Book_AddictRD More than 1 year ago
Great characterizations, The Reason has good pacing and excellent prose. Very descriptive, emotional, and uplifting, but have tissues handy for several parts if you are empathetic at all.
samcivy More than 1 year ago
The Reason William Sirls &copy;2012 Thomas Nelson Publishers ISBN 978-1-4016-8736 (trade paper) 396 pp. plus author&rsquo;s note and Reading Group Guide The Reason is a story so well written readers can believe such events really could happen. And since with God nothing is impossible, these events surely could happen. Brooke Thomas never told her former boss, Ian, that he was the father of her son, Alex&mdash;until Alex needed a bone marrow match to recover from leukemia. Brooke&rsquo;s boss, Carla Miller believes she&rsquo;s worthless and can&rsquo;t forgive or be forgiven. Dr. Zach Norman doesn&rsquo;t realize he&rsquo;s destroying relationships with his selfishness and self-centeredness. Dr. Macey Lewis believes she personally must cure every child with cancer. Pastor Jim and his wife Shirley love their brain-damaged, seven-foot tall son, Charlie, even though he cannot speak. They also love the small church they lead. The cross outside the church has just been damaged by lightning and they can&rsquo;t afford to replace it. Charlie loves Alex. Tim Shempner is thoroughly rotten--not worth saving. Or is he? How the mysterious Kenneth affects each character in this story will change their lives forever. The Reason will leave readers filled with hope that nothing happens without a purpose and with the satisfaction of reading a tale well told.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book- Highly recommend!!
esosweet More than 1 year ago
I wasn't initially drawn to The Reason. The premise didn't make sense, but when I started reading it, I was immediately drawn into the story. The story begins on a dark and stormy day. The lightening from the storm strikes the large wooden cross in front of a small church in Mighican. The repair of the cross unites a group of characters that together meet Kenneth, a man who is different from anyone they&rsquo;ve ever known.  Kenneth joins the group as they work to repair the cross and his life begins to intersect the other characters in very mysterious ways. His faith is strong, even stronger than Pastor Jim. As this group of people faces difficulties Kenneth encourages them to &ldquo;Only believe.&rdquo; Will they be able to believe in the face of tremendous heartache? Trouble from the past? A belief in modern medicine? I really enjoyed The Reason.  I didn&rsquo;t want to put it down, but when I was forced too, I found myself thinking about the story and wanting to know what was going to happen. There was a lot in the book and the various and varying storylines were a bit confusing to follow at times, but they eventually all made sense. This is a great book for anyone as it is a tremendous story sure to help build or reinforce your faith.  Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze&reg;.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission&rsquo;s 16 CFR, Part 255 : &ldquo;Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.&rdquo;
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would recommend The Reason to anyone! It was just a wonderful book "Just believe!"
AndreaK1 More than 1 year ago
Amazing tearjerker that will re-ignite your faith!
SeasonsofGrace 6 days ago
While reading this book, I was hooked from the first chapter. William Sirls sure knows how to tell a story! I fell in love with the characters in the book, felt like part of the community as I read, and wanted more! This book reminded me of the movie, The Encounter, and also the novel, The Shack. It involves several main characters including two doctors, a nurse, a pastor, his wife and son, along with a young woman and her five year old son. Some of these characters believe in God and attend church, others are more skeptical and possibly even atheistic. Each of them has a story, and behind the story the reason for what they believe. It's a story about mistakes made, understanding God, fear, anger, disbelief, and faith. If you have every questioned your faith or the reason why things happen, this book empathizes with those questions. The story begins with a local church, whose cross is damaged when lightning hits. A crew of people led by a doctor, get together with the a carpenter to repair the cross. Oddly when he shows up, things seem to happen - unexplainable things. Miracles maybe? No one can quite put their finger on it, but he seems to just know things. Each person in the story is affected differently by his presence. Each person is uniquely drawn to the cross by their own set of circumstances. Ultimately the cross changes lives. I enjoyed the story line and how it all played out, although, it didn't end the way I expected it to. It was thought provoking and intense at times. The answer to the "reason" wasn't what I thought it would be, but it all made perfect sense in the end. When we "only believe", a phrase used often in this book, things may not turn out the way we think, or God's way of doing things may be different than ours, but ultimately, He knows best, and has our best interest at heart. The author did a great job of encouraging complete surrender, trust, and obedience to God in-spite of the outcome. I would recommend this book and be thrilled to read another by this author. His personal story is also very moving and interesting. I was blessed with a free copy of this book by the author and bookfun.org to read. I was not asked to review it positively and all opinions are my own.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Just Believe
NKBookReviewer 10 months ago
The Reason by author William Sirls is an exhilarating work of fiction. It is a 416 page Christian novel. Under the title is a caption that says "Every moment contains sprinkled seeds of something greater, if you only take the time to look." This is the first book I have read by the author, and I was amazed by it. It was a touching, inspiring story that quickly takes residence in your heart. The Reason is a story of people. How different and alike we all are. It is a book of questions and answers. Why things, bad things, happen to us and how we act when good things, miracles, happen. Why does God seem to answer some people's prayers but not other. Throughout it all the people are told to hold on and have faith. Set in Michigan, this is the story of Kenneth, a construction work with a phenomenal way with people. He has an uncanny knack for showing up just when he is needed or when people need something. It is also the story of Brooke who is a single mother. She has a lively five year old son, Alex, and lives with a blind pastor and his wife. Alex starts having issues and gets diagnosed with leukemia. The Reason is a well written book. It has been well thought and organized so that readers will easily follow it. The dialogue flows smoothly. It takes no time to become invested in this great book. That happens almost immediately. The characters are complex, well defined and relatable. Their issues and dilemmas became my own. I felt their joy, pain, and sorrow. I thought back to similar situations in my own life. This book makes readers think, while reading it and long after it has been finished. It is a faith building, encouraging book. I highly recommend this book. Any Christian will love it. It would make a fantastic group read. While and after reading it, you will want to discuss some of the content with other reading friends. I certainly did. It is perfect for both women and men. Churches will want to include it in their libraries. Small groups will want to use it for a study session. It is exceptionally written and extremely touching. It is hard to put this excellent book down once it is started. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars. I was given the book by Book Fun (The Book Club Network) and this is my honest review.
MelissaF 12 months ago
This book really drew me in quickly. Even though we meet many different characters rather fast, I felt something for each of them and their story. I love how William wove all their stories together and I love how Jesus is show throughout this book. You will find something in common with at least one of the characters and how God is working in their lives. This is book is a great representation of Genesis 5020 stories and how God can work things for His good. Also, this book is set in southeast Michigan, which is where I live. So many of the areas mentioned in this book I knew of. If you are looking for a book that will remind you of the goodness of God this is a must read. A copy of this book was given to me through The Book Club Network Inc. in exchange for an honest review.
LucyMR1 More than 1 year ago
I won an ARC of this novel from the author and I am so blessed that I did. What an amazing read by a debut author. I would love to put this book in everyone's hands to read. It made me laugh, cry (sobbing), and made me want to be a better Christian. Each character is identifiable and even though there are many it is never a problem keeping up with their individual story or how they all intertwine. This is a book that I would read many times and take something else away from it. I can't adequately describe it, but it is brilliantly written, amazing, heart wrenching, thought provoking, etc
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loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
 William Sirls' books are compelling reads. Even though I read them several weeks ago, I can't wait to read them again because I know I will stiil enjoy it and get more from it. They are  deep, thought-provoking, inspiring, enjoyable books. I can't wait to read more of this author. The Reason revolves around a church family,a doctor,  and a carpenter. Each one brings their own story and their own part to the other characters stories. There is illness, hospitals, lightening, crosses, and disbelief. It all comes together to make a suspenseful, emotional, lesson learning experience. I recieved this book from the author and the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
KMarkovich More than 1 year ago
This book begins with the cross of a small town church being destroyed by lightning. I was quickly captivated by the characters &ndash; a single mom, her adorable little boy, the blind pastor and his wife, their gentle giant mentally challenged son, 3 medical personnel, and one miracle performing carpenter. The characters seemed so real and William Sirls has woven an incredible story, almost a modern What Would Jesus Do? As I read I wondered if I would have the faith that the characters in the story have, especially as the pasts of several characters are reveled and the circumstances of some get harder. What an amazing book! &ldquo;Only Believe&rdquo; is the theme that runs throughout it &ndash; believe in the miracles that God can perform when we believe. I loved this book and look forward to reading more by William Sirls. I highly recommend it - I couldn&rsquo;t put it down until I finished it! I received this book from TBCN in return for my honest opinion.
Cheri5 More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading The Reason by William Sirls. It was a great read. I liked the length as I felt it gave me plenty of time to get to really know the characters and there were so many, I felt like I was part of the small town myself. Something else I love in a book. Most of all, though, despite the great storylines and the way he kept the stories moving and interconnecting with each other, he made me think. He addressed questions most Christians struggle with in such a way as to bring peace. Recently I&rsquo;ve been on the sidelines of a struggle similar to what one of these characters went through and have seen how God has been with this particular family, speaking the same truths to them as were spoken in this book. While this is fiction, it&rsquo;s much more. I recommend reading The Reason as it will open your eyes to much more than a great story with incredible characters. It just might reinforce &ldquo;the reason&rdquo; why, if you do, you believe. I can&rsquo;t wait to read his next book, The Sinner&rsquo;s Garden. I received this book for free from The Book Club Network and Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
dhiggins4 More than 1 year ago
Wow! What a very thought-provoking fiction book! While this book is fiction, it really taught me a lot about &quot;only believing&quot;. This book centers around a group of people associated with the church. Some different scenarios happen with everyone in the book but they all center around one theme. I loved the way the author brought them all together. And just when you think you know the ending, there is a twist. This book had me in tears near the end and I was amazed at how inspirational this fiction book was. I would recommend this book to everyone! I received this book from bookfun for my honest opinion.
ShareeS More than 1 year ago
Often we ask &ldquo;why God&rdquo; when tragedies happen, when good people suffer injustices and when we cannot explain away heartbreaking events. In his book, The Reason, William Sirls weaves together a story of &ldquo;why God&rdquo; events with characters who must face their realities without knowing why things have happened. Along the way, each person is given time to examine their own beliefs and their own struggles and given one job &ldquo;only believe&rdquo;. When good enough is not enough, faith becomes a life line. When trying desperately to hold on with blind faith, the deepest questions surface, and need to be exposed so that God&rsquo;s truth can bring peace even if the situation is not changed. Mr. Sirls does an incredible job of telling about God&rsquo;s sovereignty and providence with a delightful cast of characters. The book was incredibly touching and not easily forgotten. Although the story is fictional, I was swept into the story and found myself literally enveloped in tears at one point. The Reason is a must read book. I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
TheIndigoQuill More than 1 year ago
See full review @ The Indigo Quill . blogspot . com I received this book in exchange for an honest review.         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.
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
The Reason, the first published novel by William Sirls, is phenomenally amazing. I find it a challenge to put into words the way this novel reaches into the heart of the reader and compels from the beginning. Its messages speak to one&rsquo;s heart gently, yet with all the intensity of the lightning that split the cross at St. Thomas Church and set it afire. Pastor James Lindy, eyes blinded by disease, has a heart of wisdom and gift of discernment that aids him in caring for those in his church and home. His family includes Shirley, his wife of many years, and their son Charlie, a gentle giant of a man, who is mute and developmentally disabled. Pastor Lindy&rsquo;s extended family includes Brooke, a young single mother who was in need of a home along with Alex, her five year old son. After an unusually harsh thunderstorm in which lightning struck and splintered the huge cross on the church grounds, a group of church members and volunteers from the local hospital plan to repair the cross if at all possible after a Sunday service. The volunteers include a young man named Kenneth who is a carpenter working at the expansion of East Shore Community Hospital. With only James and his mute son Charlie present, Kenneth repairs the demolished cross to perfect condition in a matter of seconds, stunning the volunteers who had been gathered in the house with Shirley. Inexplicable miracles begin to occur within the community. Those who spend any amount of time around Kenneth know that there is something different about him. That includes a young lady whose heart he seems to see directly into, knowing everything, including the shame and pain that she hides from everyone. It also includes Pastor James, Charlie, and others who take his challenge &ndash; &ldquo;only believe&rdquo; &ndash; seriously. Others mull over the individual challenges Kenneth offers them. Then what seems to be the worst happens &ndash; young Alex is diagnosed with leukemia &ndash; and as treatments are determined and begun, Brooke&rsquo;s questions echo those that have been around since the fall of man. Where is God&hellip;why my only child&hellip;. &ldquo;Only believe&rdquo; sounds so simple until the diagnosis is made. Mr. Sirls has been silent, coming to know that God is truly God &ndash; the God of love, of grace, and of second chances. The circumstances that brought him to an incredible relationship with the Lord are nothing short of a miracle in disguise, a miracle that showed him the reason. If you read one Christian novel this year that demonstrates the potential every church community has for God&rsquo;s supernatural work, make this your choice. It is written with the excellence and assurance of a man who knows his Lord and Savior and what He can do. If you miss The Reason, you could miss the challenge of your personal gift if you will only believe. I received a copy of this book through the &ldquo;For Readers Only&rdquo; group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
inspiremichelle More than 1 year ago
The Reason by William Sirls How can one family face adversity, tragedy, miracles, and heartbreak. And yet still have faith. They can because they &hellip;.. only believe. Pastor James Lindy and wife Shirley have taken in Brooke and her young son Alex. They complete their small family along with their special needs son Charlie. A storm destroys and takes out the church&rsquo;s cross but brings so much more to the community. As repairs are made they see miracles. Kenneth an ordinary carpenter is new to town but where he goes strange and wondrous things happen. Quote: &ldquo; He knew without a doubt that miracles took place all the time, and that everyone - without exception - was from the hand of God. There were big ones. There were small ones. There were those everyone noticed, like surviving life-threatening illness and accidents. Then there were many more that went unnoticed, like healthy children, something to eat, a roof , someone to love, birth and sometimes, even death. He wondered what the world would be like if people would just stop and take the time to look at everything they were given everyday of their lives and be thankful --to offer thanks and try to realize their personal miracles were coming from, and give credit where it was rightfully due.&rdquo; The author William Sirls is new to me. In fact this is his first book. I found his work to be a breath of fresh air, well written with compelling stories of faith. The authors strong faith shines in this great book. I am so looking forward to his next book The Sinners Garden. Author Carrie Daws once said, &ldquo;You know it's a good book when you are emotionally invested in it,&rdquo; and I promise you will be invested in this wonderful story. I give this book 5 stars and highly recommend it. High-five to the author William Sirls and publisher for bringing compelling Christian books that are entertaining and give hope to the reader with stories of faith. The Book Club Network Inc. provided me with this book in exchange for my honest review and I am so grateful for their, the authors and publishers generosity.
annelr More than 1 year ago
A loving pastor struck blind, a caring physician who realizes she may not be in control of things as she thought, mothers who cannot make their children whole, a self-centered doctor dealing with hidden guilt and into the mix comes a mysterious stranger. A stranger who often seems familiar and who may have been here all along. William Sirls brings to life believable characters dealing with issues to which his readers certainly can relate. Sorrow, guilt, romance, hope, peace,and ultimately miracles. The Reason captures human emotion very well.  Perhaps a wake-up call to see others in a new light and to respond by living out ones faith in a way that God is glorified. Pick up the book and you won't want to put it down.  I received this book for free from BookClubNetwork and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I have also posted this review on Amazon, Goodreads, , and Deeper Shopping.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book will stay with you. It is written well and gives a true message. One of my favorites. I hope William Sirls has more.