From Barnes and Noble:
Overview: 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 listeners while offering an unforgettable call to hope, to change, to . . . only believe.
My Review: Where do I even start? This book is in no way a light read. It is not one you can easily read in a couple of hours. It is thought-provoking, emotional, and extremely well written. This is the first book I've read that has literally brought me to tears.
As I began reading, I thought the fact that there were several "main" characters would be distracting. William Sirls did a great job of weaving all of the characters stories together in a way that made sense. Following the different points of view was not at all difficult because all of the characters stories were inter-related and pretty much picked up where another left off. The development of each of the characters was well thought out, and natural. I could relate to each of their struggles to "only believe" (the main theme throughout the book).
There were several parts in the book that stuck out to me. I don't want to list them out because I don't want to give any spoilers away. I can, however, list a few quotes that particularly meant something to me:
- "Everything happens for a reason, Zach. Every single thing."
- "Believing is a choice..."
- "What we need to understand is that it isn't about what we want. It's about what God wants for us. It's about God's plan and God's will. And if we want something and pray for it, we will get it if.. it is God's will"
- I actually underlined this one: "..if we didn't experience pain and hardship, we would never know the full measure of triumphs and joy."
- This particularly stood out to me as well because everyone, at one time or another, in their Christian walk will ask themselves this question: Why do bad things happen to good people?"His promise isn't that bad things don't happen...His promise is that God can turn every circumstance into something good. Every circumstance. Sometimes we just need to look... Sometimes it takes a lot of time to see it. Sometimes we don't get to see it at all - but somehow our suffering aids others. The key is trusting the master through it all."
And finally, the reason God does everything that He does is God loves you. This book will have you laughing, crying, and examining your own faith. All God wants us to do is "only believe." (Luke 8:50 - But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.) Do you believe?
Find out more by clicking on the links (a link to the Barnes and Noble site is at the top of this post):
- Read the First Chapter
- About the Author
- William Sirls is on Facebook!
- Do you know someone who looks like a Character from the book?
THE MOST EXCITING PART OF THIS REVIEW: THE GIVEAWAY!!!! William Sirls has graciously allowed me to give away 5 *signed* copies of his book! All you need to do to enter is:
Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you)
Entries will be accepted until Thursday, August 8th! Winner will be announced on Friday, August 9th! Thanks everyone, and good luck!