In a small town where hope and tragedy intermingle, things—and people—are not always what they seem.
Andy Kemp has suffered most of his life from both physical and emotional scars, and he believes that the scars on his face are proof that God doesn’t love him. Andy has grown into a withdrawn teenager, keeping to himself, until his uncle, ex-con Gerald Ripley, shows up and wants to be a mentor to Andy. Rip has turned his life around and wants to do everything he can to help mend Andy’s pain and the rift in his relationship with his sister.
Meanwhile, police officer Heather Gerisch responds to a late-night breaking and entering episode in one of the poorest homes in town. The masked man makes the sign of the cross, escapes, and Heather soon realizes that he has left $5,000 in gift cards to a local grocery store. As the bizarre break-ins continue and Heather pursues the elusive “Summer Santa,” Andy begins to hear strange and beautiful music, and Rip is convinced that he is hearing the voice of God.
As the lives and stories of the townspeople of Benning Township intertwine, extraordinary circumstances emerge and long-kept secrets are revealed.
My Review: Where can I even begin? I started my review of The Reason the same exact way! Like The Reason, their are several main characters in this book. Sirls masterfully weaves each point of view and story together in a way that few authors can do. Each character has their own lesson that God wants them to learn, and their development flows naturally throughout the book. I don't feel like it was rushed at all.
WHO IS THE SUMMER SANTA? The answer I thought was right, turned out to be wrong, and I was shocked! The author does an excellent job of weaving that mystery in the story, but not making it the main focus. Each character has their own story they want to tell, but each character's life intertwines with the others, so there is not four separate stories, really, but one very well connected story. For me, there was never a spot in the story that lost my interest. There was never a dull moment.
The best part of the story, as with The Reason, was the message. God is there with you, even if you leave Him. He is never the one that walks away, we are. When we can't feel His presence, it's because we're not listening! The symbolism of the garden provided a vivid picture for the reader and a unique experience as God finally got through to each character. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more by this exceptional author!
About the Author:
Born on April 3, 1964 in Detroit, Michigan, to a construction worker and a homemaker, William Sirls grew up 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.
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- See my review of The Reason