If there’s one thing I regret doing it’s taking the time to reread a good book. We spend so much time keeping up with the latest bestsellers, eBooks and so on that our favorite books can become neglected and filled with dust.
This month, I wanted to revisit a book that changed my perspective regarding faith, where is God when bad things happen, why do good people suffer and many other difficult questions.
It’s called The Reason by William Sirls.
This debut novel shook up my life. I first came across the book at my local library in the New Arrivals section. Immediately, the cover you see here made me stop in my tracks. I felt drawn to the premise on the back and decided to check it out. I never knew that months later, I would buy my own copy.
Since this book came out, it became a bestseller and was adapted into a film set to release soon. Sirls has since published another remarkable novel called The Sinner’s Garden that came out in 2013. You can learn more about the author here and watch the trailer for the book. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Set in Carlson, Michigan, The Reason revolves around multiple characters at trying periods in their lives:
- Brooke Thomas who discovers her young son, Alex, has leukemia
- Carla Miller who struggles with sobriety and forgiving her late father
- James Lindy, a blind minister trying to repair a wooden cross destroyed in a thunderstorm
- Dr. Zach Norman trying to avoid his past and wanting nothing to do with God
- Dr. Macey Lewis struggling with doing, and giving, her very best for her patients
These characters and others including Kaitlyn, a nurse, James’s wife, Shirley, and son Charlie are drawn together when a mysterious carpenter named Kenneth arrives in town. As the book goes on, mysterious happenings take place throughout Carlson and the main characters find their lives, and faith in God, suddenly changed. I won’t spoil the exact details because that would ruin the fun, and awe, of the story. However, this book will make you rethink everything you thought about faith and God’s role in your life.
What I always appreciated the most about this book are the characters: real, human and honest. We see the highest of highs and lowest of lows from dwelling on events beyond our control and trying to make up for our mistakes to ambitions that consume us and wondering where God is when we pray to him for our desires for healing and mercy. Sometimes, we are denied what we really seek or never receive an answer. Other times, we lose loved ones before their time and ask how God could be so cruel to his people.
These are thoughts I’ve debated myself. I too have had days wondering where God was in my life and why certain dreams were not being fulfilled. When I read a story online or in the newspaper or watched the news, I wondered how people could be so cruel to each other and questioned why those with such promising futures had their lives taken when they didn’t deserve it.
If anything, this book left me in tears. The words, “Only believe,” that resonated throughout the entire book were quite true. Frankly, it’s hard to even describe this novel because it’s so well-written, you’re into the story right away and each chapter is just full of surprises. Please check out this book. You won’t regret it.