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‘The Reason’ by William Sirl gives you a double first: A debut novel with a fresh take on the power of prayer to change lives, and the first offering from a promising new writer with a deeply moving personal story of failure and redemption. With a copy of ‘The Reason’ you are in at the start of a faith based writing career, and have an opportunity to introduce another to new Christian fiction.
Reasons to buy and give ‘The Reason’ by William Sirl
• Gives you a fresh spiritual novel with all the impact of ‘The Shack’
• Enters the heartache, hopes and life-changing joys of a small town church
• Down to earth characters struggling to make sense of what prayer can do
• Thoughts and revelations about what happens when Jesus turns up in person
• Provides a gift novel that invites fiction readers into the world of faith
'The Reason' thunders into life when lightening strikes a direct hit on a wooden cross outside a small town church. Dr. Macey Lewis sets her mind to repairing the damage and recruits a mysterious carpenter to help, but strange and marvellous things begin to happen. Dr. Lewis' hardened atheist colleague, Dr. Zachary Norman, becomes obsessed with trying to discover the secret behind the carpenter's speedy repair of the cross. But the more he uncovers, the more his atheistic certainties start to breakdown.
Meanwhile, 5 year old Alex Thomas is tragically diagnosed with leukemia. While everyone is trying to understand what’s going on, James Lindy, the blind minister attempts to piece together the town’s mishaps. Could it be that the carpenter is the reason that these strange things have happened?
This break-through novel by William Sirls created a 'Shack' style buzz amongst publishers and web bloggers. Once a senior vice president in a large investment firm, Sirls suffered a devastating fall from grace. It was in prison that he relearnt its true meaning through a real experience of faith and forgiveness. Restored, he endeavored to re-write his unpublished novel into a book that shows God’s power. 'The Reason' is set to become a must-read in churches everywhere.
“This is a skillfully written first novel with the narrative voice, knack for dialogue, and plot movement of a veteran author.” — Publishers Weekly.
The Reason by William Sirls was published by Thomas Nelson in September 2012 and is our 7269th best seller. The ISBN for The Reason is 9781401687366.
I can honestly say that I found this book to be an incredible read, which surprised me as often books hyped pre-publication and compared to incredible best sellers (The Shack) sometimes fail to live up to the words - this one did not.
In fact if I'm honest I'd say comparing this book to The Shack did it a dis-service, if I had to compare it to anything out there already published then it would be a blend of Frank Peretti for the mystery and intrigue elements and Joseph F Girzone for the romance and gentle beauty of his Joshua series - because in this book you really do find elements that read like both and it makes it a joy to read.
A small town, a blind pastor, his large,gentle and mute son, a single mother, a child with a serious illness, and above all a mysterious carpenter and a re-occuring theme of three animals appearing at times, a repeating refrain of 'only believe', and a series of impossibilities (aka miracles) makes this an intriguing story of faith, doubt, love, loss, and family - and that doesn't even touch the heart of the book or cover half the characters you will meet in it.
Somewhere in this book you will find an image, a glimmer of your own doubts and fears, losses and loves, or you will witness someone elses fear, pain and grace in a way you hadn't seen it before.
It's got a gentle flowing style to it, with a hint of otherness that holds your attention to the page from the beginning right through to, in my mind, it's very unusual and slightly disturbing end.
One warning - you will probably need a hanky before the end of the book.
There is at the end of the book a reading group guide and an interview with the author - but I don't think you'll need the reading group guide because the book leaves you wanting to talk about it and with lots of throughts, idea's and questions anyway.
We Talk to William Sirls, Author of 'The Reason'
Posted: Friday, January 4th
Narrator: "Sometimes the biggest miracles happen in the smallest towns... In Carlson, a stranger comes to town and the miraculous begins to happen...No matter what happens, can they hold on to God, and only believe? A powerful story from debut author William Sirls, available September 2012."
Chester's Town Crier Reviews 'The Reason' by William Sirls
“In my usual undisciplined way I was midway through reading half a dozen books when I was given The Reason. After the first few pages it was immediately evident that all other reading would be put on hold as I surrendered to this captivating story. I can give The Reason no higher praise than to say it is a worthy successor to The Shack. Like the former, The Reason portrays Jesus physically manifest in present-day America, but this time interacting not with a single individual (Mackenzie) but with a whole range of memorable characters, each with their own form of brokenness, each needing a very specific divine encounter. The Reason engaged my mind, imagination and emotions throughout its generous 400 pages. I am sorry to have reached the end; I envy you if you are yet to discover it.” - David Mitchell, Town Crier of Chester and avid reader of faith based fiction.
“From the first page of ‘The Reason’, my heart was captured. Undoubtedly this book has become one of my favourite and is already beckoning to be reread ... The final pages had me sobbing out loud with sorrow and joy! ... It is truly a rare and precious gift that could change the way people believe and walk out their faith.” – Kelly Riether,review specialist for major book retailer.
“This is a skillfully written first novel with the narrative voice, knack for dialogue, and plot movement of a veteran author.” – Publishers Weekly.
“The characters ask the questions we have all asked at some point in our lives, “where is God when bad things happen”, and “does He really hear us when we pray”? They will make you laugh and cry, they we all teach you that we need to have faith and to believe” – Jody Journey, Blogger.
“The Reason was a good read but it was also a read that I used to challenge myself. . .It wasn't mindless drivel that I take to the beach to read and relax with” – Monica H, Blogger.
"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 at Loma Linda University Church.
“This is one of those books that you don't want to end. I've re-read the last 6 chapters 3 times and cried each time. This is a great book!!!” – Phyllis, GoodReads.com comment.
“Wow!! I truly loved this read! What an faith affirming inspiring book to spend the day with! This not to be missed impossible to forget story will stick with you as you discover The Reason”. – Kate, Goodreads.com comment.
“There are no words. Just know that your faith may be challenged. You may cry. And you just might love this book as much as I do. If you only believe”. - Stephanie Ziegler, Goodreads.com comment.
“I have never, I repeat, NEVER cried when reading a book. Until I read The Reason”. – Alex, Goodreads.com comment.
“This book is a good reminder that no matter what our circumstances, we only have to believe that God is in control and the reason he does everything he does is because of his great love for us”. – Michelle, Amazon.com comment.
“The first night I opened this book I read twenty chapters. The second day I read the remaining thirty-four chapters. Literally... could not put it down”. – Amanda Loyd, BookSneeze Blogger.
“I'm not a huge book reviewer and first heard about this through people at church. This is a beautiful story ... As the story progressed, I became more and more hooked until the ending turned me upside down in tears, before leaving me in a good place”. – Pauline, Amazon.com comment.
William Sirls offers us his debut novel ‘The Reason’ eight years after he was originally inspired to write it. An experience in a hospital hallway involving the simple beauty of smiles shared between parents and their dying child gave William his first characters. Since that time his has been turned upside down, or if you prefer, back the right way up.
William describes how he was heading ‘down the wrong road in life’ and how he ‘hurt everyone around him'. The author’s dodgy activities included money laundering and fraud, for which he spent 29 months in prison after handing himself over to the authorities.
In prison William Sirls rediscovered his faith, and felt the desire to share these discoveries through the medium of writing. Recognising the quality of his initial idea, William adapted his original prose to turn his manuscript for a book based on ‘magic’ to a great work of Christian fiction that would point to God, encouraging readers to ‘only believe’.
What it’s about? The book charts the mysterious supernatural events that occur in a small town in Michigan, beginning with a cross seared by lightning and its subsequent fix provided by a stranger named Kenneth.
Through a thrilling plot - one reader describes herself as physically shaking (with excitement) while reading it - William begins to unveil God’s character. Themes such a grace, patience and forgiveness - things the author learned the meaning of, and held onto while in prison - are explained with brilliant symbolism and narrative.
It’s Christian value? The themes included are portrayed rather than preached. One could argue that the story is one big analogy: it seeks to give memorable insight through vivid characters and plot - it doesn’t force the message on readers in a clunky fashion.
There is a useful ‘Reading Group Guide’ in the back of the book that asks specific questions about parts of the book, helping readers to extract the Christian meaning, understanding it more easily. This section also makes the book an excellent read for a group of friends interested in learning and discussing Christian truths through reading Christian fiction.
Conclusion: William Sirls’ debut novel has much to offer in terms of genuinely excellent prose, as well as the effective portrayal of Christian themes the author finds important.
Autumn 2012 will see many new release thunder storms and platinum-selling lightning strikes, but will ‘The Reason’ be among them? Only time will tell.
From first time novelist, William Sirls, comes his debut book – ‘The Reason’ – a supernatural Christian fiction. Rave reviews from both publications and pre-readers have been extremely positive, saying the book not only has sticking power but also potential to create a ‘Shack-like’ phenomenon.
“This is a skillfully written first novel with the narrative voice, knack for dialogue, and plot movement of a veteran author” – Publishers Weekly.
The humble begins of William’s manuscript are a story in itself. Originally nudged by family member, William went to WestBrow Publishing to go down the self-publishing route, becoming more and more popular with first time writers. “I was looking for three things in a publisher — good editing, strong cover design and the ability to distribute,” said William. “WestBow, through the leadership of Alan Bower, exceeded all my initial expectations.”
WestBrow printed 100 copies of ‘The Reason’ and sent them to churches. They received over 200 positive replies of people passing the book on to friends. The publishing world has been dreaming of the next 'The Shack' to fall into their laps, and for Allen Arnold (Senior Vice President of Fiction at Thomas Nelson) one of these advanced copies luckily fell on his desk.
“Our receptionist at Thomas Nelson is a voracious but particular fiction reader,” said Allen Arnold. “When Marjo read it and loved it, we knew there was something to look into.” Two weeks late William landed a multi-book deal with Thomas Nelson.
The 54 chapter, 396 page book will be released in September 2012 and will spread like wild fire across America. The spiritual fiction book holds a powerful message of redemption and unrelenting love that has brought people to tires – “I have never, I repeat, NEVER cried when reading a book. Until I read The Reason” (Alex, Goodreads.com comment). The real question will be whether the book captures a British audience in the same way ‘The Shack’ did?
"Today in the Eden Spotlight is the debut author William Sirls fiction – The Reason."
"Lightning strikes a wooden cross, leaving it smouldered and splintered. A group of people from the community come together to fix the churches cross and enlist the help of a local carpenter. Little do they know that the mysterious man has mysterious powers and somehow know each of them"
"With a strong narrative, masterful dialogue, emotive message and a host of likable characters The Reason has everything characteristic of a bestseller. This break-through novel by William Sirls has created a buzz amongst publishers and bloggers that’s caused a ripple effect of pre-sales and excited readers. 'The Reason' is set to sell big and become a must-read in churches everywhere."
|Author / Artist||William Sirls|
|Publisher||Thomas Nelson (September 2012)|
|Number of Pages||416|
|Page last updated||8th July 2014|