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I often begin a review with "This is a story about", list the main character and describe the story from that character's viewpoint. That approach doesn't work with The Reason, by William Sirls. There is no main character. Instead, there are many lovable, memorable characters.
The story is centered around Alex, a five-year old who is diagnosed with leukemia early in the book. He and his mother Brooke, a single mother who was never married, live with Jim and Shirley Lindy. Jim, who has been blind for twenty years, is the pastor of St. Thomas Church. Their son, Charlie Lindy, is thirty-eight, seven-feet tall, weighs 355 pounds and has never said a word. He is a giant filled with love and a special tenderness for others. He is the one who found pregnant Brooke beaten and left for dead in the woods and carried her home.
Carla Miller is Brooke's twenty-seven-year-old friend who is struggling with alcohol abuse. She was sexually abused by a father who killed himself when Carla told her mother about what he was doing. Oncologist Macey Lewis and nurse Kaitlyn Harbey as well as Dr. Zach Norman, get involved with Alex before they know he is sick because they volunteered to help rebuild the church's cross that had been severely damaged during a storm. Treating him becomes even more difficult after they grow to love him and his extended family.
The Lindy's, Brooke and Alex are all believers of Jesus Christ and active in church. Still, Alex's illness is hard for them to understand and accept. Especially for Brooke. Carla, Macey, and Kaitlyn are believers too, but have been inactive for so long they are not used to praying. Zach helps the church for the publicity it gives him and the hospital.
"Only believe" is a theme repeated over and over in the book. This is a story about what happens to people from a variety of backgrounds and levels of belief when bad things happen to good people.
I enjoyed getting to know these people and following along with them during the painful and intense journey they faced. I have to admit to crying as I read and not knowing how the story would end. I feel my faith is stronger for reading this fantastic story and I hope everyone will read it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. 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's 16 CFR, Part 255.
Read Part 1 of the three-part interview with William Sirls here: http://christianbookmobile.blogspot.com/2012/10/part-1-q-with-william-sirls-author-of.html