Learn more about William at: http://WilliamSirls.com
About the book: In the small Lake Erie township of Benning, someone is at work cultivating a supernatural garden . . .
Andy Kemp's young life has been as ravaged as his scarred face. Disfigured by an abusive father, the teenager hides behind his books and an impenetrable wall of cynicism and anger.
As Andy's mother struggles to reconnect with him, his Uncle Rip returns transformed from a stint in prison and wants to be a mentor to the reclusive boy, doing everything he can to help end Andy's pain. When Andy begins hearing strange music through his iPod and making near-prophetic announcements, Rip is convinced that what Andy is hearing is the voice of God.
Elsewhere, police officer Heather Gerisch responds to a late-night breaking and entering in one of the poorest homes in town. She soon realizes that the masked prowler has left thousands of dollars in gift cards from a local grocery store.
As the bizarre break-ins continue and Heather pursues the elusive "Summer Santa," Andy and Rip discover an enormous and well-kept garden of wildflowers that seems to have grown overnight at an abandoned steel mill.
Soon, they realize who the gardener is, and a spree of miracles transfigures this small town from a place of hopelessness into a place of healing and beauty.
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"God must be in prison, because that's where so many people seem to meet Him."
William Sirls has written a book that beautifully shows through storytelling this truth: God does meet us and sometimes works in our hearts in the most unlikely places and ways! While God's primary revelation of Himself and His primary way of speaking truth to us is through His Word (the Bible), Sirls so eloquently reminds us that God can speak to us in a myriad of ways...if we just have eyes to see Him.
I appreciated the "tone" of The Sinners' Garden and by "tone" I mean the place from which the author writes. Sirls was once a senior vice president in a large investment firm and was incarcerated in 2007 for wire fraud and money laundering. It was very evident while reading the book that Sirls writes from a place of hope, forgiveness and deep restoration in his own life...those themes come through clearly in his book.
I absolutely loved the characters in The Sinners' Garden; Rip probably being my favorite. Sirls' characterization is rich and in a short time (just a few chapters into the book) I felt as if they were already my "real" friends. I also appreciated how a bit of humor was woven into the story; not in a distracting way, but as a natural part of the life of the characters.
Sirls grabbed a hold of me in the prologue and didn't let go the remainder of the book. And the gardener's identity will surprise you! Don't miss this one!!!
*Thank you Litfuse Publicity for having the book sent to me for the purpose of this review.