Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Sinners Garden by William Sirls - REVIEWED

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.

Purchase your copy HERE.

My Thoughts:
Sometimes we rush to judge others, or tell them how to lead their lives, because they sin differently than we do.”  (p. 78)

Mercy. Grace. The Sinners’ Garden is one of the most vivid depictions of grace I have read in quite some time.  The characters are flawed, they struggle against judgment from others…judgment that has affected their lives in profound ways. Yet they too pass judgment of their own….withholding relationship, making excuses, doing works to make up for their sin…so many, familiar, ways we as Christians behave every single day.  The ONLY thing we have to grasp is the grace shed for us through the blood of Jesus is grace that would have been shed for us had we been the only one in need of a Savior. 

That is really the bottom line in this story – unmerited grace.  Mercy so deep and tender we are unable to grasp its depth.  Rip, Heather, Andy, Judi, Kevin….these are the people whose lives are intertwined with a lifetime of choices that make each of them feel a desperate need to be redeemed.  They each go about this in familiar, and not-so-comfortable ways. 

This is a story of redemption – a story of resolution – a story that will make you laugh and weep.  There are supernatural elements that are believable in the realm of possibility.  God always speaks in a way we will understand.  A personal, real way that will transform our lives.

I HIGHLY recommend The Sinners’ Garden!

About the Author:

Over the course of his life, William Sirls has experienced both great highs and tremendous lows---some born of chance, some born of choice. Life lessons involving faith, grace, and forgiveness are evident in his writing. The Sinners' Garden is his second novel. His first novel, The Reason, was published in 2012. William makes his home in southern Michigan.

Learn more about William at:

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