Book Title: Sinners' Garden
Author: William Sirls
Publish Date: December 17, 2013
Genre: Christian Fiction
Find It Here: Amazon (Affiliate Link)
Plot (from Goodreads): In a small town where hope and tragedy intermingle, things—and people—are not always what they seem.
Andy Kemp has suffered most of his life from both physical and emotional scars, and he believes that the scars on his face are proof that God doesn’t love him. Andy has grown into a withdrawn teenager, keeping to himself, until his uncle, ex-con Gerald Ripley, shows up and wants to be a mentor to Andy. Rip has turned his life around and wants to do everything he can to help mend Andy’s pain and the rift in his relationship with his sister.
Meanwhile, police officer Heather Gerisch responds to a late-night breaking and entering episode in one of the poorest homes in town. The masked man makes the sign of the cross, escapes, and Heather soon realizes that he has left $5,000 in gift cards to a local grocery store. As the bizarre break-ins continue and Heather pursues the elusive “Summer Santa,” Andy begins to hear strange and beautiful music, and Rip is convinced that he is hearing the voice of God.
As the lives and stories of the townspeople of Benning Township intertwine, extraordinary circumstances emerge and long-kept secrets are revealed.
Why I Read this Book: I was given a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review as part of the Street Team for the book. I received no compensation for this review.
In Depth Analysis
Have you ever read a book so fast because you wanted to find out what happens in the end? I felt like that when reading The Sinners' Garden . This book is so action packed that I could not put it down. The great plot was not the only amazing part of this book though; the lessons that I learned about God while reading this book are enough to fill another book of my own. I learned more about God's love and that He loves us no matter what our faults are (or what we believe our faults are). God chooses those that are broken as leaders. Moses had a speech impediment, but God chose him to be a great leader. David was an adulterer, but He was also a Man after God's heart. God loves all people and everyone has a special role as part of the Body of Christ. I also learned about how important forgiveness is and how it can change the lives of you and the people around you. It is one of the hardest things to do, but it is also one of the most important things to do in strengthening your relationship with others and your relationship with God. I was also reminded that God is everywhere and a miracle does not have to occur to be able to speak to God. All we have to do is speak and then listen for His response (and sometimes this includes having a little bit, or a lot, of patience).
Not only are the innumerable lessons that can be learned from this book amazing, but the story alone was fantastic. As the book progresses, the reader begins to learn more and more about the characters and begins to love them. The mystery of the "Summer Santa" keeps the story suspenseful. This story follows the lives of so many characters and usually stories that do this end up being confusing and hard to follow, but this book did not disappoint. I am so glad that I was able to get an unedited ARC of this book and I cannot wait to get my hands on the final, edited version of the book and fall in love with the characters all over again.
Recommended Reading Age: 16+ as there are many topics that may be difficult to understand by a younger audience
Overall Rating: 5/5