The Sinners’ Garden

4.60526315789
The Sinners’ Garden

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 a copy here.

Learn more at William’s website.

Reviews

  • Upon first glance, The Sinners’ Garden may seem like a dark and sullen type of book. It does seem to have that type of aura in the beginning. Serious situations such as domestic abuse and extreme poverty lurk within the first few pages of The Sinners’ Garden. The characters in this book were realistic and tangible — I could almost name people who reminded me of each one. My heart clutched as I read their sad experiences, making me want to fix things for them. But there is a Redeemer and he does all things in His time. The great takeaway from Sinners’ Garden is that God can create that miracle out of a flower that has already wilted. Do your soul a favor and enjoy The Sinners’ Garden. Just be prepared for a change of heart!!

  • While this story overall was very good, there were a couple of things I wondered about and struggled with. I realize that many, (dare I say most?) Christians seem to put God in a box and have Him dancing around on a string like a Marionette puppet instead of allowing Him to be the Creator like He is. This novel doesn’t do that. The characters hurt; they cry, they struggle handling real situations in the right way, and to Mr. Sirls’ credit, they don’t always get what they want. A huge plus, in my opinion.
    Mr. Sirls is a good, solid writer with a unique plot and storyline, and his characters are so real, they could be your neighbors. There is no swearing nor inappropriate scenes.

  • What an amazingly well-written story about forgiveness, struggles, family, community, faith, grace, and redemption. The characters in the story are very real and you feel as if you know each one of them personally. They became my friends and I was very sad when the book ended. While I read the book and became familiar with Judi, Andy, Rip, Heather and Reverend Welsh I laughed, cried, imagined, felt what the characters were experiencing. I could not wait to turn the page and see what else was waiting for me. This is one of those books that everyone should run our and buy, right now! This modern day Cain and Abel story took me by surprise. It does not matter what life is dealing you, this story will move you in many ways. This is an incredible book that shows us just how much God loves us and want to be a part of our lives.

  • Sirls has an amazing gift of writing. He intertwines Christian faith and a story in a way that is extremely rare. I urge you to read his books if you haven’t discovered him yet.

  • I am not really sure how to write this review.
    I must say that this book is a 5 star two times book. And that is not enough.
    It was awesome and I could not put it down. Outstanding must read book!
    To say this book is about Grace is just not enough. It is about forgiveness and love pours from every page. I hated to see this book come to an end.
    I loved Rip, Judi and Heather. The characters in the book were fantastic to say the least. the storyline is one that you not soon forget.
    I Highly recommend this book.
    I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for my honest review.

  • This was an incredibly powerful novel. I could not put it down once I started reading it. It reminded me that I need to slow down and listen to God that is all around me. It reminded me that we are not perfect but God has a plan for us and loves us all the more for our imperfections. A definite must read

  • The Sinners’ Garden is one of those books that will not be quickly forgotten. I fully expect that various events from the novel will pop into my mind or dreams from out of the blue. It is a beautifully crafted story with a supernatural ambiance that captured my imagination yet left me with some thoughts to ponder.

  • Sirls has created a very interesting story about forgiveness and reconciliation. He has included some “magical realism” elements as well. I did feel the spiritual message was a bit vague with the emphasis on belief in God in general. The character development was well done and that made the novel fun to read.

  • The Sinners’ Garden is a novel about people whose lives are intertwined and when something happens to one of them all of them are affected. There is much sadness in this story but, there is also hope.

  • The Sinner’s Garden is unpredictable, uncomfortable, and amazing. Every time I thought I knew who was up to what and what the next event would be, I was proven wrong – in a twist I never saw coming. Not only didn’t predict it, but would never have imagined it. Those twists didn’t always result in immediate comfort and happiness for my favorite characters, either – and I think that we readers usually prefer that. We want to see a happy ending, and we want the pain and crazy circumstances to end for those we’re rooting for. Sirls writes stories with real human characters in extraordinary and fantastic situations, however, and so like much of life, his characters face continuing waves of pain and heartbreak from which is born healing and joy.

  • The author, Mr. Sirls has written some wonderful lessons to strengthen your faith, or perhaps put you on the right course. No one is perfect. Everyone has flaws and makes mistakes. But we must remember that God forgives if we just talk to him and lay our troubles in his hands. The characters that Mr. Sirls wrote about were just everyday people, just like you and me. They are characters you can definitely relate to. I would recommend this book to anyone who perhaps is doubting their faith or feel that they have no good qualities and everything they do is wrong. This book may change your mind, but you have to believe.

  • Moments says:

    William Sirls’ latest novel, “The Sinners’ Garden,” will draw the reader in and hold you there in the story for long after the book is finished. This community is filled with people whom are hurting, hiding behind their pasts, struggling to move forward in their lives and seeking healing. I loved the characters and hope to read further books about some of them, mainly Andy.

  • . . . this is a novel that will reach out from the pages and grab your heart as well as your mind.
    When you are done with this novel, I wonder if you will walk away with a deeper understanding of God or something else. The story has a multitude of characters who reflect, I believe, real people and societies of today. More than one character in the novel thinks they understand God and His ways. They therefore drew conclusions based on that knowledge. Others have to learn to let go of what holds their soul, mind and emotions in the past.

  • I felt emotionally connected to young Andy, though I didn’t grow up in an abusive home, I still spent the majority of my youth with my head in a book trying to avoid bullies. There is a lot more going on here than just Andy’s story, as there is a mysterious “Summer Santa,” who is breaking into poor homes and leaving thousands of dollars of gift cards. Then there is the wildflower garden that seemed to magically popup overnight. The author’s storytelling reminds me of horror writer John Saul’s early work. Overall, The Sinners’ Garden is well-written supernatural mystery that I read in two sitting.

  • Veronica's 'Views says:

    There was a lot of wisdom and Biblical truth in this book that not only the different characters needed to hear, but that we all need to hear, such as God never leaves us and that we should be thankful for what we have. I thought I had everything figured out in the story, but there was a twist, which was a nice surprise. This reminded me a little of the Shack, which I really liked.

  • This is really a great book for everyone to read. It’s about redemption and the least likely hero that nobody knew that was there all the time.

    This story will give you hope that God does exist and he does talk to people if only they would listen. When Andy finally does understand this, his mind is open to all the possibilities. He also knows who the bad guys are and who the good ones are. Growing up is hard, but when God is on your side, all things are possible!

  • This is the type of book that will have you thinking along time after you have finished it. Wonderful characters. Wonderful story.

  • This is an interesting book filled with real life problems and solutions. It shows how so many bad things grow and grow without forgiveness. It is such a powerful act to not only give to others, but to give to ourselves. It also homes in on the message that God can restore us and enable us to forgive. If you like books that have supernatural mystery and suspense, combining with messages of hope and forgiveness, this book is for you.

  • Some will dismiss this as a “nice story” or call it far-fetched. I need to ask: Isn’t everything of God far-fetched by nature? Isn’t it all beyond us and not natural to our earthly ways and dubious in our minds?
    And yet…
    Is what God has done in your life, or in my life, any less wondrous or beyond imagining than what he did in the town of Brenning? Aren’t all miracles intensely charged with the Love of God?

  • The Sinners Garden is my first book by William Sirls and WOW. It is such a wonderful story that really speaks to its readers and left a lasting impression with me. This message really gives hope where hope is lost. William Sirls writes a powerful story with a very powerful cast of characters. I loved all the characters in this book, they are all real people with real lives. Things didn’t just “work out” for them. We watch them struggle and find their way. I found myself taken with this book from the start and could not put it down. I found myself completely engrossed in this beautiful story. I found myself laughing out loud in parts and crying in parts as this book touched on tough subjects. William Sirls really showed his heart in this story. I am so glad I had the chance to read this wonderful story. If you enjoy Christian Fiction with supernatural twists, then this is the book for you! I cannot wait to read more from William Sirls, he is on my must read author list!

  • An amazing book with an amazing cast of characters and one unforgettable story!
    I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Sinners’ Garden, but the synopsis intrigued me.
    I really got wrapped up in the lives of these characters…the good, the bad and the ugly.
    Main character Andy has not had an easy life and I quickly liked him and empathized with his character.
    What I especially appreciate is that this author takes his characters through the ups and downs and doesn’t wave a happy ever after wand…the story seems real and relatable in many ways.
    Superb storytelling, unforgettable characters and a brilliant message of hope!

  • This book has a little of everything in it–drug abuse, infidelity, child and spousal abuse…and forgiveness, grace, growth, love. The characters are developed beautifully and subtly; the ending will catch you by surprise…and yet it won’t. Be sure and grab your tissues.

    I HIGHLY recommend this book to ANY readers of fiction. Or nonfiction. It will stay with you long after the last page is turned.

  • This is a very intriguing story with characters that are solid and ones I grew to love as the story unfolded. The Sinners Garden tells of real life struggles and how a person is made whole through the love of Jesus. I appreciate the author having the characters live through the disappointments and struggles before our eyes are we read the pages. I felt pulled into this story in a special way, making it so realistic. I love books like this, and I loved this story!

  • WOW! I could just leave it at that and tell you to rush out and buy this book! This story is an amazing spiritual journey that leads us where we never could imagine. There are so many levels in the development of this book, that I had a very hard time putting it down. The characters are incredible in their depth and creativity. You do not want to miss out on this exciting story of faith, love and forgiveness. I found myself laughing and crying till the very end.

  • Wow, talk about getting your adrenaline revved up in the prologue! This is not a light read, but rather one that gets you emotionally attached from the beginning. I really enjoy books that have that have a supernatural element to it. It helps to show how there is much more going on in our world than what is visible to our eyes.I think that the author has added greatly to this character and shared some of the great themes of redemption, forgiveness and the love of God.

  • The Sinners’ Garden is full of mystery. I thought I had the story line all figured out. Who the bad guy was and who the Summer Santa was. Boy was I wrong. I never saw it coming. What a great story! Even though the ending was so different from what I expected I loved this book! The story shows how God can create goodness out of a very bad situation. I enjoyed The Sinners’ Garden so much I am requesting William Sirls first book The Reason from our library!

  • This is a very different book. I have to admit that at first I was not sure if I would like it. As I got into the book I realized that woven throughout the pages was a clear theme of redemption and forgiveness. The characters all learn some important things about really listening to God and His direction. I enjoyed the sense of mystery that built throughout and found myself wanting to get to the bottom of things the same as the character Heather. I also appreciated how real the people were in the story. They didn’t feel forced or contrived. This is not a book for a casual reader. You will get drawn in and it will make you think a lot!

  • ”The Sinner’s Garden” is filled with great characters brought to life in the hands of a very skillful author. Each character comes alive on the pages and we care about every single one of them.

  • I enjoyed this novel – the characters were extremely well developed and their story line was intense at times. I enjoyed the mystery of figuring out just who was giving the gifts away – and I also wondered about the garden. I was drawn in by the characters of Andy and Rip – not only their affection of each other by by how devoted they were. I always enjoy books that value the close bonds of family.

  • 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.

  • I’m happy to report that The Sinners’ Garden is definitely a hit. I loved this book. Sirls has a remarkable ability. He writes books that you’ll think about after you’ve finished reading. He makes you think while you’re reading as you try to work everything out from the clues he drops like breadcrumbs.

  • I loved how deep and immersed that I became with the characters in the book, almost like they became friends of mine.

  • Prey Species says:

    The Sinner’s Garden is a different kind of mystery where the search for God and goodness trumps evil and suspicion leaving a wake of hope and light. With likable and relatable characters, the plot twists highlight the joy and grace granted through prayer and forgiveness. Sirls has created a riveting story line with Christian supernatural threads that inspires and encourages. This one is sure to leave a lasting impression!

  • The Sinners’ Garden is a touching story with the scent of beauty drifting from its pages. A sure fire hit!

  • This book is really about finding out how much God loves us, how He can redeem us, and it’s about His grace. There are lots of twists and turns in this story along with several mysteries. It does make the book a page turner, however, as I said, the book goes on a bit too long and there were times I had a hard time continuing with the story. For this reason, I am going to give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It has a wonderful theme, but it just took too long to get to the point!

  • Kerrific says:

    I had a chance to read Sinners’ Garden and it was not what I expected. I actually ended up really loving this book but it kept taking turns just when I least expected it. All together this was a great book full of amazing discoveries and wonderful people.

  • I have to start by saying that this book is definitely a new one for me. I’ve never really read anything like this. I’ve never read anything by William Sirls before and really had no clue he existed. Well, now I know he is around and I know I’m in love with at least one of his books. It’s complex. It has so many different twists and turns that you really don’t know what is happening or where you’re going next. Definitely not a book for a realist as they wouldn’t understand God coming through an Ipod, but it definitely helps to set the tone of the book! I enjoyed following Heather and learning more about her and her past as she solved her mystery. The gardens sound gorgeous and are definitely something to think about. This is a great book and will definitely make you think.

  • 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!!!

  • I thought the plot and characters were great, and there was a lot of conversation between the characters that was more deep than the average Christian novel. The book showed how people can change, and how God may sometimes use methods and means we don’t understand to accomplish His will. The author did a great job on keeping the identity of the masked do-gooder secret. I was truly surprised when that was revealed.

  • I love mysteries and love stories and let me tell you that this book has both. I never guessed who the Summer Santa was and the love story sure didn’t end the way I expected it to either. The Sinners’ Garden can represent different things to different people, for me it represents the peacefulness and beauty of heaven. Another great point the book makes is that miracles still happen today in unexpected ways. I find myself relating to Judi as I too have carried lots of guilt for things that happened in the past. The relationship between Uncle Rip and Andy is endearing and humorous. If you are looking for an entertaining book then I highly recommend this one.

  • I would recommend this for someone who not only enjoys a mystery, but also likes some fantasy too.

  • This book is full of eye-opening wisdom but you will have to read it yourself to get the full effect and I highly encourage you to do so. It is a story that will keep you riveted and turning the pages at a rapid pace. But just a small warning from one reader to another, if you have never read a book by William Sirls, and I can say this from personal experience, you WILL be hooked. This is his second book and I fully plan to go back and read his debut novel, The Reason. Keep in mind that you will need tissues because there are some very heart-wrenching moments. This is easily one of my favorite books EVER and I recommend it to ANYONE that likes a story full of spiritual insight, intrigue and an amazing plot and characters. Sheer genius!

  • The Sinners’ Garden is a heart wrenching story of unique characters, very well defined and authentic. It’s a page turner that will keep you questioning where this journey will leave you.

  • I’m rejoicing, The Sinners’ Garden is a story which has not been told in this fashion until now. The emphasis is in the message, not a romance. The message is subtle, but I did not have a problem finding it. Themes of faith, redemption, etc., are included, but not overtly so. What I mean is we are not “told”, we are shown, a remarkable difference.

  • With its diverse characters – its unique plot – its relevant themes – and the Reading Group Guide at the end of the book – The Sinners’ Garden is a great book club read and the most unique book I’ve read so far this year!

  • Very seldom do I pick up books that I simply cannot put down. Sure, there are books that call to me. Books that sing to me. And, as an avid reader, I typically read through a book relatively quickly…but more often than not life calls me away from the pages. This was not the case with The Sinners’ Garden. I found myself thinking about the book as I went through day to day tasks. Wondering when I would have time to get back to the book, when I would be able to take just a few minutes to continue perusing the pages, when I would discover all of the answers that lied deep within the pages.

    But beyond the intriguing story the book is much more. William Sirls seamlessly tosses out questions that almost every Christian has asked at one time or another.

  • William Sirls has written one other book titled The Reason and after reading The Sinners’ Garden I’m going to be checking out the other book because if it’s like this one it will be a fantastic, can’t-put-the-book-down read. Once I started this book I had to keep turning the pages because it was so fast paced that I just kept turning and turning, even reading way past my bed time – usually when I read a book where the supernatural happens like it does for Andy and God speaking to him through his iPod – I’m skeptical. Instead I was totally awed, all to often we put God into a little box and assume He cannot and will not work outside of what we have told Him – how wrong and sad at the same time.

  • This is the first book that I have ever read by William Sirls. He is such an amazing writer. I loved how this story had a hint of mystery behind it and the characters really make the story come alive.

    This story has something for everyone: love, acceptance, forgiveness, how the past can haunt your present, and even a big mystery thrown in. I think just about anyone could enjoy this book.

    I read this book from cover to cover in 3 days. I just could not put it down.

    William uses some of his own past experiences to frame this narrative. It is a very intriguing story and well worth your time to read it.

    Mr. Sirls knows exactly how to capture his readers from the very first page and keep them engaged to the very end! Grab a copy of this book for a wonderful, fictional read.

  • This book has everything! Murder, mystery, hope, forgiveness, a little bit of romance, and of course, faith.
    I have never read a christian book that I am aware of. I always felt that they “preached” too much. But The Sinner`s Garden was amazing. It wasn’t like any other christian book I have read. It was funny, sad, and like I mentioned above, had plenty of mystery in it. It doesn’t follow one exact character, but a whole handful that are lost to God and I loved watching them grow.Each character has their own quirks and are amusing in their own way, and sometimes you just want to reach out and hug them. While I didn’t actually cry during this book, I sure wanted to at times.

  • I totally enjoyed reading this book. It is very inspirational and captivating as well. It keeps the reader on their toes and interested from start to finish.

  • What an amazing garden. It sprang up over night and lures this book’s characters with it’s beauty and peacefulness. It was a gift to bring four people into God’s will for their lives.

    This is the first novel I’ve read by Mr. Sirls, but it won’t be my last. I’m hoping he is in the process of finishing up another one soon.

  • This book is one of hope, faith and love. It is also a book about forgiveness and making a new future instead of living in the past. The author has written about characters that are well described so that you can feel why and how they will respond to their questions about their future. After I read this book I realized that author wanted to let us know that there is an answer that we just have to look for it. I was given this book by Litfuse Publicity Group and all opinions are my own.

  • The way the book starts out is not at all how it ends and there is not much you can do to guess what’s coming next. I will say this book is very faith based.

  • First off I must say I loved the characters, the author knows how to portray people that are loveable and so real. The plot is unique, loved it as well. Sirls is an incredible writer and knows the heart of God. This is a wonderful story of forgiveness which ultimately is love.

  • The Sinners’ Garden includes another original plot, great characters, interesting backstory, and a strong theme. Centered around a small family and their close friends in a little town of Lake Erie. The story explores relationships, miracles, and mysteries. It is an interesting and enjoyable read.

  • It is not often that I read a book that is so wonderful that I find it difficult to search out words to tell someone else what I loved about the book. The Sinner’s Garden by William Sirls is such a book. This book had all the traditional literary elements – strong, compelling plot, richly drawn characters – but it also showed the unique ways that God speaks to us. It also showed how God cares and expresses that caring in individual ways. What could be more effective for a teenage boy than having God speak through an ipod? The book showed the power of God and His provision in difficult times for His people through a supernatural garden. What a beautiful expression of God’s love.

  • To be completely honest I was a bit worried about this book. I was afraid that God talking through an iPod and creating gardens out of thin air would be portrayed as common place things that happen and that there would be an over emphasis on hyper emotionalism and the prophetic. However, I did not feel this to be the case. The book felt as though it was just using these things to make a point, not that they are expected in real life. The story was very griping and left me crying at the end, which isn’t easy to do for me.

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