"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

18 January 2016

2016 Book Review #2: the prayer box


Most excellent.

Read this book...it will change you!

and then you will want to begin your own prayer box.


Iola Anne Poole, one of the oldest residents on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks, dies at age 91 in her own bed in her run-down, century old home.  

The young single mother, Tandi, who is renting the small cottage on the estate, with her 2 children, 14 year old Zoey and 10 year old J.T., is the one who finds her.  And that's not all Tandi Jo Reese finds.  

She is offered a job by one of the church deacons, who keeps an eye on the estate as the church is right next door.  The job requires cleaning out the big, old house which dates back to the 19th century.  There are messes all over the house but the things that pique Tandi's interest are found in the upstairs bedroom closet.  There are so many boxes in that closet!  81 in fact....one box for each year of Iola's life from about age 10 and on.  The boxes are all decorated, some with sea glass, ribbons, shells, fabrics, beads, or stained glass.  The boxes contain letters.  All addressed to "father".  Tandi assumes it is to her biological father that Iola is writing.

But she soon learns differently...the letters are actually prayers to God!

All of the letters depict the life story of Iola's youth to her last days on earth.  The letters contain her wishes and dreams, her hopes and trials, thoughts and fears.  All of the letters contain lessons in faith, observations about love....and one final lesson that could change everything.  Is Tandi ready to be challenged emotionally and spiritually? Just who IS Iola?? Why was she sent to a Catholic school?  Why did she not know who her father was until she was much older?  Who is Isabelle and how does she relate to Iola??

and what about Tandi...........

What about her past??  Will the townspeople accept her as she begins to live and work in this little town of Fairhope?  Can she keep the secrets of her past life from her new friend Paul?  and what about Ross?? Does he really care about her or is he just as shallow as her sister Gina?  How can Tandi manage her life on her own and do a good job of parenting her children?  Who is going to help her?  Most importantly, what will she learn from the letters she reads??


Loved this story!

The author is new to me, although I had heard of her before and have read other book reviews of some of her other novels.

I received this book from my "secret santa" at small group Bible study.  Along with the book, my friend Michelle also gave me a decorated prayer box.  Oh my.  How I love this gift and now I understand, after reading the book, why she gave me the prayer box.  I have already started putting my slips of paper in :)

The book has excellent character development.  At first it seemed to start out slow.  But the story-line quickly picked up and I was hooked.

I loved the interactions between the teen girl and her mother. They were so life-like!

My favorite parts were when Tandi realized just Who Iola was writing to and why.  I especially liked that the prayers were included in the book......I loved reading them! 

One of my favorite quotes from the book is found on page 212:

"Some of the best things in your life come out of the worst."

This book really can't be described.  It is best read and savored.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 14 and older.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.


Susanne said...

I've never read a book by this author either, though I know she is very popular. Is this book a lot of letter reading because I'm afraid that is a style I grow really bored with very quickly and end up skipping over the letters.

Deb said...

Thanks for the review! I will look for a coy of this. It seems like one I would really enjoy! Enjoy the rest of this week!