Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Lisa Wingate
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
“It hurt to read the words of the little girl who’d been sent away, who was alone and afraid that the people who were supposed to love her had instead forgotten about her. It dredged up too many memories, unearthed feelings I didn’t want to remember, scenes from my life that I’d been trying to bury for thirty-three years, pain that was pointless now,” Tandi confides in Lisa Wingate’s novel, The Prayer Box.
This Christian contemporary women’s fictional paperback is three hundred and ninety-six pages, targeted toward readers who like pure romance blended in with leaving the past memories and starting over in one’s life. With no profanity or lewd scenes, it could be read by mature teenagers and older ages due to its topics of premarital pregnancy and racism.
Secretive single mother of two, Tandi Jo Reese has left her past far behind, buried in painful childhood and adult memories. When she and her fourteen year old daughter and nine year old son rent the cottage on a large run-down estate in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, once again they try to start over and conceal who they really are.
After six weeks of renting and behind on her rent, Tandi notices her next door landlord’s cat with one bitten ear and a shepherd’s hook tail wandering around aimlessly. Not seeing any movement in the big Victorian house, Tandi timidly enters the home, only to find ninety-one year old Iola Anne Poole dead in an upstairs bedroom.
Since the weathered property has been donated to the nearby church according to Iola’s wishes, Brother Joe asks Tandi to start cleaning out the dilapidated house to offset the rent. When Tandi finds eighty-one creatively decorated boxes stacked in the bedroom closet, she becomes mesmerized in Iola’s past life of heartbreak, hardships and heroism through each boxes’ yearly contents and written letters.
The more Tandi correlates her similarities to Iola’s life, the more the hardened, broken young mother softens and comes to terms with her own choices and how she is raising her children. With wrong relationships with men, a daughter who is unhappy, her quiet, shy son and a selfish sister, they are forced to grow and adjust to having someone care about them.
Through the tears of broken relationships, sorrows of the past and the new-found friendships of the small town of Fairhope, Wingate does an excellent job honing in on how our past sins can be forgiven and forgotten by God and others. When one can learn from the past and change, she can become hope and help to others in need, especially when trusting and praying to God for His redemption.
This book was provided by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for review purposes.
Follow Here To Purchase The Prayer Box