About this Book
When Iola Anne Poole, an old-timer on Hatteras Island, passes away in her bed at ninety-one, the struggling young mother in her rental cottage, Tandi Jo Reese, finds herself charged with the task of cleaning out Iola’s rambling Victorian house.
Running from a messy, dangerous past, Tandi never expects to find more than a temporary hiding place within Iola’s walls, but everything changes with the discovery of eighty-one carefully decorated prayer boxes, one for each year, spanning from Iola’s youth to her last days. Hidden in the boxes is the story of a lifetime, written on random bits of paper–the hopes and wishes, fears and thoughts of an unassuming but complex woman passing through the seasons of an extraordinary, unsung life filled with journeys of faith, observations on love, and one final lesson that could change everything for Tandi.
Interview with the Author
FCB: What exactly are prayer – or gratitude – boxes?
Lisa: You can create the boxes for your own life and as gifts for occasions. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, when a child graduates, to be able to give that child the box of hopes and prayers written during the first year of life? Or for a couple on their twenty-fifth anniversary to reopen the box from their first year of marriage? For years, I’ve given journals or paper boxes to couples as wedding gifts and encouraged them to write down their hopes and gratitudes during their first year of life, then keep them. It’s a great exercise while they’re doing it and precious keepsake for later. It also their story, preserved.
FCB: I absolutely LOVE that idea!! I have a baby shower to go to next weekend and am going to give that as a gift.
FCB: How do you write for both Christian and secular audiences?
Lisa: I try to write books that can be shared between people who are in vastly different places in their faith and spiritual lives, and I see The Prayer Box as that type of book – appropriate for a Christian person to bring to a book club that is not specifically Christian, for instance.
FCB: What’s the overall message?
Lisa: In this cyber age, it’s more important than ever to equip families with ideas for generating family table talk and storytelling. My first mainstream novel, Tending Roses, was inspired by stories shared by my grandmother. I’ve since watched that book travel around the world, and her stories – those simple remembrances from a farmwife’s life – have affected many lives. Our stories have amazing power and value, yet we’re in danger of losing that tradition of sharing our stories, particularly with the next generation.
FCB: Thanks Lisa! I really appreciate your insights.
I am finding that I really enjoy Lisa Wingate’s writing. She takes her time telling the story of life allowing the reader to get to know the main character as well as those around them. The main character, Tandi, was a character that was easy to fall in love with and to root for as she struggled to get own her feet and take care of her children. She is very honest in her fears and her desire to survive.
The story was wonderful. As Tandi started reading Iola Anne’s letter’s, it hit me, “What a wonderful idea!” In Iola Anne’s letters to her Father we see what life was like for her growing up in the time she did. She shared every aspect of her life with Him, just like He wants each of us to do. I also enjoyed how through Iola Anne’s words written so many years before Tandi’s heart was touched. There is also times of tension and times when Tandi wants to give up. As in life there were times when you could chuckle along with the characters.
This is a feel good story that gave me moments to reflect, laugh, and cry. If you are an adrenaline junkie and need fast paced action packed story, this is probably not your book. But let’s face it, life isn’t like that and that what this story gives you, a dose of life.
Disclosure: I did receive this book from the author but was under no obligation other than to give my honest opinion.
Book and Author Facts
- Author’s Website: http://www.lisawingate.com/
- File Size: 668 KB
- Print Length: 401 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1414386885
- Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (August 16, 2013)
The Give Away
I’m giving away a paperback copy of this book. I’ll pick the winner on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 9:00PM PDT.
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