- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (August 16, 2013)
- ISBN-13: 978-1414386881
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.
I thought this was a well developed character driven book. The author has a way with words that makes you feel like you are really there. Tandi lives a rough life. She has two kids one younger and one teenager. She has not really been there for them for years due to a drug addiction and bad relationship. She escapes and they end up on Hatteras Island where her Grandparents used to live and she had happier times in her life. She still somewhat neglects her children in the beginning and has a relationship with Ross who is not good for them. It takes awhile for her to come to her senses and start building better relationships with them. I loved how her character evolved. I did not like her at all for at least the first half of the book. The plot also focused on Iola Poole mostly after she passes away and Tandi is in charge of cleaning her house. She finds boxes that are prayer boxes from decades of Iola's life. She starts reading them and it changes her life literally. I definitely liked the latter half of the book the best. There is more but I won't spoil the plot. This was a good contemporary Christian book perfect summer read. Recommended.
Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, inspirational speaker, and the author of over twenty mainstream fiction novels, including the national bestseller, Tending Roses, now in its nineteenth printing. She is a seven-time ACFW Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, and a two-time Carol Award winner. Her novels are known for taking on gritty subjects while offering redemptive and uplifting themes. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. More information about Lisa's novels can be found at www.Lisawingate.com or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/LisaWingateAuthorPage?fref=ts
Review copy provided by Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.