my feet, and I’d never seen it because I’d never tried to see.”
At first, I didn’t care for main character Tandi Jo Reese in Lisa Wingate’s “The Prayer Box.” She was immature, selfish, a dead beat mom, self-centered and lucky Child Protective Services hadn’t yet been called on her. Her boyfriend, Ross, was even worse as an immature, privileged, selfish surfer-dude. But as I dug deeper into the book, and learned more of Tandi’s past and why she is the person she is – and saw they ways she changed – I really started to like her.
Tandi is a young, single mom running from her ex-husband and an
abusive marriage in Texas. She lands in the Hatteras, N.C., area, where she rents a cottage from Iola Anne Poole, a 90-something lady. After Tandi finds Iola’s body, the next-door church learns they have inherited Iola’s historic home and offers Tandi a proposition. If she cleans out some of Iola’s house, the church will discount her rent – which is music to her cash-strapped ears!
While cleaning the home, Tandi stumbles upon stacks and stacks
of prayer boxes – in which Iola has written letters to her Heavenly Father since the 1930s. Iola’s prayer letters offer Tandi a lesson in rivers of grace. She learns that perhaps to save herself, she needs to focus on saving, or serving, others.
Even from beyond the grave, Iola inspires Tandi to do good deeds, putting the needs and wishes of others above her own. Grace is the overwhelmingly beautiful theme that runs throughout “The Prayer Box.”
During her journey, we also meet her children J.T. and Zoey, and
how their lives are impacted by this little North Carolinian community; and Brother Joe Guilbeau, the UPS Guy, Paul and Sandy – all who show Tandi that sometimes people love others just for the sake of loving them, no strings attached.
This book reminds us that we can always “keep driving yourself
crazy fighting the sea, or you can leave the past behind, find dry ground, and build somewhere new.”
I loved this book. Its imagery was beautiful. The story was gripping and funny and inspirational.
Five stars out of five.
Tyndale House Publishers provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.