The Prayer Box - Lisa Wingate (review and giveaway!)

4 stars!

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. 

Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, inspirational speaker, and the author of 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 novel, Blue Moon Bay, was a Booklist Top Ten of 2012 pick. 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. 
Visit her at her blog - HERE
Or on facebook - HERE

Lisa Wingate is one of my favorite authors. This book got almost all 5 star reviews. I almost feel guilty for giving it only 4! I did like it for the most part. I just thought parts of it were slow. The present time parts I loved! It was the story within the letters I just couldn't get into. Usually I like that kind of thing but they were just slow for me.

I thought the character development was excellent. I loved Tandi, I loved her personality. I thought she was someone I could like in real life. I also liked her two kids. They all felt very real to me. Lisa really does have a way of making her characters feel real.

I also loved the descriptions, the cottage Tandi was staying in, Iola's big old house, and the little gift shop. Lisa made me feel right at home on Hatteras Island. I actually spent a week on Cape Hatteras Island a loooong time ago and loved it! I could have easily stayed there my whole life! So it was really nice to read a book that took place there.

The one thing I really enjoyed the most was the mystery of the old house in the beginning. There were shadows, doors open then closed, sounds, I thought - ooo ghost! I really wished she had continued with this line.
This book was very enjoyable though. It is a nice quick summer read. Or one that you can curl up in front of the fire place with.

I will leave you with a few quotes to give you a feel for the characters and great descriptions -

"Zoey had been such an easy baby, and thank goodness for that, because when she'd come out into the world, I was a nineteen year old college dropout, on my own after a literature professor, who swore he loved me, dumped me at the doors of an abortion clinic with a wad of cash in my hand."

""My foot collided with something metallic, liquid splattered everywhere, and before I knew it, I was tripping and stumbling over a mass of spitting, growling black fur. J.T., cat, dish, milk ran through my mind in no particular order, and I did the tomcat tango."

"Who's in there? Whoever you are, get out here. You're not suppose to be in this---"
The door pulled back slowly, and I froze, the blood draining from my face, seeping downward through my body, leaking through the soles of my feet, pooling on the floor and leaching through. My heart rapped in an empty shell."

"You have to think of it as Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Eventually the real Zoey will defeat the invaders - you just have to keep yourself from killing the host organism while you're waiting." LOL

Thank you Tyndale House Publishers for sending me this book to read and review!

The Giveaway -
I am giving away one paperback copy.
* To enter to win - fill out the form below.

* Please only enter once -  (I go through and delete double entries).
* Winner will be chosen on Aug. 31st.
* Winner will have 48 hrs. to respond.
* Please leave a comment for an extra entry (a REAL comment, not just "I would like to win").


  1. Sounds good. I like the cover too.

  2. I haven't read any of Lisa Wingate's books yet. The Prayer Box sounds like a good read. :)

  3. I've been dying to read The Prayer Box and your review makes me want to read it more!

    Glad I'm not the only one who feels "guilty" sometimes for giving books I wanted to love less than 5 stars ... haha! It still sounds like a great book, though!

  4. This sounds like a wonderful story. I hope I get lucky.

  5. I love the book cover. It made me want to read it at first glimpse.

  6. It sounds like a very touching and special book. I would love to read this story. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  7. I like reading this author also, the place and the story sounds like a good one to get into.thanks for sharing your comments and the book.
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

  8. I have been seeing this book all over and it looks like a good one to me. I am glad that I saw your review - I enjoyed reading it. Thank you for the giveaway. griperang at embarqmail dot com

  9. I love the storyline of this book and the cover too!! Stories that are set at the ocean and include journals/diaries/letters are intriguing to me.


    hspruitt {at} frontiernet [dot]net