Lisa Wingate’s THE PRAYER BOX is a Sweet Story of Second Chances

Prayer boxThe Prayer Box
By Lisa Wingate
Tyndale House Publishers

A run down Victorian house in a quaint coastal village. Secrets from a painful past. A life written on slips of paper stored in old boxes. Releasing September 1, award-winning writer Lisa Wingate’s twentieth novel, The Prayer Box, combines these tidbits and more into a sweet story of forgiveness, purpose and second chances.

From the back cover:

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.

A satisfying novel has to have setting, characters and story to compel readers to go beyond the first page. The Prayer Box has all of these elements and more. Lisa Wingate paints the setting of a quaint little town on the Outer Banks and then populates it with people we would recognize from our own lives. Tandi, a scared young mother running from her past. Brother Guilbeau, the heavy drawled pastor from the local church. Paul, a part-time teacher, part-time handyman and full-time friend. Bink and Geneva, the older couple who owns the local market. The ladies at Sandy’s Seashell Shop. The story and dialogue is multi-dimensional; deftly handling metaphor and similes, Wingate grabs her readers from the opening scene and doesn’t let them go until the final page.

A word of advice; set aside a weekend to read The Prayer Box, because – once started – it will be difficult to put it down.