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Publisher's Summary

A young woman, an old woman, and the story of a lifetime…

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 the 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, dating 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.

©2013 Lisa Wingate (P)2013 Blackstone Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    492
  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    150
  • 3 Stars
    72
  • 2 Stars
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Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A story that draws you in

Any additional comments?

I have to state up front that I had trouble understanding the narrator for this book. She had such a whispering, emotionally filled voice that at times I could not decipher what she was saying. I kept stopping and thinking that I would give up and return the book but the story just kept drawing me back. The message was positive, the characters well developed and believable and in the end I was won over. The themes of rebuilding and self discovery were strong. I'm glad I stuck with it and finished the book--the story was worth it and to me that's what really matters.

51 of 53 people found this review helpful

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Hard to understand

There were times that the narration was hard to understand. I appreciate the narrator trying to make each character authentic and different but there were huge sections that were just incomprehensible.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Felt like home!

Lisa Wingate describes Hatteras Island with such wonder that I felt like I could reach out and touch it. I felt like I was home in her words and the story was amazing. The narrator did the story such justice!! I'm going to listen again!!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Kelly
  • Peoria, AZ, United States
  • 03-25-15

Beautiful!

What made the experience of listening to The Prayer Box the most enjoyable?

It just kept unfolding with hope. I also thought the narrator was the perfect voice for all the characters, other reviewers had difficulty understanding her but I did not. I actually don't think anyone could have done it more justice.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the whole thing, it was so interesting with so much depth, and so many layers yet it had a gentleness to it. I loved how the family of Tandi went from utter brokenness and hopelessness to hope and later actually healed as a unit and loving and believing in themselves and each other...and of course, the thread of God running throughout.

Which scene was your favorite?

The ending! I never saw that coming!

If you could rename The Prayer Box, what would you call it?

No other title would do.

Any additional comments?

I will definitely be reading more by this author and listening to this narrator. Well done to you both!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A book for guys? For me it is.

This is a book about a woman who has been weak and used for most of her life - but not all. She had a baby when young and kept it. She tried to be the country club wife to a Texas jerk and when she fled him ... but she didn't have the sense to bring along enough money to support her two children. She left her kids home alone way too often seeking pleasure / the good life. Not my favorite back story. [I say this as a guy who stayed home with 2 kids for 5 years. It isn't easy. But, looking back, those were 5 wonderful years.]

She flees to Cape Hatteras. She finds the gumption do get work as a handywoman. What she discovers is what all of us - guys and gals -- want to find. The power of a few strong grandmother-age women. Her boss and friends, her "landlady." They help her find some pride in herself.

Neither man in the story (the bad boy surfer boyfriend and the good boy school teacher) are fully developed. We never do learn what motivates them Without the power of a central idea I would not have kept listening.

What is that idea? Well, I would not buy this book looking for a love story; it isn't. If you want one, see almost any of the books by Charles Martin.

So, what is the idea for which I give this book 5 stars? I won't spoil it except to say that I am in awe of the woman who grew the prayer box(es) over a lifetime well spent. Her story is intriguing, moving and Ms. Wingate makes it feel real. I wish I knew her.

PS
I agree with most of the negative things said about the narrator's inability to speak clearly except ... I do like her voice. If she can learn to convey soft sentences without whispering inaudibly ... she could be better than average. Not Amanda Roconi but worth listening to.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Narrator did a poor job with most Characters

Other than the main character and her children it was very hard to understand the characters that had accents. She did not do a convincing job with the male characters. She detracted from an otherwise interesting story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great story, But...

I had heard so much about the story. I just couldn't wait to hear it. It really is a wonderful story of redemption, but for me personally, the narration was so difficult to listen to several times I almost gave up listening to it.

The narrator reads at a certain cadence and she never deviates from it so even when she's using her voice to be different people, her pattern is the exact same where she's a little breathy at the end of every sentence and goes up at the same point in every sentence in the book. Again, I loved the story but I will be careful not to purchase anything narrated by Xe Sands.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I'm glad I powered through the whiney narration.

Good story, but a test of patience and tolerance to finish. Amost gave up.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • W.
  • Modesto, CA, United States
  • 09-12-14

The Prayer Box

Excellent! This book was a surprise to me. I discovered it on the public library website and found that Audible had the audiobook. There were volatile situations which were handled with the utmost tact, giving all the descriptive evidence of the situation without gravitating toward lasciviousness or profanity. The ending was superb (in my opinion). This book is well worth the credit.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Sweet book

This book held my interest. Nothing too deep or hard to follow. Perfect for listen ing to before bed. The narrator was hard to understand when doing certain characters. Other than that, I enjoyed it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful