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Prayers For Sale by Sandra Dallas (final thoughts)

November 14, 2010

From the publisher:
It’s 1936 and the Great Depression has taken its toll. Up in the high country of the snow-covered Rocky Mountains, eighty-six-year-old Hennie Comfort has lived in Middle Swan, Colorado, since before it was Colorado. When she first meets seventeen-year-old Nit Spindle, Hennie is drawn to the grieving young girl. Nit and her husband have come to this small mining town in search of work, but the loneliness and loss Nit feels are almost too much to bear. One day she notices an old sign that reads prayers for sale in front of Hennie’s house. Hennie doesn’t actually take money for her prayers, never has, but she invites the skinny girl in anyway. The harsh conditions of life that each has endured create an instant bond, and a friendship is born, one in which the deepest of hardships are shared and the darkest of secrets are confessed.

Lately I’ve been waiting a few days *cough*weeks*cough* to write about books after finishing them. But I just finished Prayers For Sale about five minutes ago and I need to talk about it. First I emailed my mom, who gave the book to me in April for my birthday, and now it’s time to share it with you.

Hennie has lived in the mountains for close to forever, but knows the limitations of age will soon be catching up to her. To ease her daughter’s worries, Hennie has agreed to move down Iowa to live with her, living out her days in a large house overlooking the Mississippi. It’s not exactly Hennie’s ideal life, but she knows it’s for the best. She promised she that she will move by the end of the year, which means she’s staying put in Middle Swan until December 31st. When young Nit shows up at her door early in the year asking for a prayer, Hennie takes the girl under her wing. Before Hennie knows it, she’s spending her last year in Middle Swan guiding Nit through her first.

Both originally from the south, Nit and Hennie bond over quilting and storytelling. Well, it’s mostly Hennie who does the storytelling, and does she ever have stories to tell. She tells stories of growing up in Tennessee and how she came to live in Middle Swan. She tells of the people who have lived or currently live in the mining town. Some of the stories are heart wrenching, some are sweet, some knee-slapping funny. Some of them overlap, other stand complete on their own.

All of the stories are what kept me reading this book. With the cold setting in and the evenings turning dark so early, it was the perfect book to curl up with under a warm blanket, with a full pot of tea on hand. This is the first book I’ve read by Sandra Dallas and I definitely want to read more. Especially now that I know that characters from Prayers For Sale show up in some of her other books. I highly recommend Prayers For Sale to anyone who enjoys a book full of overlapping, interweaving stories and memorable characters. I will not forget Hennie in a very long time and wish I could hear more of her stories.

My rating: 8.75/10

Soundtrack Saturday

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2010 6:14 pm

    This was my first introduction to Dallas too, but since then I’ve read two more and enjoyed them both. Tallgrass is my favorite to date.

  2. November 14, 2010 7:22 pm

    Great interview! I will have to look up the one I read of hers before but I think the word “pickle” was in the title and it too had to do with quilting…. :)

  3. November 14, 2010 8:02 pm

    This is a book that I have seen so many times in the store but for some reason never picked it up — I’m glad to hear that you liked it, so I definitely will not pass it by the next time I see it!

  4. November 15, 2010 9:28 am

    Oh man, I have never heard of this one before but it sounds great and I agree – a perfect read for a cold night!

  5. November 15, 2010 11:59 am

    I love Sandra Dallas. I haven’t read this one yet but hope to soon. My favorite to date is also Tallgrass.

  6. November 15, 2010 2:51 pm

    Ooo sounds good. I love the cover!

  7. November 15, 2010 10:27 pm

    I’ve had this recommended to me a few times by friends, and reading your review makes me think I would enjoy it. I’ve never read Dallas so I’m a bit curious!


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