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The Prayer Box (Carolina #1)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  4,769 ratings  ·  686 reviews
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 every ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 16th 2013 by Tyndale House Publishers
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AJ Best They are amazing. It's a Louisiana deliciousness (I assume that's where they are from since the book references Louisiana and when I had mine, a…moreThey are amazing. It's a Louisiana deliciousness (I assume that's where they are from since the book references Louisiana and when I had mine, a friend picked them up in New Orleans). They are kinda like donuts but are much much better!(less)
Penny May A prayer box is a box any kind of box that is special to you. Could be anything. I will not tell you what it is used for as it is a crucial part of…moreA prayer box is a box any kind of box that is special to you. Could be anything. I will not tell you what it is used for as it is a crucial part of the story.(less)
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CCC Book Club List 2014
20th out of 64 books — 44 voters
The Prayer Box by Lisa WingateLes Misérables by Victor HugoThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Devil In Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Nichols AlonzoThe Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner
Mom's Connection- Fiction -Book Club
1st out of 22 books — 6 voters

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Community Reviews

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Once again I find myself wishing for the ability to give a book half-stars. I would give this one 3 1/2 stars. And once, again, I find myself a bit conflicted about a book. While I really did enjoy reading this book, it wasn't /isn't without its issues.

I struggled with Tandi. She was so spineless, and yet at the same time, had enough courage to get out of a bad situation and off of her painkillers. She was such a frustration to me that at times I wasn't sure I wanted to continue reading about he
By Lisa Wingate

I will never be able to look at a cute little box again and think just cute. In my mind and heart, it will hold precious memories. Tandi Jo had been given just such a box when she was a young girl, but over the years it had been lost as she was tossed from family, to foster homes and sometimes to her beloved grandparents. The little box had meant so much to her. Her life almost destroyed many times over, Tandi brings her children to the Outer Banks, running yet again
Miranda Uyeh
This book took some time for me to get into but once I did, it was amazing.

Tandi was a wounded woman who had recently broken free to become independent. At first I found myself upset with her because I expected more from her as a mother. But as the story went on, I discovered the root of her vulnerability—this was her first time being independent and she was trying to find her footing. She eventually grew into a strong, admirable woman, beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. I applaud L
I put off writing this review for nearly a week. Not because I couldn’t think of anything to say. (Those who know me would never describe me as speechless.) I wasn't under time constraints or laboriously engaged. Quite simply, Wingate’s novel spoke to me on so many levels. Frankly, I was overwhelmed, trying to rein in compress all of my thoughts/emotions/opinions into a mere paragraph or two. No sooner would I sit at the keyboard, my eyes would well up and rain; thinking about a lifetime of succ ...more
I am not free with five-star reviews. But when a novel leaves me teary-eyed and feeling a step closer to heaven there is nothing to do but hurry out and tell the world HERE is a book worth your time. I love stories that let me come along as characters who are at rock bottom slowly find their way back into the light. Add in a wonderful, old house in need of saving and I'm almost guaranteed to be a fan. But Lisa gave me so much more than a lovely story and rich characters--she gave me her heart. I ...more
Tandi Jo Reese, along with her two children, is fleeing from an abusive husband. She is also breaking her drug addition, fostered by her husband. She ends up in the Outer Banks, the one place of happy memories spent with her beloved grandfather. When her elderly landlady, Iola Ann Poole, dies she agrees to clean out the house in exchange for free rent for the small guest cottage. When Tandi discover's Iola's letters to God, she must examine her own life. Her childhood was one of neglect and disf ...more
Angela Lynn Holland
This was my first book by Lisa. The reason I read this book is not only because it sounded good but I got picked to be a part of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Book for Lisa's second book in this series The Story Keeper and I figured I better get the first book done before I started the second book. What is the Sisterhood you ask? Well let me tell you about it. It is multiple groups of five ladies each starting with the big sister who reads the book make notes in it then pass it on to the next ...more
Denise Hershberger
I really liked the last third of this book. But it took me the first third to get into the story. In all honesty I almost didn't read past 40% on my Kindle because I just wasn't engaged yet. But thankfully I was interested enough in what would happen that I kept reading and discovered the beautiful ending.

This book is a story within a story. The present day centers on Tandi who is a young single mother trying to keep her two kids fed. When her landlord, Iola Anne, passes away the church that inh
Serena Chase
The top three words that come to mind upon finishing this book? Beautiful, beautiful and ... beautiful.

OK, that was one word, but one so true about this story that it deserved to be repeated three times.

With a gift for crafting a story that digs into how a person's past can shape their view of themselves and of hope itself, Lisa Wingate never disappoints to deliver a first-class novel. The Prayer Box is just that sort of book. Through Tandi's eyes, we experience the life of a very real woman, sh
Rich characters are what appealed to me most about The Prayer Box. The main character Tandi comes across as very real. She wants to be a better person, but doesn't always make the best choices. A secondary character is Iola. The reader gets to know Iola through her letters and her story adds depth to the novel. The novel is full of a caring cast of characters and a few losers as well. All of them come across as so realistic. My heart went out to Tandi's son JT.

I really liked how the novel ended
One generation should teach the next. Sometimes that teaching isn’t done in the traditional form of speaking and sometimes those words come to us in the form of letters never immediately intended to affect our lives.

Words are so powerful. I’m constantly in awe of the potency they can have echoing down through the ages. Tandi has so much growing up to do in “The Prayer Box”. I couldn’t help but be a bit frustrated with her at times, but to watch her mature and change into the woman she is called
I really enjoyed this moving, easy to read, women’s fiction book. The story got better as it went along, so that by the end, you wanted it to keep going a bit more. Tandi is a woman with a rough past, and you feel for her, but sometimes she really annoyed me with her decisions in life. She would think in her mind about doing the right then, but then inevitably do the wrong. So it took me a while to come to like Tandi, but once I did the book became harder to put down until I found out how it all ...more
Judy Collins
A beautifully poignant story THE PRAYER BOX by Lisa Wingate, with a past from one wrong man to another and a controlling one she managed to escape from, as she makes her way to the Outer Banks. (would recommend reading “The Seaglass Sisters- a novella), prior to “The Prayer Box”.

Tandi has no job and no means to support herself and her children and she is trying desperately to start over. She has escaped taking pills to drown her problems from Texas and wants to be a good mother and be a bette
I am finding that I really enjoy Lisa Wingate's writing. She takes her time telling the story of life allowing the reader to get to know the main character as well as those around them. The main character, Tandi, was a character that was easy to fall in love with and to root for as she struggled to get own her feet and take care of her children. She is very honest in her fears and her desire to survive.

The story was wonderful. As Tandi started reading Iola Anne's letter's, it hit me, "What a won
Brandi (Rambles of a SAHM)
When we are young we are subject to the decisions of our parents. As we grow older we are responsible for our own choices. Many times however we fall into the trap of doing what we know. That is the plight of Tandy Jo Reese. She's grown up with completely dysfunctional parents and ultimately wound up in the foster care system. Things began looking up for her but she continually reverts to doing what she has grown up learning.

We pick up the story at the point where she has escaped with her two ch
Katherine Jones
Every page of this novel amazed and moved me, often also prompting just a wee bit of envy that so much talent should reside in one single writer.

With fresh prose and evocative word pictures, Lisa Wingate moves her readers into the life of Tandi Reese, a single mom with a troubled past who hovers on the brink of change–for better or worse. Tandi’s quest to solve the mystery of Iola Anne Poole’s life becomes the reader’s own. And Tandi’s journey of discovery through Iola’s left-behind letters to G
I have mixed feelings about this book. Some parts were riveting and I identified with the heroine, Tandi. Other times the book seemed to drag a bit and I found myself skimming. It's definitely women's fiction and not a romance. I don't mind stories where there are things tied to the past. I remember going to an attic once when a friend of my parents bought an old Victorian house and finding a lot of cool stuff in there from the 1800s. That part of the story was good. I also liked the interaction ...more
This is not a world shattering book, but when I closed the last page, I wanted to read more, probably because I'd love to find what Tandi found.

A book of cross generations connections, recovering from a haunted past, and finding courage to make tough decisions.

I'll definitely read more from Lisa Wingate.
I found this ebook on Amazon for free after a friend's heads-up and had heard Lisa Wingate's name before but had never read her books. But boy was I glad I did. The Prayer Box was an enjoyable, truth-inspiring read. Each chapter left you turning the pages--not out of dread, but out of concern. The heroine struggled with real issues and overcame thanks to a town outcast. No spoilers here, but the twist at the end brought tears to my eyes. Lisa's writing is descriptive and well-crafted and the let ...more
Andrea Cox
by Andrea Renee Cox

Over the last week, I read a beautiful story from an author I’ve never read before. Lisa Wingate’s The Prayer Box captured the essence of a lifelong faith in one character (Iola Anne Poole) and the seedling of hope in another (Tandi Jo Reese). There were times I wanted to wring Tandi’s neck for the choices she was making. But other times I wanted to wrap her in a hug and tell her everything would turn out right in the end. And I’m pretty sure I would love hanging out with the
I really liked this book! However I can't quite rank it with the 5 star books that I absolutely LOVE. If there were a 4.5 star rating, that's what I'd give this novel.
The story line is interesting and intriguing and the characters are very well developed. I feel as if I'd know them if I met them on the street! The setting, Hatteras Island on the outer banks of N.C., completely drew me in - and now I want to go there!
But the very best part about this novel are the written prayers themselves, fo
I don't know where to start or what to say! This is the best book I have read in a long time. It is beautifully written in a style that slips in and gets under your skin. It tells the modern-day story of a woman named Tandi who has been losing the battle to overcome the demons of her childhood. She is rescued and resurrected through the beautiful prayers of a woman she's never even met. It's heartwarming to watch Tandi grow and become the woman she's meant to be, helped largely by people who tru ...more
First book I've read by this author and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Becky Forrester coleman
Quite possibly one of the most beautiful books I've ever read.
Natacha Ramos
What a great book!

It was difficult for me at first, must say. I just couldn't be drawn into the story immediately, besides it's written in first person, which is not my favorite point of view.

But then, I began to learn more about Tandi and Iola and just felt connected with them both.

I learned to enjoy everything about Hatteras Island and its people. The white house. The cottage. The kids. Paul.

The whole idea of the boxes is fantastic. I do believe we can help people with our stories of struggl
Brenda Roberson
The story opens with Tandi Reese going to her land lady, Iola Poole's, house just to find that the elderly lady has passed away. Wondering what is to become of her and her two children, Tandi agrees to clean out the house in exchange for free rent for the small guest cottage they have been living in since she fled from an abusive husband. She loves the Outer Banks, the one place of happy memories spent with her beloved grandfather and is grateful for the opportunity
I loved this book. It is the story of a young mother (Tandi) who has seen almost no happiness in her entire life. She is renting a cottage on Hatteras Island, a place she remembers from her youth as she helped her grandfather in his handyman business. When she finds her elderly landlord (Iola) has passed away in the main Victorian house, she fears that she will be, once again, out on the streets. She is employed, though, to help clean out the house. When she starts this, she finds boxes full of ...more
Leia Spencer
I am not going to give a synopsis of the story. But I will tell you what I liked about this book. First off I would give it 3.5 stars, based on the writing and the subject matter. This book gave me goosebumps at the end. I loved how Tandi found healing through the old prayer letters written by Iola Anne. Tandi was in desperate need of healing. The book was written very positively though. The writings could have easily slipped into darker themes around abuse: child, wife and drug. The author must ...more
The first quarter of the book I found myself restless with reading and harder to get into the story. I almost considered reading another book instead, but I decided to press on because I read such good reviews about it.

As I continued to read more of the book, I became more engaged in it and eager to read. By the end of the book, I was so enthralled in the story, that I didn't want to put it down and I was even able to block out noise around me as I was engulfed in the story. It was as if I was
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Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, including Tending Roses, Good Hope Road, The Language of Sycamores, and Drenched in Light. Her work was recently honored by the Americans for More Civility for promoting greater kindness and civility in American life. Lisa and her family live in Central Texas.
More about Lisa Wingate...

Other Books in the Series

Carolina (3 books)
  • The Story Keeper (Carolina #2)
  • The Sea Keeper's Daughters (Carolina #3)
Tending Roses (Tending Roses #1) Talk of the Town (Daily Texas, #1) The Summer Kitchen  (Blue Sky Hill #2) Good Hope Road  (Tending Roses #2) A Month of Summer (Blue Sky Hill #1)

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“Fear builds walls instead of bridges. I want a life of bridges, not walls.” 24 likes
“The trouble with drowning in the mess of your own life is that you're not in any shape to save anyone else. You can't be a lighthouse when you're underwater yourself.” 16 likes
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