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Prayers for Sale

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,764 Ratings  ·  2,010 Reviews
Hennie Comfort is eighty-six and has lived in the mountains of Middle Swan, Colorado since before it was Colorado. Nit Spindle is just seventeen and newly married. She and her husband have just moved to the high country in search of work. It's 1936 and the depression has ravaged the country and Nit and her husband have suffered greatly. Hennie notices the young woman loite ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published April 14th 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Valerie Totten
This book took me a long time to read. It wasn’t a book that you would stay up all night to read to get to the next chapter. I would read a chapter here and there. After reading it I wasn’t inspired by the tragic one after the other stories about her life. I must admit that after reading the first couple chapters, I didn’t think I could finish the book. The author, Sandra Dallas, uses way too much shock value when she writes. I found it hard reading about the loss of Hennie’s family, the death o ...more
Christine Rebbert
Sep 26, 2012 Christine Rebbert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After having read and enjoyed this author's "True Sisters" so much, I got a couple of her earlier books out of the library. This one centers around an 86-year-old widow living in a small mining town in the mountains of Colorado in 1936, and flashes back to her coming West in a covered wagon after the death of her first husband in the Civil War. Over the course of a summer and autumn, Hennie tells her life story to her new young neighbor Nit Spindle (what a name...), and what a story it is! If yo ...more
Jun 11, 2009 Staci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads

The stories, that is what draws you into this wonderful book. The stories that are weaved into present day and links you to the past. Hennie is eighty-seven years old and she's experienced pretty much everything life can throw at a person: husband dying in the Civil War, brutality at the hands of a cruel man, losing her only child, living in harsh conditions, becoming a widow for the second time. She posts a sign on her fence out front that says, "Prayers for Sale." There's a story behind this s
Mar 06, 2011 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-reads
I'm usually able to get through a book fairly quickly... but this one just kind of stumped me. I couldn't get into it. I know there were so many people who liked this one... but I just wasn't a fan.

I think part of my problem was that I just didn't like Hennie. She's telling Nit these stories to help her adjust to living in her new home... but the stories are DEPRESSING!! "This woman left her husband and that father killed his own baby and this person died and that baby died and this person comm
Nov 16, 2014 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book ambled along at country pace, but I really liked it. It didn't really seem like a story though. It was more of someone telling a lot of stories. It was about relationships and how sometimes we have to reach outside of ourselves, not only to offer our gifts to others, but to also be touched by the gifts of others.

I have been working on my genealogy for a long time. And I have had conversations with my grandma and with my husband's grandma (who are both now deceased) to hear their storie
Mar 05, 2009 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sandra Dallas' novel takes its title from a sign on Hennie Comfort's fence, carved when she was "so happy that she had prayers for sale, since there was nothing to ask for." Hennie is an 86-year-old twice-widowed woman living in a small mining town called Middle Swan, Colorado, during the Great Depression.

The "prayers for sale" sign brings Nit Spindle, a 17-year-old newlywed girl, to Hennie's door, requesting a prayer for her stillborn daughter Effie. The two women become fast friends, and Henni
Amy Salamon
Jul 12, 2011 Amy Salamon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible. Just terrible. I would ban this book if I could, and not because of the actual content. It’s because the writing is so simplistic, it upset any semblance of literary-ness (I’m so upset, I can’t think of actual words).

[Full disclosure: I was specifically looking for a light and quick read. I guess I got one, although I’ve read light reads that didn’t insult my intelligence like this.)

My main complaint is Dallas left nothing to the imagination. Anything that had a semblance of symbolism,
Once again I wish for 1/2 stars, then I could give this book 3 1/2 stars. There were several things I really liked about this book: the themes; friendship, forgiveness, love, and faith. There aren't many books anymore that, without being preachy, have sort of an underlying religious current going on.
I enjoyed the characters, particularly Hennie, the main character. I loved that she was always looking to help someone. (Thus the Prayers for Sale--they didn't really cost money).
The book was se
Jul 22, 2009 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a current best-seller, and it's easy to see why. It is set in the Colorado mountains during the mining boom of the early 20th century (apparently loosely based on the history of Breckenridge). It's a story of friendship between an old woman, long-time resident of the town about to be forced to move out, and a young woman just arriving. The old woman has a lifetime of stories to tell - some tender and loving, some brutal and heart-rending. The young woman has her own secrets. The two ...more
I love this kind of book: meaty yet enjoyable, enthralling, historically-based, with rich and endearing characters and a few twists, ie. just plain good story-telling.
Hennie, the main character is herself a great story-teller with a wealth of interesting, harrowing, sometimes humorous, tender, wise, and wonderful stories to tell. She is also a quilter and believes "A quilt circle's like a crazy quilt. You got all kinds in it. Some members are the big pieces of velvet or brocade, show-offish, wh
Jan 19, 2012 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So after checking this out for the 3rd time to try to finish this book I can sum it up in a few good quotes from the book. It was a very slow read. I’m so happy I finally finished it. But I couldn’t just let this one go. The book was about an elderly lady living in a mining town helping others through their life. It was about how forgiveness heals your soul as well as the other person’s soul.

Very misleading title-Prayers for sale (a sign outside her home, the meaning behind it) - I was so happy
I read this book when I found out it had one of the characters from The Diary of Mattie Spenser in it, and while it's not a sequel, per se, it does bring some closure to that storyline as well as introduce another collection of characters that jump right to life. While The Diary of Mattie Spenser was more engaging as a story, Prayers for Sale has a whole different feel to it that is very special. It is told as if one was sitting in a sewing circle (a quilting circle, to be more specific), listen ...more
Jul 15, 2009 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The setting for this tale is 1936 in Middle Swan, Colorado, a small gold-mining town. Hennie Comfort is in her 80's and befriends a young, married girl, Nit Spindle, who has just moved to town with her husband. The two women have much in common & bond instantly. Hennie decides to take Nit under her wing & teach her what she needs to know to survive the harsh life that living in Middle Swan brings. Hennie shares her life story (and many other people's story) with Nit over the course of th ...more
Sep 30, 2009 bookczuk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to bookczuk by: Elizabeth
I've read several books by this author before (Diary of Mattie Spencer. Alice's Tulips, The Chili Queen, The Persian Pickle Club) and like her way of telling a tale about a time past. The women in her books are realistic, with a strength like that which I see in many of the women of my acquaintance. We're not superheroes, just women who face the challenges, joys and grief that life throws our way, and keep going with the business of living our lives and loving our families. This was a gentle boo ...more
May 10, 2010 Portia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Read this one for a book club. I was able to finish it, though it was hard at times to keep going. Maybe because I'm really not that riveted by quilting. Otherwise, it just seemed super slow and repetitive and boring. Good points: OK strong female main character, decent depiction(I guess) of life in a CO mining town, good clean "true love" optimism without too much sentimental mush, and most of all, the title. It refers to being so happy and content with life that a person has prayers to spare, ...more
May 31, 2014 Jenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I unexpectedly really enjoyed this book. It wasn't one I would normally pick for myself and am happy I ended up liking it so much. This book is filled with many great life lessons and stories told by Hennie that she wants passed on long after she is gone. There are many factors that made this a great story: friendship, faith and forgiveness.

I really enjoyed the theme of the story - Hennie taking young Nit under her wing and trying to teach her the ways of mining living in the mountains of Color
Hennie Comfort is 86 years old and living in a mining town high in the mountains above Denver. She's one of the most senior residents there, and she knows everyone's stories. When a young couple arrive, Hennie takes the wife, Nit, under her wing. They quilt together and Hennie tells story after story after story as a way to orient the young women to people in the town and about life at such a high altitude. In the process, both women gain perspective and grow closer and find a degree of healing ...more
Oct 22, 2011 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me by a friend. She said her book club had read the book and enjoyed it. Thank you for the recommendation, Shirley !! Hennie Comfort is 86 years old lives in Middle Swan, Colorado. She has lived a long life full of joy, happiness, grief, hate...the whole gammet. As the story begins, she meets 17 year old Nit Spindle. There is a sign in front of Hennie's house that is old and faded and says, "Prayers for Sale." Hennie sees Nit looking at the sign and Nit asks Hennie i ...more
Robin Nicholas
Sep 05, 2009 Robin Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The year is 1935 and 86 year old Hennie Comfort has lived in a mountain gold mining town for the last 70 years. Her daughter thinks it is time that she comes "down the mountain" to live with her. While Hennie is treasuring her last months on the mountain she meets 17 year old Nit Spindle, who has just moved here with her husband. Nit Spindle is in need of some prayers and a friend. Hennie is there for her and over the next 9 months, over some quiltin' and coffee she passes on her stories and adv ...more
Jan 25, 2013 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2013
This is a four star book with a five star ending. Wasn't sure what I thought of the first half, but by the end I was in love with it. The good woman Hennie is and the care she takes of the younger generation is so heartwarming.
I would read this before, "True Sisters," or "Diary of Mattie Spenser." Just ordered it for the pesonal library.
I giggled when I read this line: 232
"People feel sorry for spinsters and widows, but there's more than one married woman that envies them."
It almost seemed like
Jul 06, 2009 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's 1936 and the Great Depression has taken its toll. ighty-six-year-old Hennie Comfort has lived in Middle Swan, CO - up in the high country of the snow-covered Rocky Mountains - since before it was Colorado. When she first meets 17-year old Nit Spindle, Hennie is drawn to the young grieving 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 ...more
Sally G.
Nov 25, 2011 Sally G. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book completely filled me with the joy of female friendships, courage and resilience in hard times, the beauty and power of story-telling and life experienced in a time period and location I'll never know on my own.

Hennie Comfort, an 86 year old woman, has lived in the mountains of Middle Swan, Colorado since before it was Colorado.

Nit Spindle is just 17 years old and newly married. She and her husband have recently moved to the high country in search of work. It's 1936 and the depression
Georgia Herod
Aug 08, 2011 Georgia Herod rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Set in 1936, with the Great Depression having taken its toll, Prayers for Sale is the story of a unique intergenerational friendship, forgiveness, healing. The central character, 86-year-old Hennie Comfort, has lived in Middle Swan, in the high country of the Rocky Mountains, since before CO became a state. When she first meets 17-year-old Nit Spindle, a newcomer whose husband has taken a job in the local gold mine, Hennie is drawn to the young, lonely, isolated girl who is grieving. The harsh c
June Ahern
Jan 14, 2012 June Ahern rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Widow Hennie Comfort is eighty and six years old and is faced with the fact that she is old - too old to be living alone in her mountain home in a mining town of Middle Swan, Colorado. Her only child, a daughter wants her mother to live with her in Iowa and Hennie is reluctant. Still, she knows that another winter in the mountains will be too hard on her, so she’s made up her mind at the end of the year to move-in with her daughter. It’s within that year the story, set in 1936 during the Great D ...more
Kathy Davie
Feb 15, 2011 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh lord, I hated this was so good. I cried and remembered and cried. Thank god, it had an ending with which I could live.

Arriving fresh in Middle Swan, a mining camp in the Colorado Rockies, from tragedy after the Civil War, Ila Mae, as she was then known, has come to Middle Swan to possibly marry a friend of her childhood friend. We learn of Hennie's 70 years in Middle Swan while Hennie is in her last year there when she befriends Nit Spindle, a young newlywed who has followed her equ
Jun 26, 2011 Jennybug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book. It made me laugh, it made me cry. I loved how the story was intertwined. I think this book would make the best movie. Although, several tragic events take place through out the book, I love how strong willed, kind, generous, yet tenacious Hennie was. I also loved how human she was, she had weaknesses.
I am not a quilter, but this book totally makes me want to take up the hobby. I loved all of the fun vocabulary in this book. I looked up quite a few words, and laughed a
Tammy Stith
Feb 21, 2011 Tammy Stith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jo Ann
This was my second Sandra Dallas novel and I wasn't disappointed. This woman's writing style is like slipping into a pair of your oldest most comfortable pair of jeans you own. I'm from Southwest Colorado, the Durango area and this story takes place high up in the Rockies near Denver and Leadville during 1936. Basically a story about friendship, forgiveness and life in a mining town. I'm usually not much of a connoisseur of women's literature, but I truly enjoyed this novel. It really brought ba ...more
Oct 19, 2014 Paige rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-group, 4-star, 2014
Prayers for Sale takes place in Colorado and so it had my heart right away. In a gold mining town, there isn't much for the women to do other than quilting and visiting. I loved watching the characters form strong bonds as they worked side by side. It also has a beautiful title. The main character says at one point, and I paraphrase, "I feel so blessed, I have prayers for sale." That thought has really stuck with me and I love the thankfulness and optimism of that statement.
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Award-winning author SANDRA DALLAS was dubbed “a quintessential American voice” by Jane Smiley, in Vogue Magazine. Sandra’s novels with their themes of loyalty, friendship, and human dignity have been translated into a dozen foreign languages and have been optioned for films.

A journalism graduate of the University of Denver, Sandra began her writing career as a reporter with Business Week. A staff
More about Sandra Dallas...

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“When it's raining pudding, hold up your bowl.” 21 likes
“She wasn't soft, but she never saw the sense of a living thing dying such a cruel death just for some woman's vanity. Still, she thought, a fur coat when the wind blew down off the Tenmile Range would feel mighty good. Maybe they made fur coats out of foxes that died of old age.” 4 likes
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