The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow
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The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow (Bright's Pond #1)

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  784 ratings  ·  139 reviews

No longer able or willing to leave her home, Agnes Sparrow has committed herself to a life of prayer -- prayer that has resulted in numerous miracles, both large and garden variety, including a prize-winning pumpkin. The residents of quirky Bright's Pond, Pennsylvania, plan to erect a sign on the interstate in her honor, but Agnes wants no part of it. Then a stranger comes

Kindle Edition
Published (first published June 1st 2009)
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Christa Allan
Aug 01, 2009 Christa Allan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
If I met Agnes Sparrow in person, I probably would ignore her. And that's exactly what makes Joyce Magnin's novel so captivating. She brings Agnes to us, plops her in our living rooms, and weaves the magic of her story so delicately that the weight of Agnes' body disappears in the weight of her soul.

I plan to read everything Joyce writes...even if it's only a grocery list. Her quirky, charming, and truly refreshing style is a gift.
Kara Prem
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is quite possibly one of the odder books I have reviewed this year. Right off the bat, in the
first chapter I am caught off guard. The central character in the book is Agnes Sparrow (as the title indicates) and we meet her immediately through the eyes of her sister, Griselda, the narrator. We see how she is the primary caregiver for Agnes who is 700 lbs and can't get around on her own. In the opening pages Agnes declares to Griselda that she will no longer leave their house, its just too har...more
Agnes Sparrow is a morbidly obese woman (700 pounds) with a secret. A secret she keeps for years. A secret which causes her deep guilt and a desire to 'redeem' she prays. She prays everyday for everyone who asks and/or anyone living or passing through her town of Bright's Pond. The community of Bright's Pond loves Agnes for the miracles they have received through her prayers and are constantly working toward honoring her through billboards and statues. Griselda, the narrator and sis...more
Clockstein Lockstein

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin is a masterful novel about the power of unconfessed sin. Griselda has devoted her life to taking care of her obese sister, Agnes. Agnes has devoted her life to taking care of the town of Bright's Pond. Her prayers have become so famous for bringing miracles in the small town that its residents are preparing to erect a sign outside city limits advertising it as the "Home of Agnes Sparrow." But Agnes has never wanted publicity, and no matter how hard sh...more
Julia Bauer
The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow is one of the most unique books I have read in a very long time. It's the story of sisters Griselda and Agnes Sparrow. Older sister Agnes weighs 700 pounds and is the miracle worker of the town of Bright's Pond, whose every prayer for the town's residents is answered. Griselda is Agnes's caregiver. Their unique relationship and the zany residents of this small town in the Pennsylvania mountains make for a read that is humorous as well as touching. The writing was spr...more
Kathy Piper
This book was slow at first -- I almost quit reading it. It sounded too "folksy" and simple-minded for my taste. But I am glad I kept on with it. It has some surprises and some redeeming qualities. Found myself looking forward to reading more of it. The book is written from Griselda's POV as she dutifully cares for her sister, Agnes, who is a 700 lb. invalid. Agnes has a reputation in town for praying for folks -- and very often her prayers seem to be answered. But when a mysterious drifter come...more
The first 2/3 of the book about put me to sleep but I just kept reading.

If you like the Mitford series by Jan Karon or the Miss Read series, the first part of this book will appeal to you from a very slow paced, nothing happening but a pleasant little town leads its pleasant little life. Throw in a bit of Flannery O'Connor in the last third of the book, it shakes you up a bit and there you have Prayers of Agnes Sparrow.

The characters are more complex than I originally thought and for that Joyce...more
Vannetta Chapman
I very much enjoyed this book, which was my second to read by Joyce Magnin. She creates wonderful characters and they keep me reading because I WANT to know what happens next. :)

This book did take a rather surprising turn 2/3 way through.
I didn't see it coming!
Before even finishing it, I had ordered the rest in the series.
Anna Todd
I found this to be quirky but interesting. It reminded me of a mix between “The Andy Griffith Show” and the movie, “What’s eating Gilbert Grape.”
I appreciated the fact that the author comes across so honest in the characters with both their flaws and attributes. The ending surprised me!
Diana Kelewae
Agnes is a 700 lb homebound woman, who seems to have the gift of answered prayers for her friends and neighbors. The town decides to erect a sign and statue in her honor, and that's when her life begins to unravel. Once beloved, she suddenly becomes the pariah of the town.
Linda Conklin
This is an odd little book with strange characters. I gave it 3 stars but I think I liked it 3 1/2 stars. I didn't expect much from this book but it surprised me.
If you're wanting to learn something, this isn't the book for you. It's purely for entertainment. Looking for well-developed characters? Agnes is very well-developed. Some character names: Studebaker. Vidalia. "Shrapnel" is Eugene's last name. Filby Pruett. Hezekiah. Dabs Lemon. There's also Tohilda and Personal Best.

I'm reminded of Phil Gulley's Harmony books with Fern Hampton, Dale Hinshaw where the characters are real and not some Barbie doll fake. (This one has big hair. This one has yellow...more
This took me way too long to read, which is usually an indication that I was not really into the book. However, there was something about it that made me not just toss it aside. What that was, I am not sure, considering that I didn't like any of the characters, thinking most to be foolish and pathetic and most parts of the storyline seemed too far-fetched and unbelievable within the novel's context. I especially didn't like Agnes (pathetic) or Griselda (foolish and pathetic) who were the two mai...more
Jun 18, 2012 Eric rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: christian readers, faith seekers
Recommended to Eric by: Self
Joyce Magnin's Bright's Pond series, which "The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow" is the first book of this particular series, interweaves faith, death, and love all within the pages of its cover. This particular book is told from the viewpoint of Griselda Sparrow, Agnes's sister. The majority of the story deals with the fact that Agnes is seen as a miracle worker whose prayers often go answered by God. This story takes you on a journey through what it means to have actual faith.

My main gripe with this...more
It had been ages since anything that exciting had happened in Bright's Pond ... so reads a passage in "The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow," and it pretty much sums up a lot of this book for me. Bright's Pond is a little burg in Pennsylvania. It reminds my of Mayberry, or maybe the town in the "Mitford" books (which I admittedly haven't read; it's just my stereotype). Folks say things like "lookee there!", and there are lots of descriptions of food. The town has a full cast of unusual/normal/endearing...more
Judy King
While no great feat of Literature, and not likely to make it into required reading, this author did a great job of creating characters I knew -- really knew, a town I felt as if I'd visited and people I cared about.

Poor Agnes, at 700 pounds has created a fortress of self around her wounded heart -- and in housebound, though young, spending her days praying for townsfolk who come to her with their hopes, dreams, illnesses and troubles. When folks notice a pattern of improvement among those for w...more
This is the story of Agnes Sparrow and her caregiver sister, Griselda. Agnes has grown to 700+ lbs and announces to her sister one day that she has decided to never leave the house again because it has become too difficult and embarassing. Griselda has taken care of her sister since they were children. As children she often would stand up to other children who would bully Agnes because of her weight.

Because Agnes is confined to home she develops a prayer ministry for the people in town. Townspeo...more
Angela Reese
The setting of this story is a very small town where everyone knows everyone and no one ever leaves the town, except on the rare occasion to go to the next town for something not available in Bright's Pond. The narrator of the story is Griselda Sparrow, sister of Agnes Sparrow. Agnes Sparrow is seen as the conduit of miracles. She is grossly obese and never leaves her converted bedroom so people have to come to her for their miracles. All one has to do is to visit with her, have her put her hand...more
Nov 15, 2012 Rayni rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in care giving, obesity, bullying.
Recommended to Rayni by: Series
Causes: Bullying, care giving, obesity ...

I had a hard time getting into this book, but once I did, I was sad when I finished it. I have read books 2 & 4 of the series, so it was interesting to meet some of the people that are talked about in later books in this book. I loved going to The Pink Lady Cafe in Shoops, a restaurant that Charlotte Figg also goes to in "Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise." (book 2)

My word to live by for 2012 was caregiver. This book definitely fit my criteria. I ha...more
Valerie Comer
Agnes Sparrow is too large (at over 600 pounds) to get around the town of Bright’s Pond any more, but she can still do one thing and do it well: pray. And when Agnes prays, miracles happen. The town is so in awe of Agnes that they decide to get a new sign for the highway: Welcome to Bright’s Pond, Home of Agnes Sparrow. But why stop at a sign when they could build a statue?

It’s up to the story’s narrator, Agnes’s sister Griselda, to try to stop the people from spreading Agnes’s name even further...more
Lynette Smith
Wonderful book couldn't put it down, about a small town and all the people go to Agnes who is a 700 lb woman and can't leave her house to ask her to pray for them They started to give Agnes all the glory and she kept saying the answered prayers were from the Lord. Prayers are being answered and the little town is getting blessed and in turn keep thinking it is because of Agnes, they want to post a sign stating the town of Agnes Sparrow and put a statue up representing her, till everthing turns a...more
Agnes Sparrow weighs somewhere around 700 pounds. She was bullied mercilessly as s child and now those same people who ridiculed her want to erect a sign in her honor because Agnes has a gift. She prays and the Lord listens. Never mind that neither Agnes nor her care-giver/sister, Griselda, want that sign (or the statue to accompany it), the towns people are insistent. Then a stranger, hearing of Agnes' miracles, comes to town. And suddenly, Agnes may be losing her gift.

I enjoyed this book on tw...more
Shari Larsen
A quirky tale about two sisters. Agnes Sparrow can no longer leave home when she tips the scales at 600 pounds. She spends her time at home praying for the people of Bright's Pond. When what seems to be miracles occur, such as healings from serious illnesses, the townspeople give Agnes the credit. When they want to erect a sign in her honor, Agnes doesn't want that; she says that it's not her granting the the miracles, it's God, and she does not want the credit.

Agnes is cared for by her long suf...more
Susan F
Agnes Sparrow is a stunningly overweight lady (600 to 700 pounds)who compensates for her inability to undertake a 'normal' lifestlye by holding court with individual members of the community and praying for them. Her sister, Griselda, is the town librarian and the daily caretaker for Agnes. Overall it is mindboggling to think of what Griselda is going through as you read the story that she tells. As Agnes prays for people the prayers are answered. A following builds as these people declare she i...more
Trudy E
After reading my first Bright's Pond book, I knew I wanted to read the rest. The vivid characters in this little town work their way right into your heart (or in the case of one curmudgeon, right under your skin!). Agnes is housebound and spends her days praying for her friends and community. Her sister, Griselda, cares for her in their childhood home. Over the course of time, some of the people Agnes prays for become healed or have other positive answers to their prayers, leading many to believ...more
I finally got to read the first book in this series. It is strange reading a book that is set in the 70s, a time period I lived through but not as an adult. This is only one of the many things I don't have in common with the characters in this series, but I still like them. They are odd but interesting. They are somewhat complicated and yet quite simple.

In this book we meet Griselda and Agnes, two sisters who are dependent on each other for very different reasons. While they are coming to an und...more
Judy Iliff
While I had heard lots of good about The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin, and while I liked the book, I didn't love the book. The plot is well developed as are the characters. The writing really does remind me of Fanny Flagg.

Griselda and Agnes Sparrow are two sisters who have been together their whole lives. Griselda works at the library, and Agnes prays for everyone who asks for her help. Agnes decides to not leave the house any more once her weight tops 600 lbs. The people of Bright's...more
I got this as a free Kindle download. It kind of reminds me of the Mitford books, in that it chronicles life in a (very) small town and has a Christian flavor. Sometimes I felt it was dragging a bit, but overall I liked it and may read the other books in this series.

This story follows Griselda and Agnes, two sisters living alone in their family home, which used to be a funeral parlor. Agnes, who is quite large, is dependent on her sister and seems to have a special ability when it comes to prayi...more
Myra Johnson
Aug 17, 2009 Myra Johnson rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys fiction in the vein of Lisa Samson
It's been a busy summer so I'm a bit late getting my review up, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. Joyce Magnin has created a cast of unforgettably quirky characters to inhabit the town of Bright's Pond, Pennsylvania. With humor and wit, and no small amount of spiritual truth, Joyce draws the reader into the life of a housebound woman who believes her sole purpose in life is to pray for other people's concerns. Before long, however, a stranger's arrival in town stirs up secre...more
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Um, I like cross stitch, baseball, my children and grandkids, but not elevators or laundry. I've been known to run from mayonnaise and I play RPG video games. I don't have a favorite author although I read a lot.
More about Joyce Magnin...
Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise (Bright's Pond #2) Griselda Takes Flight (Bright's Pond #3) Blame It On The Mistletoe (Bright's Pond #4) Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus Harriet Beamer Strikes Gold

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