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The Penny: A Novel
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The Penny: A Novel

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  2,041 ratings  ·  316 reviews
Jenny Blake has a theory about life: big decisions often don't amount to much, but little decisions sometimes transform everything. Her theory proves true the summer of 1955, when 14-year-old Jenny makes the decision to pick up a penny imbedded in asphalt, and consequently ends up stopping a robbery, getting a job, and meeting a friend who changes her life forever.
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Published June 12th 2007 by Faith Words
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I didn't realize when I picked this up that it was by a "Christian author." I have nothing against a nice wholesome story, or even a story to teach you a nice little lesson. But it seems this was written mostly with the lesson in mind, with less care being given to the story or the story telling. Rather than just telling the story and having faith that the reader would hear the underlying message, the underlying message was spelled out for you in big flashing letters (actually italics). Even Jes ...more
This book is hard to read. The beginning of it is almost as hard to read as The Lovely Bones. There is emotional, mental, physical, and sexual abuse of two sisters. Since it's Joyce Meyer (loosely based on her live story), I know it will get better, but it is hard to read about such things.

I have a new respect for Joyce Meyer. I always have sort of kinda liked her, but when I watch her on T.V., she rarely, if ever, alluded to her very bad beginnings. Now that I have read this book, I realize she
Have you ever found a penny and picked it up for luck? Well, Jenny Blake finds a penny one hot day as she was on her way with her sister, Jean, to the movies to see a Grace Kelly movie. She retrieved the penny from the hot asphalt street. The penny laid wheat side up, so dirty it was almost invisible. Jenny walked past the penny at first; but thought that she should pick it up as "little things make a big difference." Picking up the penny, a chain of events began: the Presley Dairy truck braked ...more
To me the book was very slow paced until about half way through. I couldn't read fast enough to get to the good parts. It focused on not taking God's presence for granted. He puts peolple in our lives for a reason and we need to be ever so conscience of that fact.

The book took a penny to resemble even a small thing like that can have a big impact on our lives. Faith and forgiveness played a big part of this book. Life is to short and we need to focus on the little things God gives us and watch w
Feb 11, 2008 Lori rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Lori by: Husband
This was a book my husband bought for me for my birthday! Such a special gift, as I am a big Joyce Meyer fan! I enjoyed this novel, Joyce's first ~ it was a very neat story and gripped me until the end! I haven't looked at a penny the same since I read this book! In God We Trust!
Lori Beach
Book club pick for September.

This is the first book of fiction by Joyce Meyer that I have read. Several ladies in my book club that voted for this book did not know who she was. I am bummed to be in Hawaii and miss the conversation for this book. It is the first faith based book that our club has read. I loved the way she spoke of hands and what they represented in her life from pain to love. I loved that there was a definite story line of unconditional love. I love that there was a definite sto
A very well-written and thought provoking book set in racially divided St. Louis in 1965. Jennie sets off a series of events that have life-changing implications when she stoops over to pick up a penny imbedded in soft tar while crossing a street one afternoon. The people she meets, the decisions she and others make and the life lessons she and others leearn are all set in motion by her decision to turn back to stoop down to pick up that penny.
How often does life n general or in teh specifics s
Suzanne Williams
Some books are worth more in their affect on the heart than they are on the senses. This book is one of those. Though I've read many stories, some of them splendidly written, this story touches a place inside that changes you. The storyline itself was at time ponderous. Much detail was given to the city of St. Louis, to the main character's friends, and to her school and her job, and though this did set the stage for the overall personality of the character, for me, someone now familiar with tha ...more
what an amazing story. this book definetly made me see things in a whole new perspective. this book goes a long way to proving that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. I cried for so many fo the characters. I actually feel like I understood their pain in some instances. I have always believed that even a small thing that you do can cause a chain reaction but the way it was written in this book, not just in one circumstance but on so many different pages just made this book a delight to rea ...more
I liked this book for many reasons but found it a bit unrealistic, which is why I only gave it 3 stars. It was well-written and a quick read. The narrator/protagonist was an appealing and realistic character.

What I found slightly annoying about the book was the conclusion. Without giving too much away, I'll simply say that as a child of a slightly abusive parent, I can tell you that codependent spouses do not turn on a dime and suddenly make a change. And I'm a Christian who prayed often for thi
Wow. I was surprised to find I did not like this story.

I found the descriptions distracting as if the authors worked too hard at them. I found myself repeatedly cocking my head to the side and wondering what the descritive prhase meant or how it looked. Odd.

I also felt like I basically had the jest of the story at the opening and so struggled through the story because I had a pretty good idea where it was going. I would have preferred to have seen more fore-shadowing that would entice me along
Jessie Weaver
Jenny Blake has never known anything but push - her father, pushing her and her sister Jean around. Pushing friends away. Never letting anyone get close, for fear they might encounter her father's wrath. And then she finds the penny.

It is the mid-1950s in St. Louis. While waiting in line at the Fox Theater to see a Grace Kelley film, Jenny sees a penny in the street. Something tells her to go and pick it up, and with that a string of events begins, so peculiar than even Jenny knows it must be fa
I'm always a little more critical when I read books for book club, because I am reading in "analytical" mode and not necessarily in "entertaining" mode. That being said, I liked this book but wished that the symbolism was more subtle. It had a powerful story line and the blatant explanations of the internal symbolism seemed to detract from the message. I would prefer that authors make you ponder and think about the underlying message, rather than spelling it out for you.
(book, novel based on fact)
a. This is by far the best book I’ve read in a long time. It had me crying or close to crying throughout most of it. The love that was shown to the deeply hurting main character by a woman is enough to bring even the hardest heart to tears. I think everyone that borrowed this book from me loved it. It’s a book to read in one sitting because you can’t put it down. 5 STARS

Jul 06, 2007 April rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yes
I enjoyed this book. It was a very deep book that made me cry. It definitely teaches you about inner strength, forgiveness and never giving up. Your future is not written by your past. This book is also about accepting those who are different and not judging others. I was glad that I read this one.
Kim Faires
This story is based on the Author Joyce Meyer's summer when she was 13 and the events that changed her life path. Joyce Meyer is a Christian author. It was a good book although very sad with the things that happened to her. Uplifting in the end though.
Expected heavy-handed, poorly written Christian fiction. Pleasantly surprised by interesting story, well written, although a little too neatly tied up in the end.
"Reaching out to hurting people even in small ways helps to heal our own hurts." This book has two very wise young ladies who grow up amid some chaos yet find a way to not only get through it but heal. "Sharing hope with other people when they were hurting, sad, or lonely made a big difference in how I felt about myself, too. God did such an amazing work inside of me, I never stopped wanting to share it." I totally enjoyed how all of these characters lives touched others and was inspired by them ...more
Laquita Logan
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. This book had all the elements I need for a good read: a tear jerker scene and an ending with promise. Abuse is never easy to read about, racism is never easy to read about but put the two together and in a way that shows adults how stupid we/they can be and you have a great novel. When abuse and racism is told through a child's eyes it should make all adults feel like there is more to do. Talk to and be engaged in a child's life. Be the lifeline ...more
Dec 28, 2013 Debbi rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Debbi by: Jan Retherford
It is 1955 and Jenny Blake has a secret. An ugly, devastating secret that she shares with her older sister, Jean. Because of her secret Jenny closes herself off from friendship. No one can come to her house for fear that they'll learn the truth. She realizes that others have secrets as well. She wants desperately to trust someone--but who would trust her if they knew the truth about her, and how can she trust anyone who hides behind their own secrets?

Then one day, she finds a penny stuck in the
Fantastic. Gave it as a gift
May 17, 2009 Ali rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Ali by: Mrs. Thomas
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bailey Jane
I myself am not a religious person, but I came upon this book by chance a couple of weeks after I had my daughter 4 months ago. It's a cute story:

My boyfriend is good friends with this couple that I find completely repulsive. They represent just about everything I detest and I have never held back in letting them know it. The female half of this couple had told me plainly to my face before that she doesn't like me either and we probably will never be friends. I agreed and was happy we saw eye-to
Aug 24, 2010 Carla rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone and everyone
oh my gosh! this book far exceeded my expectations. this is the first fictional book that i have read by this author and it did not disappoint. what i am taking away from this book is to not overlook what appear to be the small, insignificant things that i come across in my path, because they just might very well be the things that God chooses to use in my life to not just change me and my life, but also to be a blessing to others.
some of my favorite quotes from this book are:
"God's willing to s
There was a time when most Christian fiction was so unrealistic and "religious" that I wondered if the authors lived in the real world. However, over the past few years I have read several good books by authors that are believers, but also can relate to the pain and sorrow that we all experience whether Christian or not. With all that said, I liked this book. I am a fan of Joyce Meyer and purchased this novel at her conference in Atlanta this weekend. I started to read on Saturday and finished e ...more
I am selective about Christian Lit. This book was well written and grabbed my attention from the very beginning. The story took me on a journey into God's love and grace. The author didn't hit me over the head with it, though. It is good to be reminded that even when we are struggling through difficult times, and may have no way out, He is still with us and loves us so very much. The fictional story of Jenny took place in the 1950s. Jenny's school has just made the move toward desegregation and ...more
Nora St Laurent
The 50’s; fun and care free images of girls in ponytails, poodle skirts, bobby socks and saddle shoes, and boys trained their hair into greased back duck tails, wearing rolled up t-shirt sleeves, and black leather jackets. The “Happy Days” with the Fonz; come to mind. The 50’s also had a dark side with images on TV of policemen fighting civil rights demonstrators, the challenge of integrating public schools,and racial tension. On another front scaring Americans even more Soviet Union and the US ...more
Bobbie Williams
How this author manage to put such a powerful story into just 210 pages is a miracle. The characters will captivate you and, at the same time, break your hard. I couldn't put this one down.

Jenny Blake has a theory about life: big decisions often don't amount to much, but little decisions sometimes transform everything. Her theory proves true the summer of 1955, when 14-year-old Jenny makes the decision to pick up a penny imbedded in asphalt, and consequently ends up stopping a robbery, getting
I give this book 4.5 stars. It's not the most well-written book I've ever read, although it is well-written, but it's a book that I will remember for a long time.
The characters are strong and well-developed, and although the plot moves slowly and isn't necessarily riveting, it kept me interested for over 200 pages, wanting to know what came next for Jenny, Jean, Aurelia, and Miss Shaw. The "mystery" of Miss Shaw, the jewelry shop owner, is a nice touch. I like that Meyer and Bedford incorporate
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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JOYCE MEYER is one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, she has written more than seventy inspirational books, including The Confident Woman, Look Great, Feel Great, and the entire Battlefield of the Mind family of books. She has also released thousands of audio teachings as well as a complete video library. Joyce's Enjoying Everyday Life radio a ...more
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Battlefield Of The Mind: Winning The Battle In Your Mind Me and My Big Mouth!: Your Answer Is Right Under Your Nose The Confident Woman: Start Today Living Boldly and Without Fear Approval Addiction : Overcoming Your Need to Please Everyone Beauty for Ashes: Receiving Emotional Healing

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