Melissa's Reviews > The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin
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Jan 06, 2012

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Read from January 01 to 06, 2012

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 sister of Agnes, faithfully cares for her sister everyday while also running the towns library. Unfortunately, miracles start to come in less appealing 'packaging' and the community of Bright's Pond begin to claim Agnes has lost her powers and/or is an agent of the devil when great tragedy strikes the town.

Personally, I thought the story was simple but a bit longer than necessary. However, the author gives a lot to building the community as viewed by Griselda which helps place the reader in the community in an authentic way - knowing some characters intimately and some simply through gossip and rumor.

The most intriguing aspects of this story were the idolization of Agnes and the perception of miracles that the townsfolk had...which may be the reality of the way miracles are viewed.

"People were always thinking of miracles in terms of really, really good things happening. Why couldn't an ulcer or cancer or any other affliction be just as miraculous if it served God's purpose?" page 128/Location 2595

"A smile as wide as Wyoming burst across Mildred's otherwise poker face." page 235/Location 4855 (Wyoming PRIDE!!!)

"Tell me, Miss God-fearing Griselda, would you have been able to find any Christian charity, any mercy, any forgiveness in your heart and let me stay?" Page 283/Location 5921

"Get ready and the second you hear that horn, you start screaming and see if you can scream louder than the train and the whistle. I don't believe it can be done. I tried every night for a year after Bubba died and many a night after." Page 343/Location 7189
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