June Ahern's Reviews > Prayers for Sale

Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas
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's review
Jan 14, 2012

it was amazing
Read in January, 2012

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 Depression, takes place.

A new young neighbor, Nit Spindle, skinny little thing sees Hennie’s sign, “Prayers for Sale” outside her house and asks for a special prayer. This is the beginning of the friendship between the 86 year old and 17 year old women.
Both have stories to share, but Hennie's stories are a history, a time of life no longer existing in the 1936’s. Hennie’s stories go back when she was a young bride during the Civil War and she, living in the South and how she came to live in Colorado – all told through stories while spending time with Nit. Within the stories Hennie is releasing past regrets, problems, mysteries and putting to rest as she prepares to leave her beloved home.

It is a beautifully written, very country home-style story. Since I love reading, I loved reading Henni’s stories and how they brought historical times as seen through a young woman’s experiences of great loss, and the realization she must be brave to move beyond them, and how, no matter what age we are, we still have dreams and memories that make up the entirety of who we are. The stories weave, like the quilts in the book, in and out and end up being one whole piece.

Nit is a lonely woman who also has experienced the same loss that Hennie did as a young woman, so the bond between the two is deep and they find they can share each others burdens over a quilting frame and story telling.

“There’s an awful lot of living in that quilt,” Nit says. And with Hennie the quilt is not finished. The ending is a surprise, not unpleasant, but it stitches together loose ends properly. Says Nit, “Now you’ve stared on another story,” to which Hennie replies, “Yes, I have.”

I could see and hear Hennie easily. The language is of the time and place and at certain words, I had to stop to grasp what was being said. I like that! I enjoy learning period and location language.For a cozy plain and simple read, down to earth people, people who suffer, find joy in the small parts of life to do more than just survive, this is a good read. Highly recommended.
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Mary June, from your recommendation on this book, I am going to look for it at the library. It sounds like my kind of book. I can't wait to get it now. Thanks, I will let you know when I am done what I thought.

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