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The Prayer Box

(Carolina Heirlooms #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  15,796 ratings  ·  1,777 reviews
When Iola Anne Poole, an old-timer on Hatteras Island, passes away in her bed at ninety-one, the struggling young mother in her rental cottage, Tandi Jo Reese, finds herself charged with the task of cleaning out Iola's rambling Victorian house.Running from a messy, dangerous past, Tandi never expects to find more than a temporary hiding place within Iola's walls, but every ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published August 16th 2013)
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Beth Snider Oh, yes!! You haven't really seen New Orleans until you've watched passersby from the patio of Cafe du Mond, drinking cafe au lait, eating beignets, a…moreOh, yes!! You haven't really seen New Orleans until you've watched passersby from the patio of Cafe du Mond, drinking cafe au lait, eating beignets, and keeping the birds off your plate! :)(less)
Penny May A prayer box is a box any kind of box that is special to you. Could be anything. I will not tell you what it is used for as it is a crucial part of th…moreA prayer box is a box any kind of box that is special to you. Could be anything. I will not tell you what it is used for as it is a crucial part of the story.(less)

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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,796 ratings  ·  1,777 reviews

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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
I first gave the book 4.5 stars, but I realized how much I enjoyed the book as I was retelling the plot of the book to my mother. It's just such a wonderful feel-good book. The kind that leaves you happy when you have finished reading it.

The Prayer Box is the first book in the Carolina Heirlooms series. There are also a couple of novellas you can read. I've read the last book in this series; The Sea Keeper's Daughters before I read this one and I was so enthralled by the book that I wanted to re
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am not free with five-star reviews. But when a novel leaves me teary-eyed and feeling a step closer to heaven there is nothing to do but hurry out and tell the world HERE is a book worth your time. I love stories that let me come along as characters who are at rock bottom slowly find their way back into the light. Add in a wonderful, old house in need of saving and I'm almost guaranteed to be a fan. But Lisa gave me so much more than a lovely story and rich characters--she gave me her heart. I ...more
Sep 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Once again I find myself wishing for the ability to give a book half-stars. I would give this one 3 1/2 stars. And once, again, I find myself a bit conflicted about a book. While I really did enjoy reading this book, it wasn't /isn't without its issues.

I struggled with Tandi. She was so spineless, and yet at the same time, had enough courage to get out of a bad situation and off of her painkillers. She was such a frustration to me that at times I wasn't sure I wanted to continue reading about he
Miranda A. Uyeh
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book took some time for me to get into but once I did, it was amazing.

Tandi was a wounded woman who had recently broken free to become independent. At first I found myself upset with her because I expected more from her as a mother. But as the story went on, I discovered the root of her vulnerability—this was her first time being independent and she was trying to find her footing. She eventually grew into a strong, admirable woman, beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. I applaud L
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tandi Jo Reese, along with her two children, is fleeing from an abusive husband. She is also breaking her drug addition, fostered by her husband. She ends up in the Outer Banks, the one place of happy memories spent with her beloved grandfather. When her elderly landlady, Iola Ann Poole, dies she agrees to clean out the house in exchange for free rent for the small guest cottage. When Tandi discover's Iola's letters to God, she must examine her own life. Her childhood was one of neglect and disf ...more
I put off writing this review for nearly a week. Not because I couldn’t think of anything to say. (Those who know me would never describe me as speechless.) I wasn't under time constraints or laboriously engaged. Quite simply, Wingate’s novel spoke to me on so many levels. Frankly, I was overwhelmed, trying to rein in compress all of my thoughts/emotions/opinions into a mere paragraph or two. No sooner would I sit at the keyboard, my eyes would well up and rain; thinking about a lifetime of succ ...more
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-prayer-box
By Lisa Wingate

I will never be able to look at a cute little box again and think just cute. In my mind and heart, it will hold precious memories. Tandi Jo had been given just such a box when she was a young girl, but over the years it had been lost as she was tossed from family, to foster homes and sometimes to her beloved grandparents. The little box had meant so much to her. Her life almost destroyed many times over, Tandi brings her children to the Outer Banks, running yet again
Serena Chase
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The top three words that come to mind upon finishing this book? Beautiful, beautiful and ... beautiful.

OK, that was one word, but one so true about this story that it deserved to be repeated three times.

With a gift for crafting a story that digs into how a person's past can shape their view of themselves and of hope itself, Lisa Wingate never disappoints to deliver a first-class novel. The Prayer Box is just that sort of book. Through Tandi's eyes, we experience the life of a very real woman, sh
Judy D Collins
A beautifully poignant story THE PRAYER BOX by Lisa Wingate, with a past from one wrong man to another and a controlling one she managed to escape from, as she makes her way to the Outer Banks. (would recommend reading “The Seaglass Sisters- a novella), prior to “The Prayer Box”.

Tandi has no job and no means to support herself and her children and she is trying desperately to start over. She has escaped taking pills to drown her problems from Texas and wants to be a good mother and be a bette
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
While I enjoyed the story, some plot threads were left unresolved. I hope that the sequel(s) will wrap everything up better.
Denise Hershberger
Jun 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I really liked the last third of this book. But it took me the first third to get into the story. In all honesty I almost didn't read past 40% on my Kindle because I just wasn't engaged yet. But thankfully I was interested enough in what would happen that I kept reading and discovered the beautiful ending.

This book is a story within a story. The present day centers on Tandi who is a young single mother trying to keep her two kids fed. When her landlord, Iola Anne, passes away the church that inh
Tandi, having financial problems, is willing to take on most any job to support her two children after leaving an emotionally abusive relationship. Living in a cottage on the estate of a woman who just died, she is asked to clean out the mansion in order to get a reduction in rent. While going through Iola's things Tandi finds boxes of letters written for years and begins to read them. They appear to be letters to Iola's father, but as she continues to read she sees they're actually prayers to G ...more
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
Rich characters are what appealed to me most about The Prayer Box. The main character Tandi comes across as very real. She wants to be a better person, but doesn't always make the best choices. A secondary character is Iola. The reader gets to know Iola through her letters and her story adds depth to the novel. The novel is full of a caring cast of characters and a few losers as well. All of them come across as so realistic. My heart went out to Tandi's son JT.

I really liked how the novel ended
May 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
I wanted to love this book... After falling in love with Before We Were Yours, I did a bit of research and found this collection from the same author. With insanely high reviews backing up my decision, I thought it would be fun to dive into this series. It took me two months to finish reading The Prayer Box. I was unimpressed with the flow of the story, the lackluster story line, and the dull characters. The story line was too simple for the length of the book, and I never once became lost in th ...more
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sheila Reilly
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had a slow start getting into the book. Once I reached about 1/3 of the way in I was able to get into it more and enjoyed the second half of the book. I gave it 4 stars for how long it took me to get really engrossed but it did all come together. I read the second half in one afternoon.
Maureen DeLuca
May 30, 2020 rated it liked it
A pretty good book- for me, I had to be in the " mood" for this type of read.
Aug 06, 2013 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. Some parts were riveting and I identified with the heroine, Tandi. Other times the book seemed to drag a bit and I found myself skimming. It's definitely women's fiction and not a romance. I don't mind stories where there are things tied to the past. I remember going to an attic once when a friend of my parents bought an old Victorian house and finding a lot of cool stuff in there from the 1800s. That part of the story was good. I also liked the interaction ...more
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes an author's work grabs you by the shirt, forces you to sit down and doesn't let go until the end of the story. And sometimes an author, as is the case of Lisa Wingate, gently takes your hand and invites you to come with her on a journey.
I really enjoyed Tandi's journey. I love how she learned how she was worthy of love, not because of anything she did or didn't do, but because she is a daughter of God.
I absolutely adored Ms Iola Anne, which is weird to say as she was dead by the time t
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this moving, easy to read, women’s fiction book. The story got better as it went along, so that by the end, you wanted it to keep going a bit more. Tandi is a woman with a rough past, and you feel for her, but sometimes she really annoyed me with her decisions in life. She would think in her mind about doing the right then, but then inevitably do the wrong. So it took me a while to come to like Tandi, but once I did the book became harder to put down until I found out how it all ...more
I found this to be a surprisingly good, very inspiring read!

(Don't have time right now, but I'll try to write more of a review later.)
Andrea Cox
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
by Andrea Renee Cox

Over the last week, I read a beautiful story from an author I’ve never read before. Lisa Wingate’s The Prayer Box captured the essence of a lifelong faith in one character (Iola Anne Poole) and the seedling of hope in another (Tandi Jo Reese). There were times I wanted to wring Tandi’s neck for the choices she was making. But other times I wanted to wrap her in a hug and tell her everything would turn out right in the end. And I’m pretty sure I would love hanging out with the
Katherine Jones
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Every page of this novel amazed and moved me, often also prompting just a wee bit of envy that so much talent should reside in one single writer.

With fresh prose and evocative word pictures, Lisa Wingate moves her readers into the life of Tandi Reese, a single mom with a troubled past who hovers on the brink of change–for better or worse. Tandi’s quest to solve the mystery of Iola Anne Poole’s life becomes the reader’s own. And Tandi’s journey of discovery through Iola’s left-behind letters to G
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
One generation should teach the next. Sometimes that teaching isn’t done in the traditional form of speaking and sometimes those words come to us in the form of letters never immediately intended to affect our lives.

Words are so powerful. I’m constantly in awe of the potency they can have echoing down through the ages. Tandi has so much growing up to do in “The Prayer Box”. I couldn’t help but be a bit frustrated with her at times, but to watch her mature and change into the woman she is called
Nancy Baker
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This actually ended up being a touching story. However, I've read so many suspense stories lately and, because of that, I just couldn't bring myself to devote the time I should have to read this story in a day or two. Usually every spare minute I have I'm grabbing the book I'm engrossed in, but I always kept finding something else to do instead.

My first problem with the book was that I detested the main character -- a mom who had neglected her children for many years while she fed her narcotic
Cathy Daniel
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness! Bawling! Beautiful! Lyrical! Breath taking! No words can do this book justice! Easily my top pick for 2013. What a masterpiece!!!!!
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm kinda gobsmacked right now, searching for words to express all my mixed emotions over this book. Stunned. Awestruck. Furious. Fuming. Melty-hearted. Goosebumped. name it, I felt it as I immersed myself in this story.

Lisa Wingate has such an exquisite writing style. So beautifully descriptive that you feel like you are living every excruciating second along side the characters. And I think listening to the audio version enhanced my 'reading' experience. I especially loved Io
Kathy Rhode
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I loved the characters and how they developed. How the young mother kind of found herself learning about someone else...through the prayer boxes.
Rochelle Saldaña
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book takes your soul on a journey. The journey is sometimes hard, deep, and rough. Sometimes the journey is light, beautiful, and free. In the end, the journey has always been held in the hands of the Father. A tremendous read!
Mary Dowsett
This was an uplifting story ... a charming book of how a gentle woman touched so many lives with her kindness
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Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the bestselling author of more than thirty books. Her blockbuster "Before We Were Yours" was on the NYT best seller list for over one year. Her work has won or been nominated for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Utah Library Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, and the RT ...more

Other books in the series

Carolina Heirlooms (3 books)
  • The Story Keeper (Carolina Heirlooms, #2)
  • The Sea Keeper's Daughters (Carolina #3)

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