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The Prayer Box

(Carolina Heirlooms #1)

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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  10,774 Ratings  ·  1,237 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 September 1st 2013 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published August 16th 2013)
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AJ Best They are amazing. It's a Louisiana deliciousness (I assume that's where they are from since the book references Louisiana and when I had mine, a…moreThey are amazing. It's a Louisiana deliciousness (I assume that's where they are from since the book references Louisiana and when I had mine, a friend picked them up in New Orleans). They are kinda like donuts but are much much better!(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…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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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
...more
Sarah
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
Jackie
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
...more
Anna
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
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
...more
Virginia
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-prayer-box
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
...more
Pamela
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
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
...more
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
...more
Judy 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
...more
Staci
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
...more
Kate
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
...more
Kathy
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
Jen
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.
Aerykah
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
...more
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
...more
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.
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
...more
Michelle
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
Casey
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
...more
Melissa
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars, very touching and meaningful tale. Minus a half star because I felt like a couple of storylines weren't fully completed (like the one with her sister). Overall though, excellent book and very worthwhile read.

Readers will delight in this gorgeously written, true gem of a novel. Wingate has a way with phrasing that makes one stop and savor certain passages because they are incredibly meaningful — not only to the telling of the tale, but to the reader’s own life. Realistic characters and
...more
Kathy Gange
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I truly enjoyed this books. I'm trying to read one Christian fiction novel a month in the summer.
Loraine
If I could have given this book higher than a 5, I would have. It definitely went to the top of my 2017 favorites list. Could not put it down and had to know how it ended. This is a rich, emotional story that brought me to laughter and tears. One of the most inspirational fiction books I have read in a long time. There are so many incredibly wonderful things to say about this book:

The dual time line was used superbly to show the grace that was extended to Tandi by God and through Iola's beautifu
...more
Jan
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In light of the hurricane bearing down on the Carolina's right now - this book is about 2 years after a hurricane ripped through the Outer Banks. I love this book. Tandi finds herself cleaning out her landlord's home after she passes away. In her home she finds boxes and boxes with letters in them. Upon further investigation, they are letters to God.

What an incredible read! How do you serve? For the notice of those around you or completely unseen? Love Love this book! How do you look at people?
...more
Penelope Pugh
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this one. It was set up a bit like a Hallmark channel movie...however, it was well put together with mostly believable characters. And Really, who doesn’t like a happy ending now and again?! I also really liked the overall message of the book - turning your prayers over to God. Worth the read.
Julie Barrett
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
First wanted to read this book as part of the summer reads for the whole family campaign by JKS communications.
Love the setting for this in the outer banks and she recalls being there with her grandparents, closeby the house that was featured in 'Nights in Rodanthe'. There is also talk of the ship that didn't make ti to shore and the wild ponies.
She has run away from her husband in TX after having suffered an injury from falling from a horse-and she's attempting t
...more
Brandi (Rambles of a SAHM)
Aug 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When we are young we are subject to the decisions of our parents. As we grow older we are responsible for our own choices. Many times however we fall into the trap of doing what we know. That is the plight of Tandy Jo Reese. She's grown up with completely dysfunctional parents and ultimately wound up in the foster care system. Things began looking up for her but she continually reverts to doing what she has grown up learning.

We pick up the story at the point where she has escaped with her two ch
...more
Holly
Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am finding that I really enjoy Lisa Wingate's writing. She takes her time telling the story of life allowing the reader to get to know the main character as well as those around them. The main character, Tandi, was a character that was easy to fall in love with and to root for as she struggled to get own her feet and take care of her children. She is very honest in her fears and her desire to survive.

The story was wonderful. As Tandi started reading Iola Anne's letter's, it hit me, "What a won
...more
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3,250 followers
Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the bestselling author of more than twenty novels. 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 Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her work was honored by the Americans for More Civility for pro ...more

Other books in the series

Carolina Heirlooms (3 books)
  • The Story Keeper (Carolina Heirlooms #2)
  • The Sea Keeper's Daughters (Carolina #3)
“Fear builds walls instead of bridges. I want a life of bridges, not walls.” 35 likes
“The trouble with drowning in the mess of your own life is that you're not in any shape to save anyone else. You can't be a lighthouse when you're underwater yourself.” 21 likes
More quotes…