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The Prayer Box [Kindle Edition]

Lisa Wingate
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,590 customer reviews)

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Book Description

ECPA 2014 Christian Book Award Finalist, Christy Award Finalist, Christianity Today Book Award Finalist, MAGGIE Award Finalist!
"THE PRAYER BOX is Masterpiece of story and skill." -- NYT #1 Bestselling Author Debbie Macomber
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 everything changes with the discovery of eighty-one carefully decorated prayer boxes, one for each year, spanning from Iola's youth to her last days. Hidden in the boxes is the story of a lifetime, written on random bits of paper--the hopes and wishes, fears and thoughts of an unassuming but complex woman passing through the seasons of an extraordinary, unsung life filled with journeys of faith, observations on love, and one final lesson that could change everything for Tandi.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* On the run from a powerful, abusive ex-husband, Tandi Jo Reese finds refuge in a deserted caregiver’s cottage on Hatteras Island. The locals assume that she’s there to take care of the main house, and they offer her friendship and support. Hiding from a wealthy criminal is a harrowing endeavor, and things are especially difficult for Tandi, since she has two children. Tandi then discovers the unusual heritage left behind by the deceased owner of the big house, Iola Ann Poole, who kept a prayer box for each year of her life. As Tandi reads the contents of each box, she is inspired by Iola’s rich life and absolute faith. But Tandi’s road to faith and trust is not an easy one. She still has the tendency to choose the wrong kind of man, and her teenage daughter’s rebellion is out of hand. With a careful eye to detail and a beautiful, lyrical style reminiscent of those of Mary Alice Monroe and Patti Callahan Henry, Wingate vividly sets Tandi’s struggles in a once beautiful Victorian mansion now falling to ruin and guarded by a cranky cat in a small town recovering from the ravages of a hurricane. --Shelley Mosley


"I am in awe of Lisa Wingate's talent.  She strikes the heart and turns my gaze toward heaven's door.  THE PRAYER BOX is a masterpiece of story and skill."
 -- Debbie Macomber, NYT #1 Bestselling Author

"Transcends simple hope and healing while capturing the heart of the reader." - Karen White, New York Times bestselling author of The Time Between

"Lisa Wingate writes with grace, beauty and so much heart." -- Sarah Jio, New York Times bestselling author of THE LAST CAMELLIA

"Tenderly woven.  Skillfully threaded.  A grab-your-heart story." -Charles Martin, -- New York Times Bestselling author of Unwritten 

Wingate writes with a sensitivity and lyricism so effortless, weaving a community atmosphere with a comforting story of personal healing (ForeWord Reviews)

With a careful eye to detail and a beautiful, lyrical style reminiscent of those of Mary Alice Monroe and Patti Callahan Henry, Wingate vividly sets Tandi's struggles in a once beautiful Victorian mansion now falling to ruin and guarded by a cranky cat in a small town recovering from the ravages of a hurricane. [Starred review] (Booklist)

Relatable characters and vivid portrayals of events both current and historical create an enchanting, memorable pilgrimage into the fullness of faith and love. (Publishers Weekly)

Readers will delight in this gorgeously written, true gem of a novel. Realistic characters and a saga of life, love, and rebuilding make a gorgeous treat. [Top Pick] (Romantic Times Book Reviews)
Two-time Carol Award winner Wingate (Blue Moon Bay) has written a moving and inspiring story with interesting female characters and a colorful Southern backdrop. A good option for fans of Nicholas Sparks and Mary Alice Monroe. (Library Journal)

Product Details

  • File Size: 2636 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (August 16, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CH7KXY2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,808 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Prayer Box is a MUST READ!!! August 13, 2013
Tandi Jo Reese, a young mother with two children, has run away from a difficult past. The Outer Banks of North Carolina is as far away from Dallas, Texas as she can get. Here, Tandi seeks refuge in the only place she felt safe and loved as a child. Memories of childhood days spent with loving grandparents, flood Tandi and leave her hoping for something better for herself and her children.

Finding temporary lodging in a guesthouse, Tandi Jo does not come to know her landlady, Iola Anne Poole, until after Iola's death. Desperate to find a way to make a fresh start, Tandi agrees to help sort through Iola's belongings and clean out her dilapidated house.

Through the discovery of eighty-one prayer boxes, Tandi comes to know Iola Anne Poole and her loving Father. The thoughts and prayers of one woman, recorded over her lifetime, open Tandi's eyes and her heart. In discovering the woman Iola was, Tandi Jo Reese discovers the woman she, herself, will become.

While The Prayer Box is a beautifully written novel of a young woman trying to find her way in life, it is also a story of faith, hope and redeeming love. Once again, Lisa Wingate has eloquently woven love and the lessons we learn into the fabric of her newest novel, The Prayer Box. Don't miss this incredible journey!
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Message September 30, 2013
I have read other books by Lisa Wingate and enjoy her easy storytelling. The message was excellent for character, Tandi for her loyalty to homeowner, Iola Anne Poole. Great, great ending, but in my opinion it took half of the book to get into the message and the strong part of the book. I know women that have low self-esteem, tend to lean towards men that are abusive in language and physical. Tandi left an abusive marriage, yet Ross kept hanging around which was the same personality. All about ME first and let the kids fend for themselves. Fortunately Tandi came to her senses. The ending was wonderful and warm, but next time don't take so long to develop the story!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lisa can really tell a story! October 21, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved The Prayer Box! Lisa Wingate can really weave a good story! I had the privilege of meeting her in person and listening to her tell a little about writing The Prayer Box. I could hardly wait until I got home to begin reading the book! I have been so impressed with her writing, that I just ordered 5 more of her books (The Tender Rose series). Inspirational fiction can get repetitive with some authors, but not Lisa Wingate! She writes just as if she lived the story herself. And since I live in NC, our next vacation will definately be on the Outer Banks. You will enjoy The Prayer Box.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Novel August 13, 2013
By Rosanna
This is a wonderful novel that I highly recommend. I could not put it down. The characters are rich and you can relate to them. At first I did not care for Tandi but as she became more responsible and independent I came to like her. I enjoyed the telling of two stories that interweave into one story. It is also refreshing to not have a book full of adult situations and foul language. This is Lisa Wingate's best novel to date. I can't wait for her next novel.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I highly recommend Lisa Wingate's, The Prayer Box September 1, 2013
The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate is a beautifully conceived and written book that takes place on the Outer Banks of N.C.

Tandi Jo Reese fled a bad marriage and came to the Outer Banks where many years ago she had helped her Dad work on houses that hurricanes had damaged. She is down on her luck, almost penniless when she was asked to clean out this very old house. The house's owner had recently died. Tandi Jo's life began to change when she found a large number of Prayer Boxes in the old house.

There are so many really great quotes to learn from. It's so difficult to select only one or two as they are all so applicable to life. I highly recommend this book!

"That summer on Hatteras, I knew I was made for something good."

"We are all warriors in our own time."

"You can never really leave the Outer Banks"

"I had the life I wanted, she says. I had my adventure. It was shorter than I'd planned. I wonder if it is ever what we plan. I hope we've done some good... for the horses, and the people... and the islands. For a moment, her gaze is far away. There was no other place I loved so well as this one." Iola Anne and Isabelle

This is a really wonderful book! I highly recommend this book!

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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! One of Lisa Wingate's best novels! August 13, 2013
By Robin
Love that the setting of this novel takes place on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Tandi runs from her past in Texas to Hatteras Island with her children. She is hired to clean out her landlady's house after her sudden passing and discovers a closet full of decorated prayer boxes. Tandi discovers friendship, love and forgiveness as she learns lessons in life. A novel of hope and healing.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full Circle September 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Amazing story that deals with heartbreak from families that choose their own wants and overlook the children in their care. Healing and finding love are found after a trek into the past. Everything is in God's timing not our own.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars took a long time to get hooked June 16, 2014
By Denise
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 inherited the house gives her the opportunity to clean it and she says yes. At first she is just excited to have some extra food from the kitchen to take home to her kids. But as she continues to explore the old house she finds these boxes filled with letters.

At first you think that Iola Anne is actually writing her dad but after awhile you realize the letters are actually prayers and the "father" she is referring to is her Heavenly Father. The prayers themselves are beautiful and give you a glimpse into the pain this woman lived through.

You'll have to read the book to learn more about Iola's life and why the letters were so deeply touching for Tandi.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart touching
Lisa Wingate has touched a part of my heart that I thought was lost. Her stories are more than stories, they are heart warmers.
Published 2 days ago by twells68
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great heartfelt read!
Makes you really prayer! Not what you do for yourself that matters, but what you do for others.......... Read more
Published 7 days ago by CJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
This is an inspirational and uplifting novel that should be on every reader's list. Iola Poole, a 91 year old resident who died alone on Hatteras Island, conveyed to us through her... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Freida Travis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I have found a new favorite author. Love Lisa Wingate's story telling.
Published 10 days ago by J. Kirkley
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring story!
A very encouraging book. We don't live in humble times and this is a humble story. It inspires me to be a better and cheerful giver.
Published 11 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I have become and fan of Lisa Wingate's books and ...
I have become and fan of Lisa Wingate's books and the Prayer Box was such a heartwarming story of how someone is judged by a community and yet this someone has unknowingly to the... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Nadine Souza
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet story!
Makes you think about life itself and the mystery of what life and the power of prayer will behold. I loved it!
Published 12 days ago by Robert L. Carlton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it. Awesome! I want another one just like it!
Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A great reason to journal
I really enjoyed this book and all the twists it took. I truly lived how Iola' s note writing or journaling became such a great way for others to learn nit only history but faith... Read more
Published 15 days ago by T. Patton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read.
Published 16 days ago by Diana
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More About the Author

Selected among BOOKLIST'S Top 10 of 2012 and Top 10 of 2013, Lisa Wingate skillfully weaves lyrical writing and unforgettable Southern settings with elements of women's fiction, history, and mystery to create stories that Publisher's Weekly calls "Masterful" and Library Journal refers to as "A good option for fans of Nicholas Sparks and Mary Alice Monroe."

Debbie Macomber says, "I am in awe of Lisa Wingate's talent. The Prayer Box is a masterpiece of storytelling and skill."

THE OFFICIAL BIO: Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, inspirational speaker, and the author of over twenty mainstream fiction novels, including the national bestseller, Tending Roses, now in its nineteenth printing. She is a seven-time ACFW Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, and a two-time Carol Award winner. Her novels are known for taking on gritty subjects while offering redemptive and uplifting themes. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. More information about Lisa's novels can be found at or on Facebook at:

IN THE WRITER'S OWN WORDS: A special first grade teacher, Mrs. Krackhardt, made a writer out of me. That may sound unlikely, but it's true. It's possible to find a calling when you're still in pigtails and Mary Jane shoes, and to know it's your calling. I was halfway through the first grade when I landed in Mrs. Krackhardt's classroom. I was fairly convinced there wasn't anything all that special about me... and then, Mrs. Krackhardt stood over my desk and read a story I was writing. She said things like, "This is a great story! I wonder what happens next?"

It isn't every day a shy new kid gets that kind of attention. I rushed to finish the story, and when I wrote the last word, the teacher took the pages, straightened them on the desk, looked at me over the top, and said, "You are a wonderful writer!"

A dream was born. Over the years, other dreams bloomed and died tragic, untimely deaths. I planned to become an Olympic gymnast or win the National Finals Rodeo, but there was this matter of back flips on the balance beam and these parents who stubbornly refused to buy me a pony. Yet the writer dream remained. I always believed I could do it because... well... my first grade teacher told me so, and first grade teachers don't lie.

So, that is my story, and if you are a teacher, or know a teacher, or ever loved a special teacher, I salute you from afar and wish you days be filled with stories worth telling and stories worth reading.

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