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on December 8, 2003
I'll admit, I'm a jaded reader. I came to this novel thinking, "O great, a Christian rip-off of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." Man, was I wrong! This is the most important novel for the women of The Church I've read in many years, touching tenderly yet with no apology issues such as racial division, pride and all of our need to come face to face with our own sin and admit "I am just a sinner saved by grace," as undeserving as a drug addict, a prostitute or murderer. I was encouraged to worship the LORD with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, to call upon Him for all things. The faith of Avis and Adele and Florida, Nony and Delores, ripped into my soul like it did Jodi, the main character. This was more than reading a book, this was a flashlight from heaven lighting corners of my heart I didn't even know existed. I pray this book gets into the hands of people all over the world, people of all colors, creeds and lifestyles. Lisa Samson, author of The Church Ladies and The Living End
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on April 4, 2005
Most modern novles tend to be about a certain partilcular cultural or ethnic group. Most characters in the book will be very similar in background and culture. This book changes that, the main characters are very different and even better no one is perfect, no one better than the other person. Each is just different. I think it's a wonderful book for women!
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on September 14, 2003
When Jodi Baxter reluctantly agrees to attend a weekend Women's Conference with her co-worker, Avis, she only hopes that it will encourage them to better connect as friends. She is surprised to be thrown into a diverse group of a dozen women from various backgrounds and experiences who will come to be a very important part of Jodi's spiritual growth.
During the weekend conference, one of the prayer members suffers a personal crisis that force the women in Prayer Group 26 to do something...pray. And pray, they do, all night long, taking turns praying for this woman they've just met and the family they don't know at all.
When the weekend ends, they realize the power of their combined prayer and their need for each other's support, so they set up an e-mail loop to continue praying for and connecting with each other. The e-mail loop is jokingly named The Yada Yada Prayer Group, but they'll soon learn that the meaning of it's name is no joke at all. As they learn more about each other and their respective trials, they decide to meet in person as well as share via e-mail. They begin attending each other's churches, homes and workplaces and in so doing become more and more involved in each other's lives.
While this book easily allows us to experience parts of each Yada Yada Prayer Group member's lives, the main protagonist is Jodi Baxter and her relationship with each Yada Yada. I was especially intrigued by Jodi's negative perception of Leslie Stuart (aka Stu) being a know-it-all-do-gooder and would love to have seen that relationship developed and resolved more effectively. However, it's Jodi's own Pharisee-like attitude that requires resolution when she suffers a crisis and is faced with her own denied sin and spiritual neediness. But, as promised, God meets all of Jodi's needs, this time through a group of women that until a few months before, she'd never even known existed.
I formed my own bond with The Yada Yada Prayer Group and truly hope to see more of them in the future. The fact that there were a few loose ends left when the book came to an end gives me hope that there will indeed be a Yada Yada Prayer Group revival in the future!
(edit: I recently found out that this book, is indeed, the first in a series of three books!)
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on September 7, 2004
This book, about a group of women forced together by divine destiny, is one that should be recommended for every woman that is afraid or intimidated to step outside of their comfort zone in their little corner of the world--get out there and get to know other women from other cultures (saved and unsaved) and see what you learn them and---yes---about yourself!!

To explain the 4 rating: it was not the most gripping read for me, the ending was too quick and too predictable, and the time span in the book seemed to drag on forever. Without those, this would be a 5 for me. It was refreshing to read about characters that I know, work with, associate with, pray with and pray for, and are all around me in everyday situations. I loved the scattered-yet-precise character development--kept me on my toes and looking for small tidbits of information for future situations in the book.

I commend Ms. Jackson for having the courage to write a simple novel about salvation and grace--two themes many Christian writers don't explore very practically. No theology, no Strong's concordance needed, no Bible scholars required. Just simple, tried-and-true message of Christians being saved by grace--not works (or perception of your own 'goodness').

This is definitely NOT a regurgitation of Ya-Ya as other reviewers have suggested! This takes a very different turn and explores the friendships that evolve among women from very different walks of life that start a the most intimate relationship outside of marriage (a prayer group) knowing absolutely nothing about each other...and what comes out is pure beauty! I hope you'll find the same as you read Yada Yada--enjoy!
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on March 12, 2004
I wont recap the book since its already been done. But just know that this story is humorous and most of all honest. I appreciate Ms. Jackson, who at first I thought was African American, but is not, conveys the experience of what its like to be White in a mixed group where she is the minority. Very well written - and just funny. The fastest 400 pages Ive read in a while. Enjoy!
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on January 21, 2005
I was so amazed by this book. I bought it just because I was looking for something with a Christian basis but wasn't too heavy. This is an AMAZING book. I haven't ever cried this hard while reading a book. Truly touches the soul. I would definately recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn the true meaning of worship and the gift of friends.
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on December 7, 2004
I picked this book up at a Christian bookstore looking for something interesting to read on a whim. I love to read, especially and as a Christian I like for the books to positive and uplifting. Imagine my surprise with this page turner which had me hooked from the first page. The characters are well written and I could see parts of me and my friends in each one. Just like the characters, we are all at different stages in our Christian walk and have different ideas and interpretations in the way that we pray, praise and worship. This is a must read if you like page turning fiction.
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on September 2, 2004
I stayed up later than normal every night because I just couldn't find a stopping place.

This is a wonderful story about how a group of women become entwined in each other's lives, and you will feel like you are right there. Laugh, cry, praise, and pray right along with the women in the story. It's so real, it's hard to believe it's fiction.

There's a character to fit every race, personality, and life background. Drugs, alcohol, religious piety, grace, forgiveness, surrender, friendship. Look deeper into your own prayer life, and feel the power of God.
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on October 11, 2003
Jodi Baxter's life changes when she attends a women's conference. She is forced into a small prayer group of strange women with whom she would not ordinarily feel comfortable. But when the Holy Spirit makes the introductions, a friendship develops, and Jodi is in for some deep growth, some stretching, and some life changing friendships.
Though filled with humor and tender moments, this book digs deep and leaves an impression. I definitely recommend it.
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on January 29, 2006
The "Yada Yada Prayer Group" is a diverse group of women thrown together to pray during the Chicago Women's conference. But when one of the women's sons is shot while they are still at the conference, they band together to pray round the clock. When the conference comes to a close they discover that they don't want their prayer group to end. While at first they try to keep it going via email, they soon find it is worth the extra effort to meet in person.

The variety of worship & prayer styles represented in these women was a wonderful reminder not to judge those that worship differently than I do. And a wonderful encouragment to pray the Word more. There are no cardboard characters here. As in real life, each woman has strengths & weaknesses not always evident at first sight.

Barbara Rosenblat makes this wonderful story & characters come alive. She gives each character a unique voice and their individual personalities and backgrounds shine through her narration. I haven't enjoyed an audio book so much since Jim Dales' narration of Harry Potter, and that's a high compliment.

Highly recommended!
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