The Prayer Box (Paperback)Lisa Wingate
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"THE PRAYER BOX is a masterpiece of story and skill."-- Debbie Macomber, NYT #1 Bestselling Author "A good option for fans of Nicholas Sparks and Mary Alice Monroe" - Library Journal 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.
Size140 x 211 mm
Number of Pages385 pp
Chapter OneWhen trouble blows in, my mind always reaches for a single,
perfect day in Rodanthe. The memory falls over me like a blanket,
a worn quilt of sand and sky, the fibers washed soft with time.
I wrap it around myself, picture the house along the shore, its
bones bare to the wind and the sun, the wooden shingles clinging
loosely, sliding to the ground now and then, like scales from
some mythical sea creature washed ashore. Overhead, a hurricane
shutter dangles by one nail, rocking back and forth in the breeze,
protecting an intact window on the third story. Gulls swoop in
and out, landing on the salt-sprayed rafters—scavengers come to
pick at the carcass left behind by the storm.
Years later, after the place was repaired, a production company
filmed a movie there. A love story.
But to me, the story of that house, of Rodanthe, will always be
the story of a day with my grandfather. A safe day.
When I squint long into the sun off the water, I can see him
yet. He is a shadow, stooped and crooked in his overalls and the
old plaid shirt with the pearl snaps. The heels of his worn work
boots hang in the air as he balances on the third-floor joists, assessing
the damage. Calculating everything it will take to fix the house
for its owners.
He’s searching for something on his belt. In a minute, he’ll call
down to me and ask for whatever he can’t find. Tandi, bring me
that blue tape measure, or Tandi Jo, I need the green level, out in the
truck. . . . I’ll fish objects from the toolbox and scamper upstairs,
a little brown-haired girl anxious to please, hoping that while I’m
up there, he’ll tell me some bit of a story. Here in this place where
he was raised, he is filled with them. He wants me to know these
islands of the Outer Banks, and I yearn to know them. Every
inch. Every story. Every piece of the family my mother has both
depended on and waged war with.