Book Review: Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas

Titus 2:3-4 says, Teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands…. I’m not sure I can find a better example of this principle from Scripture than in Sandra Dallas’ book Prayers for Sale.

“How come you sell prayers?”

“I don’t.”

“The sign says so. I’ve seen it three times now. I came back because of it,” the girl persisted. “I can pay if that’s what you’re thinking. I can pay.”

Hennie chuckled. “That sign’s a story. I’ll tell it to you if you’ll come inside.”

About the Book

Hennie Comfort is eighty-six and has lived in the mountains of Middle Swan, Colorado since before it was Colorado.  Nit Spindle is just seventeen and newly married.  She and her husband have just moved to the high country in search of work.  It’s 1936 and the depression has ravaged the country and Nit and her husband have suffered greatly.

Hennie notices the young woman loitering near the old sign outside of her house that promises “Prayers For Sale”.  Hennie doesn’t sell prayers, never has, but there’s something about the young woman that she’s drawn to.  The harsh conditions of life that each have endured create an instant bond and an unlikely friendship is formed, one in which the deepest of hardships are shared and the darkest of secrets are confessed.

What I Thought

31-Uq4WoBzL._BO1,204,203,200_I wasn’t sure I would like this book when I first picked it up. It is gently-paced — not that the story drags, but rather the book follows Hennie in her final months living in a town she loves. Probably half of the book is her ramblings about the past, yet the stories add to the book, teaching lessons in the way that only a person reflecting on the lives of others can.

Hennie and her young friend, Nit, form a bond that clearly honors the Scriptural guidelines in Titus chapter 2, and the relationship blesses both women more than either could ever adequately verbalize. Seeing it lived out on paper encouraged me to not only seek these kinds of friendships, but to nourish the ones I have now.

Although the story wasn’t high-action, enough mystery was added throughout to keep me returning to book. And although one piece of the ending surprised me, the story closed up all the open questions, leaving me satisfied.

The Bottom Line – 4 stars

If you are in the mood for a gentle book or you enjoy listening to the tales of older folks, this might be the book for you. Not every story Hennie tells has a happy ending. In fact, many do not. Yet overall the book ends on a good note full of hope for the future. SDallas202R1

 

To read more about Sandra Dallas and her books, click here.

If you’d like to read more of my book reviews, please click here.

DISCLOSURE: I purchased this book at a bookstore and was not asked by the author or publisher for a review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”