Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas
St. Martin's Press - Fiction/Historical
Hennie Comfort has lived in Middle Swan, Colorado, since the death of her first husband sent her in search of a new life. Now eighty-six and on the verge of having to leave her beloved home at her daughter's insistance, Hennie befriends 17-year-old Nit Spindle and is drawn to her by their mutual grief -- Hennie's, far in the past and Nit's more recent loss. As the two women endure the harsh life of Colorado in the 1930's, their friendship grows and they share secrets they thought they would never let go, helping each other in unexpected ways.
It's been several weeks since I read Prayers for Sale, my third read by Sandra Dallas. I can't say the details have stuck with me, but the general feeling remains. Hennie is a storyteller and a quilter and Nit is young and willing to both listen and take advice. Both are hard-working and come from similar backgrounds. Both have endured heartbreaking loss. Hennie slowly shares her story as they take turns visiting, quilting together and sharing food and conversation.
It's always surprising when a book that is essentially a quietly paced story is a page turner, but Sandra Dallas has a knack for making the pages fly and tossing in little surprises -- sometimes shocking, sometimes anticipated and satisfying -- that make her books eminently readable, the kind you want to shove into a friend's hands.
What I liked about this book: Everything. I like the pacing, the characters, the storyline, the surprises, the friendship, the writing style. There was nothing I recall disliking at all.
Prayers for Sale is sweet and rugged, full of hardship and grief and deep love, grueling hard work and gentle friendship. I like imagining myself in the place of such incredibly challenged characters, wondering whether I would survive and thrive or go to pieces. Highly recommended to readers who enjoy historical fiction and stories of friendship between women.
Update: After I wrote this review, I remembered the one thing about this book that really drove me nuts and that's the name "Nit". What a horrible name choice! No matter how hard I tried, I could never stop thinking of lice when I read that name.
Posts will continue to be short and sporadic, but I'm going to go ahead and try to dash out a review or two, whenever I have a few free moments, along with updates on arrivals and finished books. Happy Reading!
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