SUMMARY: These things I do, this melody of an ordinary day, keep the hours in order . . . Strange to think of that. The song of an ordinary life. Mine would be in these letters to you.
When Iola Anne Poole, an old-timer on Hatteras Island, passes away in her bed at ninety-one, the struggling young mother in Iola's 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 lessons in faith, observations on love, and one final lesson that could change everything.
REVIEW: For me, the book starts out kind of slow but by about half way through the book it became more interesting. I like how Tandi works hard to restore her family after getting herself off an addiction to prescription painkillers. I was irritated at her because of her reliance on deadbeat boyfriend Russ for her sense of self-worth but cheered when she stood up to him. She does what she can to provide for her family, even by taking odd handywoman jobs repairing damage caused by a recent hurricane. But, my favorite part of all is while she is going through Iola's prayer boxes, she realizes everything that Iola had done for the community and sets out to change public perception of this quiet and humble woman.
This is a good book which will make you think about the legacy we are leaving for our children and the community we live in. Are we doing just enough to get by or are we making a difference?
This book was provided by Tyndale House Publishers for review without compensation.
Lisa Wingate is a magazine columnist, inspirational speaker, and the author of twenty novels, including the national bestseller, Tending Roses, now in its eighteenth printing. She is a seven-time ACFW Carol Award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, and a two-time Carol Award winner. Her novel Blue Moon Bay was a Booklist Top Ten of 2012 pick. More information about Lisa's novels can be found at www.LisaWingate.com.